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THE WHITE KNIGHTS

Knights of the Round Table



 
   

Knights of the Round Table

Knights of the Round Table
The famous story of Knights of the Round Table is well known. King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends but the Knights of the Round Table play an important part in the story and legend of King Arthur. The Arthurian legend revolves around the Code of Chivalry followed by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The basis for the code of Chivalry followed by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were Honour, Honesty, Valour and Loyalty. Knights of the Round Table were ' Brothers in Arms'. The legends of Medieval England emerged and were fuelled by the writings of various authors including Geoffrey of Monmouth whose book called the Historia Regum Britanniae - the History of the King's of Britain detailed the British Kings of the Dark Ages and gave rise to the Arthurian legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

   

   

Knights of the Round Table - the concept of Equality
The significance of the Round Table was that no one person, not even King Arthur, would be able to sit at the head of such a table. A round table enforced the concept of equality amongst the Knights of the Round Table. The legend states that King Arthur ordered the Round Table to be built in order to resolve a conflict among his knights concerning who should have precedence. The Round Table was therefore built to ensure that all the Knights of the Round Table were deemed equal and every one of the seats at the Round Table were all seen as highly favoured places.

Knights of the Round Table - the Round table at Winchester
A large round wooden table in the Great Hall at Winchester is reputed to be King Arthur's Round Table. The Round Table is made of 121 separate pieces of oak and measures 18 feet across. The round table is nearly 3 inches thick and weighs nearly 1.25 tons. Scientific studies have also revealed that a painting of a King was added to the round table c1522. The King depicted on the Round Table bears a striking resemblance to the Tudor King Henry VIII. It is interesting to note that the Tudors claimed lineage to King Arthur as additional justification for their reign and their claims to both the Welsh and English thrones.


     

King Arthur and the Names of Knights of the Round Table
The Round table at Winchester provides the Names of Knights of the Round Table. The Names of Knights of the Round Table are as follows:

  • King Arthur
  • Sir Galahad - This knight was the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot
  • Sir Launcelot Deulake ( Sir Lancelot du Lac who fell in love with Queen Guinevere )
  • Sir Gawain - This knight was famed for fighting the Green Knight
  • Sir Percivale - This knight was famed for fighting the Red Knight
  • Sir Lionel - This knight was brother of Sir Bors and cousin to Sir Lancelot
  • Sir Tristram de Lyones - This knight was the son of King Meliodas & Queen Isabelle of Lyonesse - second greatest of the Knights of the Round Table
  • Sir Gareth - Sir Kay was the mentor of this young knight
  • Sir Bedivere - a giant of a Knight
  • Sir Bleoberis - This knight was This knight was an arrogant Knight who later became a hermit
  • Sir Brunor le Noir -  aka La Cote Male Taile because he arrived in Camelot wearing an ill-fitting coat which had belonged to his dead father
  • Sir Lucan - This knight was a most loyal and trusted of the Knights of the Round Table
  • Sir Palomides - who was a Saracen knight
  • Sir Lamorak - This knight was This knight was the third greatest of the Knights of the Round Table
  • Sir Bors de Ganis - This knight was brother of Sir Lionel and cousin to Sir Lancelot
  • Sir Safir - This knight was a Christian Knight of Saracen descent
  • Sir Pelleas - This knight was of low birth but one of the bravest of the Knights of the Round Table
  • Sir Kay - King Arthur's foster-brother
  • Sir Ector de Maris - This knight was the Ladies man of the Knights of the Round Table
  • Sir Dagonet - The jester of King Arthur
  • Sir Tegyr - This knight was the cup-bearer of King Arthur
  • Sir Lybyus Dysconyus ( Sir Guinglain was Sir Gawain's eldest son also known as Le Bel Desconneu - the Fair Unknown )
  • Sir Alymere - This knight was totally loyal to King Arthur
  • Sir Mordred - This knight was the treacherous Sir Mordred the son of King Arthur)

The Names of Knights of the Round Table are displayed on the Round table at Winchester.


 
              

Knights of the Round Table
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about these great people and important historical events which scatter the Medieval History books including Knights of the Round Table. The Medieval Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of the lives of the people who lived during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this article on Medieval life and times provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.

     

Medieval England - Knights of the Round Table

  • Watch the History Channel DVDs for Medieval England, period, life, age and times
  • Medieval England - Knights of the Round Table
  • Middle Ages Code of Chivalry
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - the concept of Equality
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - the Round table at Winchester
  • King Arthur and the Names of Knights of the Round Table
  • Knights of the Round Table

 
             

The Knight's Code of Chivalry
A knight was expected to have not only the strength and skills to face combat in the violent era of the Middle Ages but was also expected to temper this aggressive side with a chivalrous side to his nature. The ideals described in the Code of Chivalry were emphasised by the oaths and vows that were sworn in the Knighthood ceremonies of the Middle Ages and the Medieval era. These sacred oaths of combat were combined with the ideals of chivalry and with strict rules of etiquette and codes of conduct towards women.

The Code of Chivalry and the legends of King Arthur
The virtues taken as a Knight's Code of Chivalry was publicised in the poems, ballads and literary works of Medieval authors. The wandering minstrels sang these ballads and poems which described the valour and the code of chivalry followed by the Medieval knights. The Dark Age myths and legends featuring King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table further strengthen the idea of a Code of Chivalry. The Arthurian legend revolves around the Code of Chivalry which was adhered to by the Knights of the Round Table - Honour, Honesty, Valour and Loyalty.



     

Chivalry

Facts and interesting information about the life and times of the
Medieval Knights of England - Chivalry

What is Chivalry?
The word 'Chivalry derives from the French word chevalier meaning a horseman; a knight or a gallant young man. The definition of Chivalry can be described as a term often related to medieval institution of knighthood referring to the codes of conduct, including courtly love, adhered to by Medieval knights with gallant knightly values including honor, bravery, courteousness and honesty. Chivalry was the honor code of the knight. An important part of chivalry was to show respect and gallantry towards women. The Code of Chivalry was an important part of the society and lives of people who lived during the Medieval times and era. The Code of Chivalry was admired and understood by all.

Knights Code of Chivalry
A knight was expected to have not only the strength and skills to face combat in the violent era of the Middle Ages but was also expected to temper this aggressive side of a knight with a chivalrous side to his nature. There was not an authentic Code of Chivalry as such - it was a moral system which went beyond rules of combat and introduced the concept of Chivalrous conduct - qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.

Code of Chivalry - The Song of Roland
A Code of Chivalry was documented in 'The Song of Roland' during the period of William the Conqueror who ruled England from 1066. The 'Song of Roland' describes the 8th century Knights of the Dark Ages and the battles fought by the Emperor Charlemagne. The code has since been described as Charlemagne's Code of Chivalry. The Song of Roland was the most famous 'chanson de geste' and was composed between 1098-1100, describing the betrayal of Count Roland at the hand of Ganelon, and his resulting death in the Pyrenees at the hands of the Saracens. Roland was a loyal defender of his liege Lord Charlemagne and his code of conduct a description of the meaning of chivalry. An excerpt from the Song of Roland is as follows:

For his beauty the ladies hold him dear;
Who looks on him, with him her heart is pleased,
When she beholds, she can but smile for glee.
Was no pagan of such high chivalry.

The Code of Chivalry and the legends of King Arthur and Camelot
The ideals described in the Code of Chivalry were emphasised by the oaths and vows that were sworn in the Knighthood ceremonies of the Middle Ages and the Medieval era. These sacred oaths of combat were combined with the ideals of chivalry and with strict rules of etiquette and codes of conduct towards women. The ideals of a Code of Chivalry was publicised in the poems, ballads, writings and literary works of Medieval authors. The wandering minstrels of the Middle Ages sang these ballads and were expected to memorize the words of long poems describing the valour and the code of chivalry followed by the Medieval knights. The Dark Age myths of Arthurian Legends featuring King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table further strengthen the idea of a Code of Chivalry. The Arthurian legend revolves around the Code of Chivalry which was adhered to by the Knights of the Round Table - Honour, Honesty, Valour and Loyalty.

Chivalry toward Women - The Knight in Shining Armor
Chivalry was the honor code of the knight and great importance was placed on courtesy towards women leading to the concept of a 'Knight in Shining armor. In modern times the terms chivalry and chivalrous are used to describe courteous behavior, especially that of men towards women. In the movie 'Pretty Woman' the character played by Julia Roberts dreams of a 'Knight in shining armor' who will rescue her from captivity in a tower. When the character played by Richard Gere realises that she will settle for nothing less he rides to her apartment in a shining car (in place of a horse), wearing an expensive suit (in place of shining armor) brandishing an umbrella (in place of a Sword) to climb up to her apartment (the tower) and rescue her. A highly romantic gesture fulfilling her dreams of a 'Knight in shining armor'.

The Code of Chivalry and Courtly Love
The Code of Chivalry was combined with the romance of Courtly Love which was practised during the Medieval times and era. There were strict rules of courtly love and the art of Courtly Love was practised by the members of the royal courts across Europe during Medieval times. Surprisingly the romance, rules and art of Medieval Courtly Love together with the code of chivalry allowed knights and ladies to show their admiration for each other regardless of their marital state. It was a perfectly acceptable and common occurrence for a married lady to give a token to a knight of her choice to be worn during a Medieval tournament. Courtly love was acceptable as long as the rules relating to chastity and fidelity were strictly adhered to. For additional information about Courtly Love please click the following link:

The Code of Chivalry
As previously stated there was not an authentic Code of Chivalry as such. However, a Code of Chivalry is described in the Song of Roland and also by the Duke of Burgundy in the 14th Century. To read about the rules and the virtues detailed in these two examples of the Code of Chivalry please click the following link:

Chivalry
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about knights of old which scatter the Medieval History books including the subject of Chivalry. The Medieval Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of the lives of the people who lived during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this article on Medieval life and times provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.

                  
 



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