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Showing posts from January, 2015

"All Those Who Saw You..." - Henry the Young King in the Tournament World

Henry the Young King was first and foremost the champion and patron of the tournaments. And although most of the contemporary chroniclers were unanimous in finding it his unforgivable sin, he won his fame rushing all over France and participating in virtually all possible meetings. As David Crouch underlines “… the career of Henry, the eldest son of King Henry II of England, cannot be understood unless you fully appreciate how he made the international tournament circuit his very own… [because] the tournament was not just an expensive amusement. Everyone who was anyone in the western aristocracies took to the fields of northern France…” (Tournament, p.21)

Although there were single voices admitting that tournaments arose "not from animosities but solely for training and the display of prowess” (William of Newburgh ) the Church thought otherwise and was against such military contents, in which "knights waste away their patrimony, their efforts and even their life and soul, sim…

‘Alas! How Chivalry Is Now Dead and Buried...' Henry the Young King Quotes

Today I would like to share with you a few Henry the Young King quotes which I find both interesting and telling. Some of them show Henry's proverbial generosity, his love for tournaments and care for his household knights, others his less praiseworthy traits. Over to you, twelfth- and thirteenth-century chroniclers :-) "… In this man, God assembled every kind of goodness and virtue, and the gifts which fortune usually bestows on single individuals of special distinction, she exerted herself to give all together and in richer measure to this man, so as to make him worthy of all commendation..."
From Otia Imperialia by Gervase of Tilbury, Henry's former chaplain, written in the early 13th century for Henry's nephew, Otto of Brunswick, Holy Roman Emperor (p. 486-7 inThe Instruction of a Prince)

                                                                 Bertran de Born (image: Wikipedia)
Gervase not only emphasizes Henry's generosity, but also praises his youn…

Happy New Year to Henry the Young King Readers

Happy New Year to all Henry the Young King readers and staunch supporters. May it be a good one, full of joy and blessings and... Henry the Young King :-)

Yesterday we celebrated Epiphany. In the medieval Europe the Shrine of the Three Kings in the Cologne Cathedral became a very popular pilgrim destination. The alleged earthly remains of the three magi had been transported from Milan to Cologne in 1164 on Frederick Barbarossa's orders. The Rhineland was at the time a very important area for both English kings and traders, ties with Cologne itself being especially close. Although the Young King himself had never made his way to Germany, his best friend had. There was no other person in the Young King’s short life, who would have proved to be as faithful and steadfast as William Marshal. They were inseparable, with the exception of a short period between the end of 1182 and the beginning of 1183 when they became estranged for the reasons nowhere clearly stated and varying from Willi…