A Family Favorite!
Medieval Times Dinner Theatre!
This field trip is a visual buffet!
Castile (Named for all of the castles built there in the Middle Ages.) and Leon (These two Kingdoms separated and united a few times, but collectively they were the “Crown of Castile”.) are the two locations involved in the battle you will witness in the theatre. Find them on a map! You can find many maps online if you search “Middle Ages England Map”. Compare that map then to the modern day map of Spain. It’s definitely more real once you can envision the place on Earth where the battle is taking place!
3) History of utensils: How do you like eating with your hands?!
- 500,000 BC – 12,000 BC – During the Stone Age eating utensils consisted of simple sharp stones intended for cutting meat and fruit. Simple designs of spoons were made from hollowed out pieces of wood or seashells that were connected to wooden sticks. Animal horns also were used as a means to drink liquid foods.
- 12,000 – 3,000 BC – The New Stone era brought the rise of technology that improved tools that were needed for production, preparation and eating of food. Pottery enabled food to be stored and prepared more easily. And pieces of stone were formed into the simple knife that we know today.
- 3,000 BC – Chopsticks first used in Ancient China.
- 3,000 BC – 400 AD – The Bronze Age brought great advancements in production of weapons and objects made from bronze or copper. Eating utensils benefited from that, and knives and spoons received much needed material upgrades to more durability. Rarity of metals in that early age prevented the use of metal spoons, which remained available only to the richest members of society (Pharaohs in Egypt and Royal courts in Europe).
- 400 AD – 1000 AD – The Iron Age brought much needed durability to eating utensils, with discovery of metalwork. Knives and other war equipment became commonplace across entire Europe and small “sharp tipped” knives became the integral part of eating utensils.
- 5th century AD – Anglo-Saxon people popularized the word “spon”, which described their wooden version of spoon. Other countries started producing simple spoons from both wood and other materials (such as bone, shell, stone, etc.).
- 6th – 10th century – In Medieval Europe, the wealthy class wanted the knife to be protected as the only eating utensil of that time. Knives were only used as a symbol of wealth, often carved in very extravagant designs. The poorer population continued to eat with their bare hands.
- 11th century – Italian nobleman Domenico Selvo married a Greek Princess who brought with her the first recorded fork in Central Europe. Her addition of fork to the eating practice was regarded as scandalous and heretic.
- 1364-1380 – Court of King Charles V of France held several pieces of forks in his vaults, but they were almost never used. Some proof remains that they were used only for some exotic foods which created long staying stains on the fingers.
- 1368 – 1644 – Chinese Ming Dynasty greatly popularized use of chopsticks across majority of Asia.
- 1533 – Catherine de Médicis of Italy brought to France spoons that were in use by Italian Noblemen. Under her influence, spoons slowly started circulating among the noblemen of France, and eventually all of Europe.
- 1560 – By this time Italians adopted forks, Germans adopted spoons, and Frenchmen started providing multiple “host owned” knives for all guests at high-profile meals.
- 1611 – England continued to live without spoons, which were first introduced to them by the traveling records of Thomas Coryat. His teaching sadly, managed to take hold only after half a century.
- Early 17th century – Forks became commonplace across Europe as a tool of steadying food while cutting, and in lesser cases for providing easier transfer of solid food between the plate and mouth. The majority of people still used sharply pointed knives for that purpose.
- 1630 – Forks and blunt tipped knives start arriving at colonies in North America.
- 1669 – French King Louis XIV of France banned the use of sharp tipped knives in entire France as a means to reduce violence. This introduced a new era of blunt tipped eating knives.
- Early 18th century – Germany preferred four-tinned forks, while England continued to use forks with two tines.
- Mid-18th century – Four tinned fork with curved lines became standard in Europe. Its design (which is used to this day) enabled users to easily scoop food from the plate, much better than the earlier two tinned versions.
- Early 19th century – Forks finally were accepted in the United States. England’s high society becomes fascinated with specialized utensils (tomato spoons, sardine forks, jelly knives and many more).
- 1920s – The invention of stainless steel enabled the creation of eating utensils that were easy to produce and maintain.
- Late 20th century – Plastic introduced new designs for eating utensils. Hybrids utensils (spork, knork, spife and sporf) combined several eating tools into one design.
This depicts “Feudalism”.
PAESANTS serve KNIGHTS who serve NOBILITY who serve the KING
6) Horses: What kinds of horses were used to joust?
Horses in the Middle Ages were rarely referred to by breeds, but more likely by use.
- Warmblood Chargers were medium-weight horses bred and trained for agility and stamina.
- Large Destriers were the finest and strongest kind of war horse used for jousting. Destriers were heavier, similar to today’s Andalusian horse, but not as large as the modern draft horse.
Horses in the Middle Ages were smaller in stature than horses of today, and they were more essential to daily life as they were involved in agriculture, war, and transporting people and goods.
During a jousting tournament, the horses were cared for by their masters in their respective tents. They wore caparisons, a type of ornamental cloth featuring the owner’s display of heraldry, which was how they appeared with design that displayed rank and pedigree.
Other forms of equipment on the horse included long-necked spurs which enabled the rider to control the horse with extended legs, a saddle with a high back to provide leverage during the charge or when hit, as well as stirrups for the necessary leverage to deliver blows with the lance.
7) Why do all the knights have long hair?
9) Coat of Arms:
- Crescents: victory over adversity; always shown with horns pointed upward.
- Eagle: strength of mind; shown with wings spread.
- Falcon: bravery; shown looking to the right of the shield.
- Griffin: valor and vigilance; half eagle, half lion mythological beast.
- Hand: generosity – open hand; strength – closed hand.
- Leopard: wisdom and agility; sometimes shown walking toward the right, but usually only shown as a full face.
- Stag: purity and strength of spirit; usually shown with one foot up.
- Pheon: speed and directness; head of an arrow.
- Sun: splendor and royalty; usually shows a face of the sun.
- Heart: loyalty and love; sometimes shown pierced by an arrow.
It is alive and well at Medieval Times Dinner Theatre; the knights throw flowers to damsels in the audience, they show great respect to their Princess, and have great royal honor. Chivalry is the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.