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Mazzascudo (or Mazza-Scudo) was a medieval game played in Pisa, considered the precursor to the Battle of the Bridge.
There are not many documented information about Mazzascudo. From an anonymous 15th century poem, we learn that the game of Massa-Schudo was held in Piazza delle Sette Vie (later Piazza degli Anziani, now Piazza dei Cavalieri) in a period between Christmas and the Carnival.
The game was a confrontation of two parties called Gallo and Gazza, distinguished by the color of the shields and helmets – the first team in gold and the second in red. The weapons used by the combatants in the battle consisted mainly of a wooden bat (mazza) and a shield (scudo), hence the name of the game.
Other information can be derived from the Pisan Histories of Raphael Roncioni, completed in 1605, but published in 1844, from which we learn that in 1264, after a battle against the city of Lucca, the Pisans played Mazzascudo under the walls of the rivals to celebrate the victory.
The game was played for the last time in 1406, when Pisa lost its freedom to Florence.
PROGRAM OF THE EVENT
On May 28, the Knights’ Square will be immersed throughout the day in a medieval atmosphere, with archery competitions, various pottery and painting workshops, guided tours, performances of flag-waving, drummers and medieval dances.
The game of Mazzascudo will take place between 7 pm and 8 pm, and the evening will conclude with the official dinner of the event.
The Pisan June (Giugno Pisano) is a series of events which take place during the month of June, in Pisa, in honor of the patron saint of the city, San Ranieri.
The Pisan June 2020 will begin on May 28, when the historical game of Mazzascudo will be held in Piazza dei Cavalieri, and will conclude on July 6, when the ceremony of the Marriage with the Sea will take place.