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Knights 2

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Knights 2

Knighthood began in the 9th century. As a request of the fall of Charlemagnes Empire in Western Europe a new way of life began. Little kingdoms replaced the old Empire that were held together by kings or lords. Because of continuous attacks by invading Moors and Vikings , the greatest need in these new settlements was for protection and security. Therefore , a new form of civil government arose. Which was called feudalism based on mutual agreement between the kings and lords , and their knights or servants. The kings or lord gave land to his knight in exchange for the knights loyalty , service , and military protection.

Boys from wealthy families were expected to become a knight. At five or six they had pretend battles with wooden swords. They were also sent to churches to learn the ways of the church. Often the lord or Duke who was looking after the page became very close and did things together. The page had to learn to wait on the Duke or lord with very good manners. Their guardian often told stories or songs about famous knights. When the page reached teenhood , he became a squire. He helped with the horses , armor and learned how to fight. Squires also learned to joust and had to hold a lance which was three meters of heavy metal. Not all squires became knights. Some just stayed squires who were known has a gentleman who owned land. A rich squire could become a knight at sixteen , but if he was poor he had to wait until he was twenty. When the time came to become a knight , a squire would spend all night in a church praying. Afterwards , he took a bath that was very rare in those days and put on new clothes . When it was time , the lord or Duke who had trained the squire "dubbed ", ( hard on the shoulder with a sword. ) him a knight. After the ceremony there was much feasting and dancing.

Young knights wanted to do tournaments. So they had mock battles in tournaments which soon became popular in the year 1100. It first originated in France . Soon other countries had their own tournaments and teams. The lords had messengers spread the news and gathered their knights together to join the other lords and friends. This mock battle took place on a large , flat countryside which lasted several days. There were two sides and few rules. If an opponent was captured he was not killed but accidents did happen. Opponents that were captured had to pay ransom, money, armor or give their best horse. In the late thirteenth century the games became more organized. They jousted and therefore the contest took more time. They had judges watching and give prize to the knight who won. The safety precautions increased , for an example knights had to have horses apart so they wouldn't charge into each other. Weapons had dull points and as a result knights had fewer wounds. Still with all the safety precautions , it was a dangerous sport. People watched from the stands and ladies-in-waiting cheered on their favorite champion. The would throw a scarf from their dress for their champion and he would wear it on his helmet. After the tournament they would have a banquet in honor of the knights who won.

People who lived in castles , villages , and farms got up early before dawn. When it became dark outside, to light all the rooms with wax candles was to expensive , therefore they went to bed early. Often they used tallow candles which were dipped rushes in animal fat. Tallow candles were very smoky and smelt bad. On winter evenings , minstrels and jugglers performed by the light of a fireplace. If there were any problems in the castle the lord of the manor attended to it. He also had to make sure that their was enough food and water. While the lord was away at war , the lady of the manor took charge over the castle. If their were attacked , the lady defended the castle and also looked after the sick and wounded

Women in the medieval times were expected to have many children. Often children died at a early age because of their diet and sanitary conditions. Each child had its own nurse and when they were older, sent to live with relatives. Girls had lady companions and learned how to embroider and some even learned how to read and write. Boys and girls played games ; like Blind mans Bluff and chess; and listened to songs and stories. Older boys and girls hunted. Hawking was a sport where the bird tries to kill another bird. The lords hunted almost every day and so they had fresh meat. If the meat went bad, the cooks pored salt and herbs on it and cooked it right away and served it to the lord and lady of the manor. During late spring and early fall , the lord let his animals run loose in the woods to feed on nuts and berries. So in the early spring the animals would be fat and ready to slaughter. After the ...

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