Knights and Their Role in Medieval Society
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And their role in medieval society.
Knights were an integral part of medieval society. They originally began with primitive warriors such as the Mongols who fought on horseback for added speed and power, but quickly advanced to chivalrous gentleman such as the Normans. Much has been written about medieval knights with the most famous being a series of legends about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Arthur and his knights were the ultimate example of what a perfect knight should have been. They were brave and skilful in battle, but merciful to their enemies once vanquished. They were courteous to ladies, and never ate or drank to excess. In short they were boringly perfect.
Knights associated in groups which they called orders. They vowed loyalty to the king they fought under and formed military organizations to defend his land and property against the enemies. The knights would go on crusades throughout the land to assure this freedom for the king. Any knight in those days who became a knight also had to take religious vows to live as monks as well as defending the king.
To become a knight you had to go through three different stages; page, squire and knighthood. When a boy turned seven, they would leave home and start their training to be a knight. As a page, he joined the household of another knight or a nobleman. There they would train him how to use and handle small weapons. They also taught him manners, and the behaviour of knights. Then at fourteen they would advance to squire. In this position he would be a servant to the knight who had become his master. Training progressed and advanced to that of a mounted soldier. This would come in handy when he was called to assist his knight in battle. This would usually last around seven years. Then the squire was eligible for knighthood. Any knight could bestow knighthood on another. They would simply put the armour of the squire on him. Later it became more complicated with a tap of the sword and the words, “I thee you knight” along with bathing and praying ceremonies.
Knights lived under a strict code of chivalry. This meant that he had faith and a deep love of the Christian religion, even to the point of death. They also had strong loyalty towards their land of birth, and gave generously to all. They had a duty to protect women and the