Military games were organized in Europe around the year 1000, with equestrian games practiced from before the Romans. By the 1160's the jousting tournament had evolved.
Some 3000 knights attended the tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne in November 1179, promoted by Louis VII of France.
Both prowess in arms and courtesy and social grace were important.
Armed with 11 foot long wooden lances tucked under their right arms, two men on horseback run toward each other.
They are separarted by a high fence (the tilt) to prevent collisions.
Their goal is to break their lance on the small shield on their opponent's chest.