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Friday, June 5, 2009

Knights Code of Chivalry

Recently I watched The First Knight starring Richard Gere and Sean Connery.
What is it about the tales of Excalibur, King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, and Lady Guinevere that keeps us watching the reruns of the movies on television? Perhaps it’s the romance of the time period, or even the chivalry which is part of the romance.

A knight was expected to have not only the strength and skills to face combat in the violent Middle Ages but was also expected to temper this aggressive side with a chivalrous side to his nature. While there was no exact written Knights Code of Chivalry, it was a moral system which went beyond rules of combat that idealized knighthood.

The Knights Code of Chivalry was part of the culture of the Middle Ages and was understood by all. This Code dates back to William the Conqueror who ruled England from 1066.

The Knights Codes of Chivalry was described in the Song of Roland (8th century). Roland was a loyal defender of his liege Lord Charlemagne.

Even during the Middle Ages and Medieval era, these sacred oaths of combat were combined with strict rules of etiquette and conduct. These ideals were publicized in poems, ballads, writings and literary works of Knights authors. The wandering minstrels of the Middle Ages sang these ballad and were expected to memorize the words of long poems describing the valour and the code of chivalry followed by the Medieval knights. The Dark Age myths of Arthurian Legends feature King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the round further strengthen the idea of a Knights Code of Chivalry.

The Knights Code of Chivalry and vows of Knighthood were often described as:

* Faith *Charity *Justice *Sagacity *Prudence
*Temperance *Resolution *Truth *Liberality *Diligence
*Hope *Valour

Knights were to:

* fear God and maintain His Church
* serve the liege lord in valour and faith
* protect the weak and defenseless
* give succor to widows and orphans
* refrain from the wanton giving of offense
* live by honor and for glory
* despise pecuniary reward
* fight for the welfare of all
* obey those placed in authority
* guard the honor of fellow knights
* eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
* keep the faith
* at all times speak the truth
* persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
* respect the honor of women
* never refuse a challenge from an equal
* never turn his back upon a foe

While I am quite certain I would not have enjoyed living during the Middle or Medieval era, it behooves me to under as to why down through the ages, society has allowed the Code of Chivalry to die.

P.S. I am excited to announce that not only is today June 5th, but today my new Western Romance officially releases from The Wild Rose Press. Lawmen and Outlaws is an anthology that features my novella, McKenna's Woman, on page 175. Although McKenna Smith was an outlaw, and although he did kidnap the heroine, McKenna had his own code of chivalry. I invite to you view the booktrailer at YouTube or at The Wild Rose press. Lawmen and Outlaws is available at &


Virginia Henley said...

This is a fabulous blog. I was fascinated. Good research material here. Thanks you.
Virginia Henley

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Oh, Virginia, I am honored that you visited and read my article. I think I own every book you've written. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Loretta, thanks for a great post! As a huge fan (and writer) of Western historicals, I can see how the Knights code can relate to some Western heroes as well. Congratulations on the release of your novella in the Lawmen & Outlaws Antology!
Garda Parker

Mary Ricksen said...

Great post Loretta, congratulations on your new release.
I love a good western. I like the novella's they are quick to read and you can finish one before someone is yelling for your help, (child, husband, whatever). Good luck with sales!

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Garda and Mary--thanks for dropping by and leaving comments. Glad you enjoyed the article. And thanks for the congratulations on the release of Lawmen and Outlaws.