JOUSTS OF WAR. As with the combatants today, there were knights who courted danger. In jousts of war, the lances were uncapped. Mortimer describes one joust in 1351—a “behourd”, an older form of jousting in which two teams of knights fought—in which 30 knights fought on each side. On one side, 30% of the knights (9 out of 30) died. Mortimer points out that the odds are better in Russian roulette. In another joust of war with 20 on each side, 3 knights were killed. Both sides had agreed not to wear armor or other protective clothing. (!) Mortimer observes how unusual it is recorded history to have “the richest, most powerful and most privileged members of society risk injury and death for the sake of your entertainment.”

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