Arms & Armor in Age of Chivlary by Paul Martin
Arms & Armor from the 9th-17th c. by Paul Martin
Arms & Armour in England by James Man
Arms and Armous In Medieval Prudssia by Andrzej Nowakowski
Armies and Warfare in Middle Ages by K. Davis
Celtic Myth and Legends by T.W. Rolleston
Celts by Gerhard herm
Celtic Sword by Radomir Pleiner
Hutchinson Dictionary of Ancient
Ancient Fox and Geese Prison Base
Backgammon Goose Ring Toss
Bean Bag Toss Hide-n-Seek Tablut
Blind Mans Bluff Horseshoes Three Men Morris
Checkers Hounds and Hare Tug of War
Dice Nine Holes
King of the Bean
Tug of War
Bob for Apples
Celebrations in Medieval Times revolved around planting, harveting, love, and Christ.
January 1 New Years, exchaging 'First Day' presents
6 Epiphany or Twelfth Night
7 Plow Monday
February 2 Candlemas or Purification of the Virgin
14 Valentines day 'Chivaree' music for lovers
March 25 Lady Day Feast of hte annunciation of the Virign
27 Changing or Movable Feast Days each year
April 25 Carnival/Shoventide Season preceding Lent.
40 days of Lent before Easter
1st day of Lent is Ash Wednesday
6th Day is Palm Sunday
Good Friday before Easter
Hocktide Easter week ends with exchange of gifts.
2nd Tuesday after Easter is Hock Day, meaning rent was due.
7th Day after Easter is Rogation Sunday
5th day after Rogation is Ascension Day
7th day after Rogation is Pentecost or Whit Sunday
8th day after Easter is Trinity Sunday
Corpus Christi Day is the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
30 Beltane/Samhain Eve, one of two times a year mortal rules were
believed syspended and supernatural occurrences happened.
May 1 Love Day or Rogations days
13 Abbotsbury Garlnad Day
June 24 Midsummer or Nativity of St. John the Baptist
August 1 Lammas or St. Peters Day, also called Gules
September 29 Michaelmas or St. Michaels Day for the sowing of
barley/rye/wheat begins Tradesman's New Year.
October 31 Samhain Eve or Hallowe'en All Saints Day
Also called Blood Month for the slaughering of animals before
November 1 Hallomas or All Saints Day
11 St. Martins Day.
Stir Up Sunday is last Sunday before the season of Advent or
the 25th Sunday after Trinity.
December 24 Christmas Eve.
25 Christmas Day.
BRICON fool, blackguard, poltroon
CHURL low-born, crude
CUIVER MALEIS accurse, wicked
De PUT AIRE unclean looking, foul
FAUS LESENGIER traitor
FIS A PUTAIN/Licheor Plain d'anvie son of a prostitue, lia, trickster
FEL felon, treacherous, wicked
FILLE/Fils de bas bardard either male or feamle
GLOS greedy, reacally
FLUS glutton, or devil in mans body
GLOS Pautonnier gluttonous evildoer
GOSSIP overly talkative
HAG witch, ugly
HORESON mother was a prostitue, or lowestbirth possible
Le LIGNAGE desloiaL et felon unfaithful or wicked lineage
LICHIERES PAUTONNIER wicked evildoer
LOSANGIER/Losengeor flatterer, deciever, rougue
LOUSY louse, dirty, or having lice
MERDAILLE group of people considered scum
PALTONIER/Pautonier wicked, rogue, scoundrel, lying rascal
PUT vile, ugly, dirty person who lead a bad life
ORGUILLUS proud, haughty
SARASYN/Saracen/Muslim devil worshiper
SHREW overly aggressive
SCOLD witch, aggressive
TERMAGENT loud, quarellsome. diety worshipeed by Muslims
TRICHEOR trickster, deciever
VILAIN low person
VILLEIN/Vllain villa servant or slave
WENCH slut, harlot, mare, coney, Leman
WITCH ugly, old, uses black magic
WRETCH/Wrecca criminal or exiled man
Syr Edward Keefe ap Michaelss
Today's perception of Knighthood is so passionately bound to romance that the first and possibly only image we have of it, is a knight in shinning armor rescuing a damsel in distress, at least that's what the many writer's and movie studios have led us all to believe.
But were those rescuers on horseback really the Romeo's we've been told about, or was there more to them than just the valor they were labeled with?
The very concept of Knighthood didn't arise untilt he seventh century when the Muslim empire decided to conquer the known world. As their armies swept through France's larger towns of Bordeaux and Narbonne on their destructive way to Poitiers, it was there an unknown Frank, named Charles Martel, rallied an army to defeat them.
With their town saved he petitioned the church for land grants to reward those who fought with him, and for that, men knelt at his feel swearing to fight for him where and whenever he demanded, even providing their own sword, shield and horse to do so. Because of his war tactics against the Muslim's he became their ruler and began the first of the Carolingian Dynasty, and whose grandoms would be called Charlamagne the Great.
From that unselfish act the ideals of Knighthood took hold, yet decades would pass before Charlemagne would be crowned king and develop the mounted warrior for which knight's are best known.
The first knighting ceremonies were stark thirty-seconds occasions mostly held at the edge of a field before a battle began. A Noble or Knight would raise his sword and strike a vassal with the hilt on the neck while shouting, 'Thou art Knighted!'. Unfortunately, this didn't change until the eleventh century when England's King Henry I knighted his son-in-law, Count Geoffrey of Anjou, in a lavish and formal ceremony complete with royal pomp and gifts.
From Geoffrey's elaborate annointing the ceremony changed to grant warrior's more than just a thump and holler, while also establishing a longer period of time it took to become one.
But how did one become a fully vespered Knight in that exclusive Order?
It began when a Noble's son reached the age of seven deemed old enough to enter the first of two long stages to prepare him for Knighthood near the age of twenty-one, though which king commanded that age for this status to occur is unknown, yet that maturity barometer still continues to this day.
If his father or realtive were already knighted they would begin his training at home, if not, he would be packed off to another Noble or Royal house as a paige, and whatever childhood he enjoyed immediately ceased with the next seven years spent in subservient labor to a Knight.
If he reached his fourteenth year, his small weapons abilities were good, no sickness claimed him, and he had gained his Knight's favor, he would be raised to the rank of Squire and receive his silver spurs.
Once squired, he would receive heavy weapons training, gain actual war experience by following his Knight into battle as his shield and weapons bearer. And during the next seven years he would learn to wield a heavy sword and even heavier shield to build muscle, while also mastering the battle axe, lance, mace, ball and chain, and perhaps the training of his own Destrie warhorse to bit, kick, and obey. Daily practice of all these weapons and horse meant survival, but along with their constant practice he was also expected to keep his Knight's weapons in good condition, tend his horse, wash their clothes, serve his table, and do all the cooking, along with anything else he was asked to do. But if his Knight held enough land to support other attendants beyond himself, he was fortunate indeed. There would then be one to care for the horses, help him mount and pick him up in battle if he fell, cook the meals, serve his table, guard any prisoners captured for ransom. And if he was truly lucky and he was squired to a High Noble or Royal King, there would be several more to do all the daily chores as well.
If knighted, his life then became two separate entities. War he constantly trained for, and peace time he endured until another war came along. And though his non-inheritable title was the smallest and lowliest of all ranks his outward display of surcoat, sword, warhorse, and gold spurs imbued him with the invisible mantle of an earth bound god bringing him instant homage and respect.
Knighthood had only one rank of distinction that of champion, and Nobility and Royalty paid much to retain these seasoned warriors as personal or protective guardsmen,
Many were Knight Errants or soldiers who roamed the country seeking adventure and renown. They were intense, dedicated, and unyielding men whose fighting abilities were their foremost attributes. The fourteent and fifteenth centuries aslo demanded he embody all the manners and ideals of chivlary, honor, and loyalty. And when merrier times prevailed he had to be eloguent in dance and poetry, humble in religious prayers, knowledgeable in courtly manners and intrigue, and more than chivalrous in protecting a Lady from insult or harm.
The desire to become a Knight may not back then nor now stem from any one ideal, but from the allure of many. It may have been an inner yearning to swear allegiance to an idea, cause, or particular King, or the need to publicly breath an oath to uphold their strong faith in god that instantly made them saints. And if one looks close enough at such ascriptions, each one seems more associated to what we believe a deity would be.
As Knightood evolved over the centureis so did the Catholic Church, which was perhaps the most guiding force in christening a man's soul to god while extracting numerous vows to protect it, the king, and those less fortunate. It was seen as the main reason a Knight was raised to near god-status more than anything else during those times. And once avowed to the church to protect that soul upon his death, he was free to swear his loyal fealty to his King who also extracted a sixty-day military service obligation in his army each year.
The codes that forged Knighthood into existence and favored it for well over it's thousand year reigh, may have contributed to it's downfall as well. It was during it's final two-centuries that Royalty reclaimed it saying only a royal hand could bestow such an honor, thus giving it greater social status that replaced even inherited titles such as Duke Willima of Normandy, with that of Sir William, Duke of Normandy.
It's quite possible the final demise came from two but equally great forces; the church who continued to levy stricter codes on anyone becoming a Knight, and the fourteenth century itself when the lower classes began to openly rumble for social change. Yet, it can also be reasonably argued that a Knight's usefulness had become less and less able to depend on a Noble or Royal's open-door charity. Both classes were beginning to find that dispatching an Emissary to sooth a misunderstanding or prevent a war was far less expensive than housing, feeding, and clothing an Order of Knights, or standing army.
Let me remind here as well, that Knighthood was not all honor and glory. There were many Knights who not only ignored their solemn vows, but trampled them mightly, attribuiting some with the worse treachery and most heinous crimes. The Black Prince, from his name alone, was thought to be one such scourse, when in fact, he was the most honorable man King Edward III knew, thus granting him the privilege of becoming the first Knight in his Order of the Gata or garter.
While this era is our past it's still the most impressive and the most written about even today. Millions continue to read the never ending supply of books about it, play in live reenactment groups, or flock to the near life movies produced. For not only did Ramon Lull and Thomas Mallory fantasize Knighthood into what we enjoy, but the Bards, Poets, Clerics and Chroncilers also lifted it up to where they thought it should belong.
So what of today's period writer's who omit the harsh reality of those times, or the historical society that rewrites history to make play time more fun? Well, I for one, hope each and every one continues to feed this thirsty soul for a very long time.