Monday, July 14, 2014

Knights: Men of Honor

Knights were men of repute who were chosen by the monarch or political leader to serve the country. Today’s knighthood is often granted as an honorary title. Historically, however, they were expected to serve in a military capacity and were compensated with land.

During the Renaissance knights became linked with romantic chivalry and gave birth to literary characters like Don Quixote (written by Miguel de Cervantes). Knights, in reality, had to adhere to a code of chivalry. They also had to have excellent equestrian and battle skills.
Such training was costly. Equipment, armor and horses were not cheap. In many cases future knights began their preparations as children. By the age of seven years-old, those supported by well to do families learned fundamental etiquette, including how to be faithful to the monarch.  

Other elements for these men of honor included being schooled in stories about bravery and selflessness. In many cases, the young boy was educated at the castle of a noble. During that process he would serve as a page.
By the age of 14 he would become a squire and his duties would including learning the rules of heraldry.
Here are two famous knights:

Richard the Lionheart of England: Successor of Henry II. After his proclamation, he led a crusade that enhanced his reputation as an excellent military leader.

El Cid: A Castillian Knight. His greatest exploit was conquering the kingdom-city of Valencia from the Moors.

Knights are a central part of today’s Renaissance faires. In full costume, they often accompany Queen Elizabeth as she tours the faire and are prepared at a moment’s notice to defend her honor. 

Renaissance Faires:
Canterbury Renaissance Faire 

Florida Ren-Fest 

Much Ado About Sebastopol 

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