From the Court of Arthur and the Round Table to Ivanhoe, from fire-breathing Dragons to Damsels in distress, No, not really, The life and times of a Knight during the Middle Ages. It's not so romantic as you have been lead to believe.

4,368 Questions
Middle Ages
Medieval Warfare

Is the armor worn by knights bulletproof?

Middle Ages

How were medieval knights treated by other groups?

Knights were members of nobility, and so common people treated them with respect.

Unlike members of the nobility who had inherited their titles and lands, knights had earned theirs through years of training, including training with weapons. This also earned them respect from other members of the nobility.

Their superiors could treat them any way they liked, of course, but it was unwise for a king or high lord to treat his knights badly, as they were his protection.

Some knights were landless, for one reason or another. They had to make their livings as mercenaries. During and after wars, knights were often put on hard times, and had to resort to some unsavory or illegal acts just to stay alive. When such problems became widespread, local people got really angry at them and could turn on them.

Middle Ages
Knights Templar

Why Did medieval knights wear heavy armor?

To protect themselves in battle.

Women in History

Famous women knights?

Joan of Arc ( by far the best known), Isabel De Montfort- a crossbow sniper of about the same period, There was a female knight who was a companion of Charlemagne and in fact sadly died in the field in ad. 778 a name like Bradenton or someting like that. This was a pre-Joan girl knight. Queen Isabella I of Spain certainly qualified and she had custom made armor worn in the field with a small crown over the cloche or helmet lining. I can:"t think of the precise name of the Charlemagne period Girl Knight except something vaguely like Bradenton or Bradey-something. She died in the field and my guess somewhere there is a monument to her courageous deeds. moving further afield there are rumors of Amazon Girl Knights in Northern Italy in the latter l400"s and these Gals were tall. Good luck. some day- as like their male counterparts if they died int he field- were buried in their armor- some Girl Knight will surface- and let us hope the museums, etc handle this the right way.


The girl knight refered to above might have been Fastrada, who fought as a Saxon warrior against Charlemagne and later became Charlemagne's third (or possibly fourth) wife. It seems there were, however, a large number of Saxon women who were warriors, and so maybe it was a different person.


What is a hedge knight?

A hedge knight is a wandering knight without a master. Hedge knights are so named because they generally must sleep outdoors, under a hedge. Most hedge knights travel in search of employment and often attend jousts to make money and display their prowess in hopes of being hired. Less scrupulous hedge knights put their martial training to use by resorting to banditry. For this reason, hedge knights are often mistrusted and considered disreputable. The term "hedge knight" itself is considered disparaging

Middle Ages
Medieval Warfare

Who created the weapons in the middle ages?

Better weapons were made by armorers. Blacksmiths made weapons, and peasants made weapons by putting agricultural tools like scythe blades and bill hooks on poles. Bowyers made bows, fletchers made arrows, and heavy weapons like catapults were made by engineers. The early cannons were sometimes made by bellfounders.

Middle Ages

How did a medieval manor function in 1255?

they had three fields that rotated witht the seasobs and they also had KNIGHTS

Fairy Tales

Is there a Knight fairy tales story?

yes, the tales of Camelot is a very famous series of books to do with knights


What century were the knights in?

Knighthood was considered to be at it's peak during the Tudor period, defined as 1485 to 1603. Basically, the Sixteenth Century.


How do knights behave?

Knights had to be brave and honest but humble and modest at the sametime.

But they did not always behave the way they should


Can a Jew be knighted?

Not historically however in national orders such as the Order of the British Empire there have been Jewish knights and also in the Papal Orders there have been knights in such as Mordecai Waxman a knight of the Papal Equestrian Order of St.Gregory.


Who is the knight of doleful countenance?

don quixote

Similarities Between

What are some similarities between samurai and knight warriors?

They both began training at around age 7, both would have fought and died for honor, both extremely fit and well trained. both served a fuedal lord, daimyo for the samurai and a Earl or Baron for the knight. both would be given land for their service. Samurai however were hurt by their forced isolation from the rest of the world and knights armor and weapons advanced further, with knights having Plate armor that was far more protective and weighed the same as samurai armor, and better anti-armor weapons like the pole-ax and mace. contrary to popular belief, samurai used the spear and bow more than the katana as the katana was useless against armor. watch ThegnThrands youtube videos for more on weapon performance etc.

Chivalry were not included in the Bushido.


What is group of beads called?

A group of beads is called a string.

Middle Ages

How did the medieval knights destroy castles?

Actually, knights did not destroy castles, at least not fighting the way knights traditionally fought. Knights were heavy cavalry, and they fought on fields where horses could be used to advantage. Against a castle, they were nearly useless. Knights could command the armies brought against castles, however, and work on them in that capacity.

Castles were destroyed in various ways.

One was to assault the castle too quickly for the defenders to get ready. This was not usually possible, though it did happen from time to time.

Another was to use siege machines. A battering ram could break down the gate of the castle. A catapult could break the walls apart, but it took a long time to do it.

A siege could be put in place with the hope of starving the people in the castle. In such a case, catapults could toss the bodies of people who had died of some horrible disease over the walls, with a view to spreading sickness among the defenders.

One was to use mines. A tunnel was dug under the castle walls producing a large chamber. This chamber was then filled with something that could burn slowly; often the bodies of dead pigs were used because the fat would burn. The fire, which could continue for days, gradually weakened the walls until they collapsed.


What is a knight effigy?

Knights belonged (and still belong today) to wealthy aristocratic families. In the medieval period when a knight died his family would often pay for an elaborate raised stone tomb to be erected over his grave, with a stone sculpture (effigy) of the knight as he looked in his prime (not usually as an old man).

Sometimes effigies were not arranged until some time after the knight died, so he would be shown wearing armour of a slightly later period than his own - for this reason it is always wise to treat tomb effigies of knights with caution, since they may not accurately portray the knight as he really looked.

Effigies are always of recumbant (lying down) figures, usually either completely "rounded" sculptures, or sometimes only three-quarters of the complete figure, attached to a kind of stone plinth serving as a bed for the effigy. The knight might have his helmet as a pillow and a lion or some other creature serving to support his feet.

Tomb effigies are not the same thing as brasses, which would normally be set into a small, flat gravestone.

The links below take you to images of medieval tomb effigies:


What is a knight's personal flag called?

A banner... It would often bear his coat-of-arms or heraldry so that friend and foe could identify him in battle

Middle Ages

Did catapults come from vikings or medieval knights?

Catapults were for entering a fortified castle and the Vikings were raiders who moved fast and lightly. They wouldn't have built a catapult nor needed one. So, they were developed in the middle ages to attack at castle.


What is medieval armor material called?


Gold and Precious Metals

Can you make a sword out of silver?

Yes you can make a sword out of silver and it would be totally useless as a weapon. You could admire it as an ornament, but silver is a very soft metal and it would have no other purpose than decorative.


What did knights do after retiring?

A Knight in a sense could never retire, he has placed upon himself a sacred oath to the crown or his liege lord to be ready to fight in the defence of the country for two thirds of the year but luckily older knights weren't often called up.

A knight was often given a tract of land, unfortunatly this land was not terribly large and was probebly only enough to feed the family and make a small income, so knights had to take on other options such as government work, as a local justice, ranger, or sherrif or to act as a castellian or Master-at-arms for a castle or even become a mercenary or brigand, to earn enough money to keep his family comfortable.

Middle Ages

What happened if a medieval knight was wounded on the battlefield?

Many knights and serjeants (non-noble armoured troops with less expensive armour and weaponry) were wounded in battles, sieges and in tournaments. Some, in the 11th and 12th centuries, took part in "trial by combat", which was a legal way of deciding guilt and was fought until one of the two combatants was either killed or severely injured. Medical knowledge at that time included setting broken bones, drawing out arrows with special pliers, cauterizing deep wounds with hot iron tools and applying poultices and compresses made from healing herbs.

The answer to your question is that many died in agony after days or weeks of suffering, since there was absolutely no treatment at that time for infections or blood poisoning. Even minor wounds could become infected, leading to gangrene, septicaemia and a long, painful death. This is exactly what happened to King Richard I and to many knights, including a certain Geoffrey de Mandeville.

On the other hand, some knights made an unexpected recovery, even after suffering serious wounds: in 1163, one Henry de Essex was accused of treason and undertook trial by combat at Reading, on an island near to the Abbey. He was so terribly injured that he was expected to die very soon and the monks took him into the Abbey to arrange for him to be buried. There he slowly made a recovery and he himself became a monk (there was little choice, since he lost the combat and was therefore found guilty of treason, His wealth and possessions were all confiscated by the king).

History of Europe
Middle Ages

What was a knight's duty?

The duties of the Knight come from their relationship with Lords and Peasants. A knight is the lowest level of the nobility in the European Feudal system. A knight swears fealty to a more powerful lord (becoming his vassal), who swears fealty to an even higher lord, etc. The knight and his men-at-arms can then be called upon to serve in the army of the lord that he is sworn to. The Knight was also responsible for governing a land area, known as his manor. Peasants would swear fealty to the Knight and work his land. In exchange, the peasants would get to keep a portion of the fruits of their labour for themselves. The Knights' primary responsibilities on the manor were to train himself and his men-at-arms for combat, to serve his lord and to defend the peasants working his manor, and to provide justice and the rule of law to his subjects.

History of England
Middle Ages

How did men become English Knights?

The English Knight

The word knight derives from Old English cniht, meaning page boy, or servant. Possibly evolving partly from the Anglo-Saxon Huscarls. Like the fiersome English Huscarls they were truly a formidable warrior, combining an ethos of loyalty to the country with hardened physical and military skills. Years of training began at around 14 years of age and would finish at 18 to 21 years of age. The English name Phillip is associated with the Knights. They could fight mounted or dismounted. Charging 'at full tilt'on horseback, an armoured English Knight on horse with lance was lethal. But, (unlike many continental counterparts,) the English Knight could also fight on foot in support of the famed English Archers. Known as 'men at arms'. Together, they would form a combination that would see many battles won for England, such as Agincourt and Crecy. To give an idea of how skilfull they were, it has been argued by martial artists (although not prove,) that a Samurai would last only a short time against such physically powerful, well armoured professionals.

At Agincourt the English King Henry V cut is way through 12 French knights to get to his brother who was down, but not dead. The physical fitness to do this is beyond modern people.

(I'm a Brit)

Originally, men became knights if they were particularly hard. The were hand picked soldiers, reputedly tougher and braver than other warriors, who were chosen to lead the armies and advise the king/queen. I suppose they were the earliest generals.

People are still made knights in Britain. The official name is a 'knight of the realm.' Someone who is knighted (yes, the queen really does touch the shoulders with a sword) has a Sir before their name.

These days knighthoods are awarded for outstanding achievement in a certain area, for example Sir Paul McCartney for his contribution to music, Sir Richard Branson for his contribution to business, and Sir Richard Attenborough, for his contribution to cinema.

(I am also a Brit)

Yes men would become knight through outstanding achievements in battle, however the position of knight was more likely to be given to a person of noble standing, their offspring or friends. For example, The Black Prince was a reputable knight in the middle ages but rose to that position of power through being a relative to the king.

Returning to the issue of knights gaining the title through achievements in battle. This would also likely be the nobility. This is because the nobility would be at the back of the battle and thus less likely to die. Also nobility could afford better protection such as armour and weaponry when peasants were dressed in simple clothes and armed with pitchforks of wood axes. The nobility would also undergo training as part of their growing up. These were factors that were likely to make a man a knight.

To sum up, knights were generally given their title due to connections to nobility, but even knightsthat gained the title because of achievements were normally noble in birth.

Back in the Middle Ages, there were many stages men had to pass in order to become knights.

First and foremost, you had to be from a noble family. Nobility was to be in your blood.If you weren't of noble blood, you could not be knight. These men were called surfs. Second, no women was ever a knight. Knights didn't even ride on mares because they believed that battlefields were no place for any women.

If your father had been a knight it was said not to worry on what you were to be. For you couldn't think of anything else to be. Your destiny was already chosen.

To earn your knighthood, you did the following.

At the early age of 7 , a young boy would be named a page. You would use wooden swords to learn about the many skills and ways to beome an excellent fighter.

7 years later, ( at the age of 14) you would be from a page to a squire. You would accompaned a skilled knight during his journeys towards battles.You would also assist that knight. For example, you would polish his armor and do any kind of chore given to you by him.

At long last at the age of 21, you would become a knight. That is if only you were an excellent and sucessfull squire. Quote: There's a pattern in this.(7 years x 2 = 14 years. 14 years x 3 = 21 years.)This is how men were to become knights.

There were women knights. description from Ashmole, The Institution, laws and ceremonies from the Most Noble Order of the Garter, written 1672, Ch. 3, sect.3: THE ORDER OF THE HATCHET The example is the Noble Women of Tortosa in Aragon, and recorded by Josef Micheli Marques, who plainly calls them Cavalleros or (Cavalleras) Knights... Don Raymond, the last Earl of Barcellona united that principality to the Kingdom of Aragon, having in the year 1149, gained the city of Tortosa from the Moors, they on the 31 of December following, laid a siege to that place, for the recovery of it out of the Earls hands. The inhabitants being at length reduced to great streights, desired relief from the Earl, but he, being not in any condition to give them any, they entertained some thought of making some surrender. Which the women hearing of, to prevent the disaster threatning their city, themselves, and children, put 0n mens clothes, and by a resolute sally, fored the Moors to raise the siege. The Earl, finding himself obliged by the gallentry of the action, thought fit to make his acknowledgement thereof, by granting them several Privileges and Immunities, and to perpetuate the memory of so signal an attempt, instituted an Order, somewhat like a military Order, into which were admitted only those Brave Women, deriving the honor to their descendants, and assigned them for a Darge, a thing like a Fryars Capouche, sharp at the top, after the form of a torch, and of a crimson colour, to be worn upon their head-clothes. He also ordained, that at all Publick meetings, the women should have precedence of the Men. That they should be exampted from all Taxes, and that all Apparel and Jewels, though of never so great value, left by their dead Husbands, should be their own.

Also see THE ORDER OF GLORIOUS SAINT MARY in 1233 approved by Pope Alexander IV. Suppressed by Pope Sixtus V in 1558.

KNIGHTS OF THE GARTER In England 68 ladies were appointed between 1358 and 1488, women of royal blood or wives of Knights of the Garter. They wore the garter on their left arm and some are shown on their tombstones.

And there are more. See History of Orders of Chivalry: a survey

In the early Middle Ages, knighthood was essentially a professional organization, and ANYONE who had the financial means to procure the necessary equipment and training could become a knight. This included nobles, who owned much land, small land owners, free men and craftsmen. Noble birth was not a requirement or the norm until roughly the end of the 12th century, when knighthood became more and more an entitlement of nobility.

Even then, some nobles and royals continued to look down on knighthood as a mere "profession". Before becoming King of France, the young Louis VI was knighted without his father's knowledge for this very reason!

During the Crusades, many knights of the German Order came from Burgher families who had made money through trade and commerce. German princes also granted rights of hereditary knighthood to certain families. This meant that sons were entitled to be knighted without the usual training, though the general populace had more admiration for those knights who earned their title.

The OLDEST continuing Order of chivallry, are the Knights Of St John, of Jeruselem, otherwise know as the St John Ambulance Society. These were the medical orderlies, a group of knights, who gave medical aid to the wounded, during the Crusades in the middle east.

In the current British system of honours, the medals and awards/ribbons of the order of St John are worn AHEAD of all other military awards, excepting the Victoria Cross, which is the ultimate British and Commonwealth award for "Valour" in the face of the enemy. This is to indicate that the order of St John is the OLDEST order of knights in existence, today.


When England was conquered by the Normans in 1066. William simply replaced the entire Saxon ruling class with the warrior adventurers who had supported hiis cause. This new noblity were granted lands thoughout his new kingdom and the people living on those lands were expected work under the new order. The lowest rank of this nobity was the Lord of the Manor. He could rent out his land, tax the people and work them as he saw fit. He didn't have to pay rent to the Crown, he had to provide military support. so from the local people he chose those who were suitable as soldiers and created a class of Yeomen to be his swordsmen and archers, the people who were not able to fight were used as casual labour in the fields and villages. A serf might have to work 4 days for his Lord and have 3 days to raise his own crops in the common filed.

The Manorial Lords were the backbone of the King's army and the custodians of countryside. Above them were the Barons, Earls and Dukes that had stronger connections to the Royal family.

The simplest way to becaome a Knight was to wait for your father to die and inherit his title. If you were not the oldest son, you might become a monk or priest instead or you might be given the job of running the Manorial estate.

The cost of maintaining the equipment, horses and servants needed to go into battle was enormous, so a younger son needed to be very skilled in battle before his family could risk such an investment. Because the payoff came, not so much through an overall victory in war and gaining the approval of the King, but in capturing an enemy noble and ransoming him back to his family. In this way a younger son could earn enough money to buy his own land and set himself on the way to gaining his own Manor. Such endevours would come to the notice of the Local Baron and eventually, the King. Owning his own land would mean he could raise his own soldiers and then by providing support to the King he might be granted the freedom not to pay taxes on the land he had and at this point he would be considered eligable for a Knighthood.

If he was killed or failed to capture an enemy, his family would have nothing to show for their investment. Even worse, if he was captured himself his family would have to sell land to get him back and in all likelyhood, he would end up living in a monestry. It was a case of the survival of the fittest right down the line.


Does a knight live on the lords manor?

Yes because part of their job was to enforce the rules that the lord placed on the peasants that farm on his manor.


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