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The code of chivalry for knights glorified both combat and romantic love. 13.3 The Age of Chivalry. Knights: Warriors on Horseback. The Technology of Warfare Changes Leather saddle and stirrups enable knights to handle heavy weapons

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13.3 The Age of Chivalry


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knights warriors on horseback
Knights: Warriors on Horseback
  • The Technology of Warfare Changes
    • Leather saddle and stirrups enable knights to handle heavy weapons
    • In 700s, mounted knights become most important part of an army
armour
Armour

Plate Armour

Chainmail

Gambeson, a padded jacket worn alone or in combination with chainmail

knights warriors on horseback1
Knights: Warriors on Horseback
  • The Warrior’s Role in Feudal Society
    • By 1000s, western Europe is a battleground of warring nobles
    • Feudal lords raise private armies of knights
    • Knights rewarded with land; provides income for needed weapons
    • Knights other activities help train them for combat

Ightham Mote, a 14th-century moated manor house in Kent, England

knighthood and the code of chivalry
Knighthood and theCode of Chivalry
  • The Code of Chivalry
    • By 1100s knights obey a code of chivalry—a set of ideals on how to act
    • They are to protect weak and poor; serve feudal lord, God, chosen lady

"Stitching the Standard" by Edmund Blair Leighton: the lady prepares for a knight to go to war

knighthood and the code of chivalry1
Knighthood and the Code of Chivalry
  • A Knight’s Training
    • Boys begin to train for knighthood at age 7; usually knighted at 21
    • Knights gain experience in local wars and tournaments—mock battles
slide8

1. Education

At age 7 – began training

as a “page”

in a lord’s castle

At age 14 – began training

as a “squire”

acting as a

servant to a knight.

At age 21 – becomes a

knight !

2. Weapons / Equipment

Saddles,

stirrups,

armor,

high-flying missiles.

3. War games

Fighting in local wars

and in

tournaments (mock battles)

kept knights trained

and in shape.

5. Castles

The lived in and

protected home

of feudal lords –

designed as fortresses

with massive walls

and guard towers.

  • 4. Code of Chivalry
  • be loyal, brave, courteous;
  • defend the “3 masters”
  • your Lord God,
  • your feudal lord,
  • and your lady;
  • - protect the weak / poor.

Chivalry – a code of behavior / values for Medieval knights and lords.

knighthood and the code of chivalry2
Knighthood and the Code of Chivalry
  • Brutal Reality of Warfare
    • Castles are huge fortresses where lords live
    • Attacking armies use wide range of strategies and weapons
the literature of chivalry
The Literature of Chivalry
  • Epic Poetry
    • Epic poems recount a hero’s deeds and adventures
    • The Song of Roland is about Charlemagne’s knights fighting Muslims
the literature of chivalry1
The Literature of Chivalry
  • Love Poems and Songs
    • Knights’ duties to ladies are as important as those to their lords
    • Troubadours—traveling poet-musicians—write and sing short verses

Above and right: troubadours portrayed in illumined texts.

the literature of chivalry2
The Literature of Chivalry
  • Most celebrated woman of the age in Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)
    • Wife of two kings (Louis VII, King of the Franks, annulled) and Henry II of England
    • Mother of two kings of England (Richard and John)
  • Eleanor’s son, Richard the Lion-Hearted, also wrote songs and poems

Above right: Eleanor of Aquitaine depicted on a mural in the Chapel of St. Radegund, Chinon, France

Right: tomb effigy of Eleanor and Henry II

women s role in feudal society
Women’s Role in Feudal Society
  • Status of Women
    • According to the Church and feudal society, women were inferior to men
  • Noblewomen
    • Can inherit land, defend castle, send knights to war on lord’s request
    • Usually confined to activities of the home or convent
  • Peasants Women
    • Most labor in home and field, bear children, provide for family
    • Poor, powerless, do household tasks at young age
slide24

Convents provided women in the middle ages an alternative to married life. Childbirth was often deadly for women, so becoming a nun was a respectable and perhaps attractive alternative.