February 13, 1503

On February 13, 1503, the Challenge of Barletta took place and the French got their butts handed to them by the Italians. What happened to lead up to this famous duel of 13 French knights versus 13 Italian knights? Well, the French had just lost a battle to the Spanish in southern Italy and a captured French knight, Charles de la Motte, was drinking a lot of the fine local wine in the upscale gaol where he and the other French knights were being held, and not in the real jail where the men-at-arms and regular soldiers were suffering, and he said something after a few bottles, like, “Wot. Wot. These local Latin boys think their hot stuff, but if it wasn’t for the Spanish and their guns, those boy-loving EYE-talians wouldn’t even had a chance. Ain’t no Eye-talian knight can stand a chance against a real man, a real French knight.” Unfortunately for him, Ettore Fieramosca, a real terror of an Italian knight heard about this and challenged him and the French knights to a duel. The French had to accept, even though they didn’t want to, because they knew they weren’t the A-team of French knights, and knew what a true behemoth Fieramosca was. They also really, really wanted to punch de la Motte in the head, for not knowing when to quit drinking and shut up. The reason for their anger? The losers lost their horses, armor, and weapons and a knight’s horse, armor and equipment was extremely expensive, anywhere from $200,000 in today’s cash to well over a $1,000,000, as well as a cash penalty for losing. The French as the challengee got to pick the terms for the duel and they picked mounted jousting with 13 contestants, knowing how superstitious the Italians were about the number 13, hoping they’d turn it down. They didn’t. The 13 Italians were pretty much the varsity of the Italian knights and they wiped the French intramural team off the field. It would be very similar to the football game when Georgia Tech played the Cumberland College on October 7, 1916. Both were college teams and had all the right equipment, except one was fielded with elite, athletes in their prime and the other was made up of students who had a pulse and were willing to play. The French did make sure de la Motte faced Fieramosca, so that he’d be sure to lose his horse and equipment, because they really hated him. Just goes to show you, don’t talk trash about another place’s team when you’re drinking, unless you are really, really sure you can back it up.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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One Response to February 13, 1503

  1. Drunk Commenter says:

    You make sound like drunk is the prolblem but you kno wbetter! I know your just twists histry to be funny but drunking isn’t what wrong here. PProplem is trash talk! andwe both know you can even trash tallk even sober.. it scary to image whats like tobe sober but is true!

    Not try to takaway from funny things just sets the record straight her! When I sober I trash talk ALOT worse than ben drinking accept Im not never sober becuase being sobers terriible! DON DO IT!

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