Chivalry, the order of knighthood, and especially, the code of knightly
behavior, comes from many origins. In Middle English, the word "chevalrie"
meant "mounted horseman". In Old french, the word "chevalrie" meant
knightliness or "chevalier" meaning knight. (Microft, Encarta) Almost all
origins of the word meant horseman.
Warfare was not an option in the medieval period and the knight was the
most crutial part. The knight's ability, and the military strength of the lord
or king were nessesary for their survival. A knight was loyal to his king even
though he was not always a member of his personal court. He was also loyal to
his lord or landowner. Most of all, he was loyal to God, as all Christian
knights were. A Christian knight had virtues of fidelity, piety, loyalty and
devotion to God. However, some knights did not live this ideal lifestyle.
A young boy in training to be a knight spent the first few years of his
life in care of the women in his family. At the age of 7 years old, a child of
noble birth would be placed in the castle of a lord or govenor. This is where
the training for knighthood began. As a page, the boy would be tutored in
Latin and French, but he devoted most of his time to physical exersice, and
duties. A page was educated in wrestling, tilting with spears, and military
exercises that were done on horseback. He was also taught dancing and playing
of musical instruments in their leisure time. As a page, a boy was taught how
to carve and serve food as a waiter, and other services around the castle. It
was his duty to help the master of the castle in anyway needed. These tasks
were not hard labor, but simply prepared him for what was yet to come.
By the time a page was 14, he was expected to qualify as a competent
squire. Now with the more laborious course, his real training began. He must
vault on his horse in armor, run and scale walls, and spring over ditches in
armor. He must be able to maneuver a battle-ax without raising the visor of his
helmet or taking a breathe. He must have mastered horsemanship. A squire must
have acquired courtesy and have...