Knight, an English term for a social position originating in the Middle Ages. Knighthood is a non-inheritable form of gentry. Outside of the British Commonwealth, the title while respected, may carry less significance.
The legend of King Arthur was important in defining the ideals of chivalry which is essential to the European ideal of the knight as an elite warrior who was sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage and honour.
Knights of the medieval era were asked to “Protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all.” These few guidelines were the main duties of a medieval knight, but they were very hard to accomplish thoroughly. Rarely, even the best of knights were able to fully meet these guidelines, which proves the difficulty in their lifestyle. Apart from with the physical training, knights were trained to practice courteous, honorable behavior, which was extremely important. Chivalry was the main principle guiding a knight’s life style. The code of chivalry dealt with three main areas: the military, social life, and religion.
Sir Thomas Malory describes the Knights’ code of chivalry as:
* To never do outrage nor murder
* Always to flee treason
* To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy
* To always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succor
* To never force ladies, gentlewomen or widows
* Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods
The “knights” of Japan, the Samurai also had an “Old Code”. Called Bushido, which means “Way of the Warrior”, this was not only a code of conduct, but a way of life and was loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry.
Bushido originates from the Samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, mastery of the martial arts and honour until death. The Bushido code is typified by seven virtues: Recitude, Courage, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honour and Loyalty.
I chose the quote from the film DragonHeart … “A knight is sworn to valor. His heart knows only virtue. His blade defends the helpless. His might upholds the weak. His word speaks only truth. His wrath undoes the wicked.” … as my signature several years ago. Being an Old Guard Syr, I felt that it said excatly what I felt and still feel in my heart. It is how I endevour to live, though sometimes, like the best knights, I fail.
Within the film, the “Old Code” is recited during the story by the Shades or animated memories of the Knights of the Round Table; it is written below.
“…inside the circle of the table, under the holy sword, a knight must swear he will obey to the eternal code, eternal as the table, a ring bound to honour.
A knight is sworn to valor, his heart knows only virtue, his blade defends the helpless, his might upholds the weak, his word speaks only truth, his wrath undoes the wicked.
The right can never die, if a man still remembers him. Words are not forgotten, if a voice pronounce them clearly, The Code always shines, if a heart preserves it brightly…
The Old Code….”
I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, TheDety (TD), who took time out from hys life to create the video you see here. I have never had the honour of meeting hym, but that does not stop me from paying homage to hym. TD, I am honoured by your gift and your friendship.
(some info gathered from Wikipedia)