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What are Knights?

Knights are soldiers that are mounted on horseback. During the Middle Ages (also known as Feudal Europe), knights fought for their lord or king. For example, knights had to fight along side their lords in the Crusades. A knight could do many other things as well. A knight could act as a local judge and as lord of a manor. A knight also provided men-at-arms for his lord or king. Knights were an important part of also provided men-at-arms for his lord or king. Knights were an important part of medieval history.



How do you become a Knight?


In order to become a knight in the Middle Ages, you had to have either a rich man, or noble for a father. This is because you had to have a lot of money to buy the necessary things such as a horse and some armour. Now if your father had wanted you to become a knight, then he would send you off to some other nobles’ manor to become a page at around the age of seven. At the age of 14 to 15, you became a squire and was apprenticed to a knight to help him with tasks like cleaning their armor, saddling their horse, etc... When you are about 17 years of age and have learned as much as you can from studying, you have to start learning from experience. To do this you must enter your first battle and if you win, you become a knight in a ceremony called dubbing.

In case you are wondering, a page had to do a lot of work. He had to help the ladies of the castle, run errands, learn to be courteous and obedient, help knights fasten and polish armour, learn how to dance and sing, and train to ride a horse. It was not all work for the pages, though. The ladies of the castle told them stories about knights and heroes. They were also aloud to do a number of other things around the court.

A squire's life wasn't a walk in the park either. They had to train to be big and strong, and also be a master of many different types of weapons. They did this by wrestling each other within special fighting arenas. Another popular sport for squires was charging a lance at a Quintain. A Quintain is a dummy shaped and dressed like a knight. This trained them to hit the Quintain in the right area. If they didn't, the Quintain would hit them back by spinning around and hitting the squire on the backside with its arm. When the squire turns 17, he fights in his first battle like I said before. It is usually a really intense battle. If and when a squire proves himself worthy, he becomes a knight in a dubbing ceremony where the king or noble lay’s his sword on both the squires shoulders and names him a night. Then the squire has to promise that he will be loyal and truthful to his lord or king.


The Code of Chivalry


Knights have to follow certain rules in the Middle Ages. These were known as the Code of Chivalry. These rules made the ideal knight. There were many rules that had to be followed like:


He should be:
Fond of Music
Fond of Poetry
Fond of Polite Society
A Ruthless Fighter
Inspired by a Lady from Afar
A Good Christian


Manners Should be Perfect
Speech Smooth and Entertaining
Appearance Should be Manly, Strong, Energetic, and Elegant


But since there were so many rules to the Code of Chivalry, there really wasn't an ideal knight that followed all of these rules.


Tournaments and Jousting


Knights also participated in tournaments. Tournaments took place near a castle. Tournaments were two groups of knights that charged against each other on horseback. The last men standing were the winners. Tournaments were one of the most popular events that were used to train knights. Since these events were so dangerous to both the knights and horses, Popes tried to ban tournaments during 1130-1316. Later on, tournaments turned into jousting matches. Jousting is only two knights charging against each other on horseback. The last man standing wins. Did you know that knights often jousted for a favorite lady?


Armour and Weaponry


Knights used armour and weaponry in battle to be safe. Armour was made out of metals such as iron and steel. Earlier in the Middle Ages, armour didn't have to be made out of metal. Knights also wear chain mail with their armour. Chain mail is tiny, little loops that hook together. A typical suit of armour weighed 44-55kg. Did you know that armour was very hot inside, but also very flexible. Weapons were used to attack the enemy. Some weapons that were used by knights were lances, swords, daggers, longbows and arrows, Battle axes, and maces. Knights also used shields to defend themselves.


And that is all for what I have to say about knights in the Middle Ages...

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