In different periods of history, interesting military units appeared in different geographical areas. However, despite its appearance as primarily a military class, only one unit has become a symbol of heroism, courage, devotion, and loyalty over the years. Of course, only chivalry; It has been elevated to a position where those who have all these features we have listed are considered worthy. Knights became an important component of European culture, especially after the 12th century. In parallel with this, chivalry has taken on an institutional structure, which is frequently used in literature and cultural products, and of course is only associated with sublime concepts, and some behavioral and characteristic patterns are valid. Here are 7 interesting facts about knights, brave warriors, and nobles in the Middle Ages.
1. In the Middle Ages, chivalry was subject to some unwritten rules
However, in the epic called “Son of Roland” (Song of Roland), which is believed to have appeared in the eleventh or twelfth century, some written rules of chivalry are mentioned. For example, all Knights are to fear God and His Church, serve with courage and faith, protect the weak and powerless, live for honor and glory, and respect the dignity of women.
2. The French literary historian Léon Gauthier wrote that there were 10 orders of chivalry
According to Léon Gautier, born in 1832 and known for his important work in medieval European literature, there were 10 orders of chivalry. Believing in the Church, defending the Church, not lying and sticking to one’s word, being generous, always standing up for what is right and good, not shying away from war and not being afraid of the enemy, loving the country to which one belongs. and, finally, the fulfillment of all feudal duties as long as they do not conflict with God’s ordinances.
3. The Crusades had an impact in shaping the institution of chivalry
In the eleventh century, European Christians took measures to prevent the spread of Islam and to gain control over Islamic geography. Thus began the military and political process that went down in history as the Crusades.
Warriors, believed to act in defense of God’s religion against Muslims, were seen among Christians as the embodiment of heroism and courage. For this reason, the Crusades and various teachings in Christianity played an important role in the institutionalization of chivalry.
4. The great influence of chivalry in Christianity gave rise to a concept called “knight piety”
Knightly piety was used during the Middle Ages to refer to the high religious impulse of some knights. This impulse of some knights was so strong that they donated the booty they captured on the battlefield, which was theirs, to the Church. However, knightly piety caused many knights to participate in battles that were declared “sacred”, such as the Crusades.
5. The battle of Agincourt led to the collapse of chivalry
The Battle of Agincourt, which took place between British and French forces during the Hundred Years’ War, ended in victory for the British soldiers, who won an unexpected victory over the outnumbered French knights. On the other hand, King Henry V of England ordered the execution of many captured knights, contrary to the custom in Europe.
Whereas, according to the ancient laws of chivalry, a ransom should have been paid for the captured knights and the captives released. However, the decline of this ancient tradition and the military failure of the knights led to the collapse of the institution.
6. There has also been a female knight in history
Yes, contrary to popular belief, women in medieval Europe could also become knights. For example, in 1149, a knighthood called “Orden de la Hacha” was established in present-day Catalonia. A feature that distinguished the unit from other cavalry units in Europe was that it consisted entirely of female dragoons.
The Orden de la Hacha was established to honor the women warriors who heroically defended the geography in which they lived and excelled in various wars. Women accepted into the union received various privileges such as exemption from taxation.
7. The term “Coup de Grace” comes from medieval knights
This French term meaning “death blow”, “death blow” and generally “mercy blow” was used for the final blow to an opponent in duels between knights of the Middle Ages. However, the term means to show mercy, i.e. to kill her, with or without consent, in order to prevent the dying and dying creature from suffering.
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