The life of a knight in the medieval period. Jousting, warfare, and tournaments.
Medieval Knights and Warfare
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
After the lord on the social ladder came the knight. The path to knighthood began at the age of seven, when a vassal sent his son to the lord's house to become a page. For seven years a page was cared for by the women of the house, who instructed him in comportment, courtesy, cleanliness, and religion.At 14 the page became a squire, a personal attendant to a knight. From the knight he learned riding and all the skills of war, as well as hunting, hawking, and other sports.
The Knightly Code
Imported from France in the 12th century, tournaments were an essential part of military and social life. These "war games" consisted of individual contests (jousts), and group combat. Lances and swords were blunted, but tournaments were a place where reputations were made, so the fighting was hard and dangerous. Prizes were given to the winners, and some knights, such as the famous William Marshall, made their fortunes on the tournament circuit, much as a modern rodeo rider might in the American West.
The armour worn in tourneys was different from regular battle gear. It was very heavy and padded inside. It was also extremely cumbersome.
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