Chivalry and Violence

John Sadler, Rosie Serdiville

Date Published :
October 2017
Publisher :
Series :
Casemate Short History
Illustration :
30 b/w illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781612005171
Pages : 160
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Originally warriors mounted on horseback, knights became associated with the concept of chivalry as it was popularised in medieval European literature. Knights were expected to fight bravely and honourably and be loyal to their lord until death if necessary. Later chivalry came to encompass activities such as tournaments and hunting, and virtues including justice, charity and faith. The Crusades were instrumental in the development of the code of chivalry, and some crusading orders of knighthood, such as the Knights Templar, have become legend.

Boys would begin their knightly training at the age of seven, learning to hunt and studying academic studies before becoming assistants to older knights, training in combat and learning how to care for a knight’s essentials: arms, armour, and horses. After fourteen years of training, and when considered master of all the skills of knighthood, a squire was eligible to be knighted.

In peacetime knights would take part in tournaments. Tournaments were a major spectator sport, but also an important way for knights to practice their skills – knights were often injured and sometimes killed in melees.

Knights figured large in medieval warfare and literature. In the 15th century knights became obsolete due to advances in warfare, but the title of ‘knight’ has survived as an honorary title granted for services to a monarch or country, and knights remain a strong concept in popular culture.

This short history will cover the rise and decline of the medieval knights, including the extensive training, specific arms and armour, tournaments and the important concept of chivalry.

About The Author

John Sadler is a military historian born and living in Northumberland. He has written extensively on a range of periods and is a battlefield tour guide who covers most of the major battles from both world wars (and numerous others). He also lectures on military history at Newcastle University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a member of the Battlefield Trust and Guild of Battlefield Tour Guides.

Rosie Serdiville is a social historian and re-enactor with a particular interest in the wider impact of war on civilian populations. With John Sadler she is co-author of Caesar's Greatest Victory: The Battle of Alesia 52 BC (2016). She describes herself as having escaped life as a civil servant to pursue a love of history and dressing up.


Introduction: Of Arms and of Men

Chapter 1: 1066 and all that
Chapter 2: Kingdom of Heaven
Chapter 3: Longshanks
Chapter 4: Braveheart
Chapter 5: St Crispin's Day
Chapter 6: Game of Thrones
Chapter 7: Ivanhoe


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