A history of the evolution of knighthood in the dark ages

Etymology[ edit ] The word knight, from Old English cniht "boy" or "servant"[6] is a cognate of the German word Knecht "servant, bondsman, vassal".

A history of the evolution of knighthood in the dark ages

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A history of the evolution of knighthood in the dark ages

Helping people through his website gave him no end of pleasure. If you had contact with him and would like to leave a message, please send us an e-mail here. When the Germanic invaders conquered the crumbling Western Roman Empire in the mid-5th century, they did so as members of a culture that was very strongly warrior-orientated.

The nucleus of this warrior society was the "comitatus" or warband, which comprised a group of warriors each of whom had sworn allegiance to a particular leader or warlord.

This bond of loyalty existed separately to clan or family bonds. However, the sharp distinction between the freeman warrior of Germanic tradition, who exercised his inalienable right and duty to bear weapons regardless of his economic condition a state of affairs inherited by the Frankish kingdomand the highly exclusive warrior aristocracy of the later part of the High Middle Ages, is one that demands investigation.

Chivalry’s path through Europe

For although the warrior ethos of the Germanic peoples at large would continue to dominate Western European society at least at its highest levels up until the Renaissance, it changed significantly during the course of the High Middle Ages.

The development of feudalism played a large part in the development of knighthood. In order to give the Frankish kingdom a firm foundation, Charlemagne devised a system whereby grants of land, or benefices, were made to powerful warlords whose service and loyalty he needed to secure, in return for an oath of fealty.

By this process, he made these warlords his vassals. He then encouraged them to repeat the process with their own dependents, in the desire to link the entire society by a strong chain of oaths of personal loyalty, the apex of which would be the king or emperor.

This proto- feudal structure was accelerated towards being a solid class structure by Charles the Bald, who in order to garner strong support for his planned war in Italy, made the estates of his vassals inheritable by their heirs.

Concurrent with this social process, a major technological development was taking place.

Connecting History

Although the stirrup had been known for some decades to the Franks, under Charles Martel and his sons the realisation was made that the stirrup could be used facilitate mounted combat.

This development played a crucial role not only in reshaping military tactics, but in the coming social changes that were to transform Western Europe.

With the increased manoeuvrability made possible by cavalry, coupled with the notion that more armour could be worn by horse-born soldiers was born the idea of mounted, armoured shock troops: However, although the idea was a good one, it was also a very expensive one.

Although the miles was initially armoured with chain mail, the violence of this new form of combat brought with it a need for increasingly heavy armour. The miles needed extra mounts if he was to be effective, since mounts could be killed or injured. Heavier and more complex armour created a need for an assistant, the squire, who incidentally also needed to be mounted.

The horses needed to be fed large amounts of grain, a problem much greater in an age of scant agricultural production than would be the case now. White estimates that the cost of equipping a man in such a way would be exorbitant - the equivalent of supplying ploughing teams to at least ten peasant families.

This meant that the majority of people could only afford to answer a muster on foot and with relatively inexpensive arms and armour. Money, although not non-existent, had filtered out of the economies of Western Europe to a considerable extent, and the lack of an efficient and extensive bureaucracy made the collection of taxes by the Carolingians virtually impossible.

However the Carolingians were determined to secure for themselves armoured cavalry, and thus had no choice but to turn to the only source of wealth readily available - land. Church lands were seized and awarded to vassals with the condition of the service of knights being supplied to the Frankish host.A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.

Historically, in Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower timberdesignmag.com the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become.

Evolution of Knighthood. The Medieval World Evolution of Knighthood Andre Cloete Rhodes University Updated: 14 December (Contact the Project Coordinator) that had followed the collapse of the Carolingian dynasty and central government towards the end of the so-called Dark Ages. Jan 18,  · The Early Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages, or medieval times, refers to that period in European history after the fall of the Roman Empire.

When the Roman Empire fell in CE (or AD), the once unified continent fell into disarray. Few images of clothing are left to us of that period and real information is scanty at timberdesignmag.coms: 5. Yet in point of fact, the idealistic history we imagine is almost always entirely false and it is the job of historians to sift through that illusory past and figure out where .

Evident also is the notion that knighthood started out as a lower level of aristocracy. However, by the mid-eleventh century, the knights were seen as a part of a distinct class, a hereditary caste, a true nobility.

This viewpoint is a newer model and states history represents continual progress and advancement of the human race. (evolution). Generations build on progress of former generations to reach a .

Evolution of Knighthood