The Role Of Chivalry In Medieval Europe

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Centuries after the fall of the Roman empire and decades of invasion by the Vikings, North Africans and Magyars, had resulted in a turbulent and violent period spanning several generations in Europe. From this unstable period a warrior society that revolved around castles and rule through arbitrary violence emerged throughout Europe as feudalism. The conflict of outside forces caused a revolution of public justice and the use of indiscriminate violence based lordship that empowered a warrior class. This elite class took control and knighthood emerged in the wake of this feudal society that was defined by battle prowess, warfare and, later following the crusades, holy war. The primary motivations being the multiplication of knights and castles …show more content…
In abstract the violence that had defined earlier periods had become less arbitrary to it’s articulation of purpose over time, and was instead utilized in crusades and local disputes between lords which became dictated by a code of interaction known later as, the code of chivalry. Chivalry formed to the violence of the feudal warrior class and the use of violence shifts from suppressing the serfs to maintain power to protecting the peasantry. De Charny outlines in The Book of Chivalry, that there were many expected behaviors for knights revolving tournaments, assorted categories of warfare, and pilgrimages, the latter two being pillars of knighthood during the crusades. De Charny’s depiction of chivalry during the fourteenth century explains the “various conditions of men-at-arms, of both the past and of the present” and aspects of chivalry and knighthood from least to most important in terms of bettering reputations and obtaining socioreligious acknowledgement. Villehardouin similarly outlines consequences and repercussions knights faced when agreements fell through, such as the retribution of the Doge of Venice when “receiving meagre, paltry payments” form baron lent money for the crusade. De Charny frameworks related social consequences when addressing knights who spend excessively and are greedy when crusading. This social stigma for overzealous action is juxtapose to Joinville’s accounts of the crusade and miracles of King Louis IX during the thirteenth century, the piety, reserved actions and dress the king exemplified for his subjects approaches close to idealism. Joinville’s account also illustrates a perceptible difference in class distributions in result of the redefinitions of nobility which differ from the earlier period. One

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