Sword Fighting, Castles, and Other Cool Things About Medieval Entertainment

What would you do without your television, your phone, the internet, or any of the modern-day sources of Entertainment? The lives of the majority of the people in the world now seem to revolve around technology of many different types. We require technology to work, live, and even play. How did people entertain themselves with […]

What would you do without your television, your phone, the internet, or any of the modern-day sources of Entertainment? The lives of the majority of the people in the world now seem to revolve around technology of many different types. We require technology to work, live, and even play. How did people entertain themselves with no technology? How about with no electricity for that matter? This is an interesting question, the answers to which may surprise you.

At first glance it may seem to many that the middle ages must have been crushingly, and devastatingly boring. While the middle ages were rough times for humanity, they were not without their own forms of entertainment. These forms of entertainment varied greatly based on your social standing. For example, the wealthy could throw balls, banquets, and feasts on a regular basis to stave away the boredom, while the lower class families had fairs, games, and other sports that they played amongst themselves. Animals were a great source of entertainment in those days, and many games and fairs included dogs, bears and even monkeys.

Holidays were also great events to be prepared for and looked forward to, as they gave a reason to break up the monotony of everyday life with a cause to celebrate. There were so many holidays in those times that it equaled around eight weeks a year in which no one was required to work. In addition to holidays, there were harvests and other festivals based upon the time of year that would provide many days and nights of celebration, games, and merry-making.

One of the chief sources of entertainment for all class ranges involved weaponry, sword fighting, archery, and jousting. The sport of jousting began as armies would practice their strategy and fighting skills in pretend combat scenarios. These were life-like battle scenes that attracted the attention of many spectators, and evolved into the most extremely popular sporting event of its time. Here, knights and swordsmen would show off their skills, and woo the presumably bloodthirsty crowd.

This sport has some similarities with Gladiatorial combat in Roman times. In fact, the word “gladiator” has the same meaning as the word “swordsman”, from the Latin word “gladius” meaning “sword”. However, the benefit and boon of participating in jousting and sword fighting competitions in medieval times was that of honor, valor, respect, and often money.

The art of swordplay and sword fighting has not lost its entertaining edge even in modern times. This is thanks in part to Hollywood movies with pirates, knights, elves, and other romanticized historical or fantasy themed films. There is something primal, and satisfying about seeing two adversaries face off and clash swords, it sparks a feeling of adventure, danger, and glory across almost any age.

In medieval times, the abundance of violence, death, plague, famine, and a whole host of other horrible things were considered part of normal, everyday life. The entertainment for that time was a much needed relief, whether it was watching an expert sword match, celebrating a bountiful harvest, or seeing a play at the theater, entertainment back then was just as important as it is now, if not more.

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