The Linkspages at Larsdatter.com

Leibringen: An Introduction to Medieval Wrestling
Codex Wallerstein: A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling Sigmund Ringeck's Knightly Arts Of Combat: Sword and Buckler Fighting, Wrestling, and Fighting in Armor

Illustrations and artwork depicting wrestling. Includes several depictions of the biblical scene of Jacob wrestling with the Angel (from chapter 32 of Genesis). Some of the wrestlers are naked; others are only dressed in their breeches (underwear); others are fully dressed.

For this set of links, I am focusing mostly on humans wrestling humans; there are various marginal illustrations involving random matchups featuring hybrid monsters, bears, lions, monkeys, wild men, and so on.

See also Wrestling Mania - Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts and A Brief History of Wrestling in England.


I doubt that this form of wrestling was really known as “chicken-fighting” in the Middle Ages, but that’s the name used in modern English; each wrestler is seated piggy-back on the shoulders of a teammate during the match.

  • Bas-de-page, the Rutland Psalter (British Library Additional 62925, fol. 70v), c. 1260
  • Bas-de-page, a collection of Arthurian romances (BNF Fr. 95, fol. 326), c. 1280-1290
  • A violent game, the Maastricht Hours (Brit. Lib. Stowe 17, fol. 100v), 1st quarter of the 14th century
  • Marginal illustration in the Luttrell Psalter (Brit. Lib. Add. 42130, fol. 62r), c. 1325-1340
  • Various wrestling games on fols. 3r and 91r, Romance of Alexander (Bodl. 264), 1338-1344