Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Knights, real men?

In light of our little discussion about men I spotted this tonight on the BBC website. Lessons to be learned from knights!

1. Generosity was important. Even though knights were of a certain status in society, with servants and followers, they were expected to be generous in handing out rewards. For example, in battle a knight may take quite a lot of booty but would be expected to distribute that to followers in recognition of their service to him.

2. Mercy is one of the key concepts of chivalry. Fighting with another knight, if one offers defeat then the other should exercise mercy and be gracious in victory. The whole concept of ransoming was based on this. A knight would honour and respect a fellow knight when fighting him or when holding him captive.

3. Loyalty to the king or the nobles was absolutely crucial. That would mean abiding by the rules and recognising that there's a superior authority and in order to be chivalrous you have to be loyal to the person above you.

4. Exercise power responsibly. They didn't get rid of violence but they tried to limit it to justified causes.

5. Protect the weak. There's also a sense that the strong should protect the weak who are unable to look after themselves.

6. Justice. Seek always the path of "right", unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Recognize that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing, so it must be tempered by humanity and mercy.

7. Humility. Value first the contributions of others; do not boast of your own accomplishments, let others do this for you. Tell the deeds of others before your own, according them the renown rightfully earned through virtuous deeds.

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Some class lessons there! Thanks for posting them