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Knighthood: The Process, Responsibilities, and Lifestyle

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There were few honors greater than becoming a knight in the medieval ages, however few occupations that were also as formidable. One aspiring to be a knight was nurtured from an early age for the sole purpose of fulfilling his calling. Once the young man achieved knighthood, his life was constant battle to protect his land, his pride, and his faith.

For a family who wished their son to be a knight, they needed to pass several hurdles. First be able to family back through five generation of “noble” ancestry. Secondly, the family needed influential friends of high estate, such as a duke. Lastly, the family had to have the capital to back such a hefty expenditure. If these formalities were accomplished, the young boy was usually sent away as attendants to persons of rank, usually noble, often that of his uncle or a great lord, to be a page. At this stage he learned how to behave before society as well as learning how to ride a horse. His duties involved serving the knights in the dining halls as well as attending to the noble ladies.

At the age of fourteen, the young page would be apprenticed to a knight to be his squire and together they form a symbiotic relationship. The young squire was taught how to handle various weapons, to shoot a bow, and learned the essentials of carving meat for food. His responsibilities would entail looking after the knight's armor and horses, as well as going into battle with him. The young squire would help his master put on his armor, before the battle, and would also assist him if he was hurt or unhorsed.

By the age of twenty-one, if the squire proves himself able and is successful in his duties he will be knighted by another knight, often the squire’s master. This ordination was originally acco...

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... still continues even today.

Today we know knights as a concept built upon faith, honor, and courage. Their respect on the battlefield, as well as in society, was a product of their noble blood, and constant determination. Though their lives were ones filled with brutality, knights maintained a sense of honor throughout the carnage and sought to live a life which honored both their God and their king.

Works Cited

"Chivalry." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2010):MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2011.

Christopher Gravett. Knight. New York: DK Publishing, 2004.

Harbison, Robert. "Knights: In History and Legend." Library Journal 134.20 (2009): 119. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2011.

Phillips, Jonathan. "The Call of the.” History Today Vol. 59 Issue 11 (2009) p10-17 Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 20 Mar. 2011
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