Knights are almost always portrayed as heroic figures, riding on to the scene with a white horse and shining armor, to save the damsel in distress, or to slay the fire-breathing dragon. But really, this romance didn’t start untill the renaissance period (1300-1600 ad) when they started to turn knights into heroes of make-believe stories.
The Feudal System
Before you can understand how knights stood in the s, you need to know about the feudal system. It was brought in by William the conqueror when he invaded and took over England. It is basically a hierarchical system who the King is the head of. So in the chain of command it goes like this:
1. The King
2. The Vassals (lords and Nobleman)
5. Serfs (slaves who worked the land and were sold with when it was sold)
So, who were knights? What did they do? Well, they were a few things. They were mounted warriors for the king, lesser nobleman, and protectors of the people. In the beginning, knights were just mounted warriors for the king, so didn’t have to do some famous deed to become one, they just got taught what they needed to know, and then were knighted.
The Code of Chivalry
Knights had a man-made set of rules, kind of like the ten commandments called the Code of Chivalry that they all subscribed to and followed.
Never attack and unarmed foe.
Never charge an unhorsed opponent.
Never attack from behind.
Show respect for authority.
Obey the law.
Protect the innocent.
Exhibit courage in word and in deed.
Avenge the wronged.
Defend the weak and the innocent.
Fight with honor.
Never abandon a friend, ally, or a noble cause.
Always keep one’s word.
Always maintain one’s principles.
Never betray a confidence or comrade.
Be polite and attentive.
Be respectful of host, authority, and women.
To God Country, and the Code of Chivalry.
Did you know that there are still knights today? Though they are a lot different from the knights of the middle ages, they are not extinct yet! 🙂