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Chivalry

From Academic Kids

See also order of chivalry

Missing image
Woman_under_the_Safeguard_of_Knighthood_allegorical_Scene_Costume_of_the_End_of_the_Fifteenth_Century_from_a_Miniature_in_a_Latin_Psalm_Book_Manuscript_No_175_National_Library_of_Paris.png
Woman under the Safeguard of Knighthood, allegorical Scene.--Costume of the End of the Fifteenth Century, from a Miniature in a Latin Psalm Book (Manuscript No. 175, National Library of Paris).

Chivalry refers to the medieval institution of knighthood, and most especially-the ideals that were/have become associated with it throughout literature. It was also often associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honour and of courtly love.

Chivalry was in essence a warrior code propagated by the Church. The Church intended to make the mounted soldiers of the Middle Ages into Christian knights who would protect society instead of ravage it.

The word comes ultimately from the Latin caballus, or "nag". (This word developed into the term for "horse" in languages descended from Vulgar Latin.) The French chevalier, the Spanish caballero, and the English cavalier derive their names from the same word. The intention, in all these cases, is to distinguish the aristocratic knight on horseback from the peasant infantryman walking with his pike and the artilleryman dragging his vulgar machinery.

In war, the chivalrous knight was brave in battle, loyal to his king and God, and willing to sacrifice himself. Towards his fellow Christians and countrymen, the knight was to be merciful, humble, and courteous. Towards ladies above all, the knight was to be gracious and gentle. The idealized relationship between knight and lady was that of courtly love.

Ironically, one of the most famous exampelars of the code is the Islamic ruler, Saladin.

Other meanings

In a contemporary context, chivalry denotes courteous behaviour, especially towards women.

See also

External links

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