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Quintain: the Medieval Courting Game

7 December, 2016

This 15th Century French roundel depicts, if you can believe it, a courting game. What romance!

The game, Quintain, was originally a training exercise for jousting. It evolved into a flirting technique that seems more Middle School than Middle Ages. Here are the rules of Quintain: a seated person holds up one leg, placing his/her foot against the foot of a standing person. One person tries to upend the other.

The Author wonders if, in this particular game of Quintain, the maiden with the flaxen hair maiden might be cheating by holding her right leg. The fellow with the flaxen cap seems to be accusing her of doing so.

Perhaps not the most successful courting game.


Met Cloisters, New York City (2016)

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