International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
The Arrival of the Control of Violence in Sport to the Kingdom of Castile in the 15th Century, as it Appears in the Chronicle of Lucas de Iranzo, Governor of Jaen


Between 1460 and 1473, when the Muslim kingdom of Granada was the only one that remained to conquer to the Christians of the Iberian Peninsula to complete the Reconquest of their land, Lucas de Iranzo, an ennobled villain, governed Jaen –a city and region bordering Granada– in an absolute manner. A chronicle of the time, Relación de los fechos del muy magnífico e más virtuoso señor el señor don Miguel Lucas muy digno condestable de Castilla, dedicated to the exaltation of the excellence of that character, Lucas de Iranzo, contains very valuable information on sports in Castile in the fifteenth century. In fact, it is the chronicle that most extensively deals with the sports recreations of all the history of the Castilian chronicles: game of reeds, dance, bullfighting, run the ring, chasing bears, skirmish on horseback, hunting, egg fights, pumpkin fights, jousts, tournaments, are widely described. In this article we make a historical analysis of the sports content of the chronicle. We will be guided in particular by Norbert Elias' theory on violence and sports violence in history.  We note in the course of the chronicle - which is written at the end of each year - a rapid disappearance of the most violent sports, which were typical of medieval warrior societies, especially jousting and tournaments. The disappearance of violent sport was replaced by an abundance of spectacular, festive and always peaceful sporting events. Such spectacles always had a single individual protagonist, the excellence of the governor Lucas de Iranzo, and two great collective protagonists in which the chronicle never individualizes, the people and the knights.

The Governor's excellence, his political absolutism and the advent of non-violent sport came together. The governor was able to anticipate the advent of the modern Renaissance by means of an attractive theatricalization of these sporting exhibitions. If Norbert Elias states that the (internal) control of violence in western societies appears for the first time in history with the advent of the modern age, and this would be reflected in a less violent sport, we observe that this change, this advent, is taking place in Castile at that time. In fact, this change is coming ahead of the time when it would be due to, precisely with the sporting narratives of the chronicle of Lucas de Iranzo written between 1458 and 1471. Lucas de Iranzo's chronicle is the first historiographical manifestation of the historical change to non-violence in sport in the kingdom of Castile