Chivalry Handout

AChivalry@ comes from the French word chevalier, a Aman on horseback.@ The AAge of Chivalry,@ as an historical concept, refers to the period in European history between the First Crusade (c. 1100) and the Reformation (c.1500). The concept of the chivalric knight is largely a literary version that grew out of the cycles of romance. Chivalry represents an ideal of conduct worthy of emulation, not a description of the typical warrior of the middle ages. The details of the concept differed among various European nations, but the common essentials are listed below.

The true knight exemplifies a model of true chivalry, displaying the following virtues:

Prowess in arms


Loyalty to God, King, and country


Generosity and Compassion to the less fortunate


Courtesy and Gentility









The Code of Knighthood:

To love God and be willing to spill blood for him

To possess justice and loyalty

To protect the poor and weak

To keep his flesh clean

To keep his spirit pure

To avoid lechery and other sins of the flesh

To strive for humility and avoid pride

To bear no false witness

To always protect a lady

To attend Mass

The Rules of Knighthood:

The knight cannot attack an unarmed or injured knight

The knight must allow an unhorsed opponent to remount before continuing the fight, or must himself dismount to continue the fight on foot

The knight must treat the defeated with honor

The knight must always play fair