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The Chivalric Code of Medieval Knights

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Today when people hear, “chivalry,” the modern idea connected with the word is romance. Many would picture a man holding a door open for a woman, or think of the phrase, “Chivalry is dead!” In reality, chivalry was a more so of a code of conduct, and the concept of it only being tied to romance is actually a very small part of it. This conduct was a mix between where the individual’s social status was, how knights dealt with treaties, and the glory, freedom, and respect that came with it. Two French rulers began this around the late eighth and early ninth century. This helped inspire their troops and get them thinking positively with such a dull atmosphere. Many history analysts saw this “as a code of moral behavior of upper-class men that showed ‘their romantic ideas of justice; their passion for adventures; their eagerness to run succor of the distressed and the pride they took in redressing wrongs and removing grievances’” yet this is not the most important part of chivalry (Phillips 5). This is where the new interpretation fits into modern chivalry, the concept where you show your love and devotion through small meaningful gestures to a lover.
Before diving into what chivalry is about, it is necessary to understand about the time surrounding its prime existence. This Middle Ages lasted roughly about 1,000 years long. War and religion strongly influenced the way life was carried out and how rulers lived. It is believed that the idea of knighthood originated with a famous emperor from France named Charlemagne. He made two authoritative commands, the most popular is, “Charlemagne’s Code of Chivalry.” This began what modeled the way knights would live their lives for many years to come. These “virtues are seen time and again in ...

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