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Arthurian Code Essay

625 words - 3 pages

This research paper is meant to show that Arthurian code is still used in modern day life. Chivalry's roots are tied to the fundamental Western values that bind our civilization. Chivalry is an idealization of virtue, a wedding of military excellence with courtesy, a sense of justice, faithfulness, and honor. All of this is brought forward to us from a dark time in history, from days when men fought one another, fought the harsh world that had broken Roman order, fought against the plagues visited upon Europe, a troika of perils nearly destroying European culture. The idea of chivalry came out of the warrior virtues that Charlemagne used to unify Europe and dispel the violation of foreign religions and cultures. Men saw heroes as bringing them from the darkness, heroes like Charlemagne and Alexander. As the feudal system was founded, the warrior became an important social figure, glorified in song and rewarded in land and revenue. These warriors were an unruly gang, brawling and fighting amongst themselves as much as fighting for their peasants or their king. But there was some order, and this order began to reduce the barbarism that had been so much a part of life after the fall of Rome. During the 12th century, as society began to really settle, two important things happened to the ideals of what was first called "knighthood." First, the church began to reshape the idea of the social warrior to its own ends. Knights were called to crusade, to be the "soldiers of God." The crusades were launched, the ideal put forward by the church sought to add new virtues to the potent strength of the warrior that with God and Right on one's side, the sword arm itself was strengthened. The church added faithfulness, justice, defense of the innocent and the weak, honesty, humility and purity. Alongside of this new "religious" chivalry,...

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