Knights in the Middle Ages

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The term “knight” comes from the Algo-Saxon term “cniht”; which means boy. They get this name because they are trained from a young age. Knights are highly trained soldiers who swear loyalty to a certain lord in exchange for land and power. Knighthood flourished in a time before guns and gunpowder, when battles where still won by hand-to-hand combat between heavily armored cavalrymen. Many high-powered lords were also knights, the title given to them by the king. A knight was often a vassal himself; he was given land by a higher ranking person in exchange for his support in battles.

The earliest knights where not more than a contracted soldier. After the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe, Europe was in chaos. Wealthy lords would try to win over young men trained in battle by giving them money or war reparations. As the middle ages went on, the lords began to give land to the knights to pay for their loyalty and to give them income other than from war. Knight began to treat this land, and thus, their position as hereditary, and soon knights became a part of the upper class in the middle ages. Knights soon found themselves part of local politics, justice, and the upper class society of the Middle Ages. By the end of the middle ages, knights where a very powerful social class; not just free-lance soldiers.

To become a knight, a young boy would leave his home at seven years of age to commence his education at the home or castle of a noble as a page. They would act as a servant to a lord and lady. The page would also receive an education in manners, religion, riding, hunting, and strategy. When a boy reaches fourteen, they will become a squire. A squire would pledge service to knight and then would be taught courtly etiquette...

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