By the fourteenth century, improvements in the range and power of the crossbow had made it an indispensable tool of war, and arguably the weapon of the cites and the seas. Time and time again in the Crusades, the crossbow, and not force of the knight in mêlée, proved the decisive factor. However, although mounted crossbowmen were used extensively in Spain, crossbowmen could not maneuver quickly while shooting, and this meant that they were vulnerable while used, for example, (by the Ottomans at Necropolis and the English at Aginour but the archer simply could not hold open ground against a well-performed cavalry charge.
Literature of the Middle Ages can not be discussed without acknowledging the undeniable importance of chivalry. Chivalry in relation to the middle ages is defined as “the code of conduct adhered to by Medieval knights with gallant knightly values including honor, bravery, courteousness and honesty.” This key characteristic is essential in defining an ideal knight as well as his expectations. A knight must live by a chivalric code in which he becomes indebted to the people, his fellow knights, and most importantly, his lord. No other knight displayed more of a devotion to upholding the code then Lanval of Marie de France’s lai “Lanval.” Lanval demonstrates his chivalric nature in essential every action from maintaining comitatus amongst the
Knights are one of the most mistaken figures of the medieval era due to fairytales and over exaggerated fiction novels. When medieval knights roamed the earth, it was known that they were only human and, like humans, had faults. These knights did not always live up to the standards designated by society. However, in The Canterbury Tales, the knight is revealed as a character that would now be considered a knight in shining armor, a perfect role model in how he acts and what he does. Modern day people see them as chivalrous figures instead of their actual role as mounted cavalry soldiers. As time passes, the idea of what a knight is changes from a simple cavalry soldier to a specific type of behavior.
At first knights and soldiers in the armies were of little social status. “Many knights in fact possessed little more than peasants” (Spielvogel 244). War was looked as kind of a barbaric act in the beginning and many knights could be found fighting each other. While some of this was tolerated, as they were seen as “defenders of society”, the Catholic Church decided that there should be some ground rules. At the start of the eleventh century, the church urged knights to take an oath to protect churches, and to not harm noncombatants. These rules allowed for battles to follow a civil path and to be carried out in a noble way.
The historian Richard Kaeuper notes that prowess being crucial to honor may have contributed as much to the ‘problem of violence as it provided a solution’. Therefore, this appears to convey why the concept of chivalry began to be associated with violence and warfare as knights, in the pursuit of honor, became reliant on violence and battle to prove their aptitude. This idea is supported by a medieval knight Sir John Chandos, who stated that men brought up for martial calling ‘cannot live without war and do not know how to’. Maurice Keen argues that ‘chivalry was quintessentially bellicose’ as it presented those who fought has having a ‘pinnacle of honor’. As a result, the use of force by knights as a way of denoting their gallantry led to the belief that violence was intrinsic to the notion of chivalry.
Financing the large organizations was no easy task when so many mouths had to be feed, clothed, and armed. Not only were there a lot of soldiers, but the price of weaponry was increasing as well. Combat basically comes down to one thing, money; and the army that could last the longest was eventually able to wear down the enemy instead of having to destroy their armies. Many times the kings of the 1700s would devote anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of
This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord. Under a better name, it is warrior chivalry. This is thought to be the most achieved duty of chivalry. A knight is not always portrayed as lady killer, but more popularly as a noble warrior. Were knights really as noble as they seemed? The logical of a human really doesn’t allow that to happen. Why would someone want to risk their own life for lives of others? The human mind doesn’t function like that. Knights still fight however, but this is based purely on the fact that there is no way around it. If a knight chose not to fight, treason was the only price. Knights did not have a willing attitude. To appeal to the human mind, why would one desire to throw his body out to a sure death? A man in his sane mind would not do so. This is clearly reflected in the medieval narrative Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The example begins with the knights of the round table all meeting in their hall during evening festivities. A mysterious green knight enters the hall and possesses a challenge. The challenge is that one knight of Arthur’s gets a unresponsive attack at the neck of this giant green knight with his own axe. The only loophole is that in one year and a day
There were a number of conditions that would lead to the emergence of “feudal warfare” in the early Middle Ages and there would be an equal number that would lead to its decline in the later middle ages as well yet to find the meaning of “feudal warfare” one has to look first at where this notion came from, and that was Feudalism.
There are many ways that kingdoms defended themselves with things like moats, bridges, walls. (Morris & Exploring-Castles, n.d.). Luckily for the attackers there are ways to get pass defences such as battering rams for heavy doors. Also mining was used to go under a defensive wall. If you thought that chemical warfare was a new thing then you are wrong. In medieval times if a castle had wooden structures you were in grave danger of having it set on fire. Biological warfare was also used in medieval times. Diseases were a very dangerous way
Military Soldiers best relates to a medieval knight because one of the jobs a medieval knight had to do was to fight battles. According to the text on “m.medieval-life-and-times.info”, it states “It was the duty of a medieval knight to learn how
Ideas that have been taught in many societies since the first civilizations of Mesopotamia to the world now are duty, loyalty and bravery. No period relied on these ideas more than the Middle Ages time of Europe. The European societies were based on the nature of feudalism. Feudalism worked if everyone in the society did their duty and gave loyalty to everyone above the on the social latter. The knight was the backbone of the feudal society. He was the protector of the heavenly Lord, their lady and the earthly lord. The roles and duties of the knight are quotes as, “the most noble knight under Christ, And the loveliest lades that lived on earth ever, and he the comeliest king, that the court holds.” (P. 26) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight gives a perspective to view life from the courtly aspect of the European feudal
At this point in history the men who fought the wars were lead by their leaders with a code of chivalry. Chivalry can be explained as “the Anglo-Saxon code on steroids.” (McGee) Which is, explained further, a moral system for a good way to conduct fighting. The knights in Arthurian time went even further with that code to say that it was a way to conduct oneself not only in battle, but at all times. Knights, by being chivalrous, were kind to all people, fought well and true, kept faith and believed in the Christian God, and fought for their kings. Chivalry can be found across the Arthurian texts, The Song of Roland is one of the texts that has multiple examples of chivalry.
The Siege of a Castle was a guarantied victory, but it took a long time of patience. Patience was the key to victory with this strategy, however it was scarce in the battlefield, because of the angry, impatient soldiers waiting to get home to their families. The city walls were suppose to be fortifying a position that could not be easily overrun, and that it could be strong enough to enable the defense to maintain that position for a long period of time. Siege of a fort, castle, or city walls had four basic concepts. The Sieging technique was directly directed towards these four. In order for the attackers to get inside they would have to go over the wall, tear a passage through the wall, dig a tunnel underneath it, or just wait until the defenders surrendered.
Chivalry was considered to be the code of behavior expected of a knight. It was the conduct, ideas, and ideals of the knightly class of the Middle Ages. It became standardized and referred to as chivalry, a term derived from the French word chevalier, meaning knight. The code urged the knight to be brave, courageous, honorable, true to his word, and loyal to his feudal overlord, and to defend his Church. A knight was truthful, honest, capable, educated, physically fit, noble, sincere, and subservient to the king. A serious violation of these vows could result in a knight being classed as an undignified knight, which was the ultimate insult because of all the hard work that was put into becoming a knight. It made it seem as if all of work
The Medieval Ages that descended upon the Europeans following the deconstruction and devolution of the formerly grand institutions of the Roman Empire left a world darkened to the eyes of history. The world lost touch with simple concepts to a modern history student of writing, economy, culture, and government—the mainstay of that which we cannot see ourselves without—civilization. What was left of Europe was a state of chaos. In all other periods of human history I have studied there were similarities among them from which I could draw conclusions upon the condition of the respective times. The Text helped to give order to the progression of European history from the ancient to the modern drawing