Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.
Let's travel back in time hundreds of years to the Middle Ages, to an era full of excitement! The Middle Ages occurred between the 5th and 15th centuries, and are often referred to as medieval times in Europe. During this period, soldiers called knights emerged as heroes of the community. Knights played an important role in daily life, and now are symbolic of the medieval era.
An error occurred trying to load this video.
Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.
You must cCreate an account to continue watching
Register to view this lesson
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
Get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons.Try it now
Already registered? Log in here for accessBack
- 0:04 Medieval Europe
- 0:25 Who Were Knights?
- 1:02 Knightly Responsibilities
- 1:33 Code of Chivalry
- 2:16 Changes in Society
- 2:38 Lesson Summary
Who Were Knights?
In order to become a knight, you usually needed to be wealthy and born into nobility. Nobility included kings, queens, wealthy land owners, and powerful lords and ladies of estates, called manors.
However, if you weren't part of the nobility, there was still a chance you could become a knight. If you displayed bravery and were successful in battle, you could still go through the process of becoming a knight. First, you would start out as a page, and train to use weapons and ride horses.
After finishing training, you would become a squire. This meant you would train the pages and also serve a knight. If you were successful in going into battle with the knight you served, then this meant you earned status of being a knight!
What would you do when you became a knight? Lots of things! Knights were soldiers and fought battles that could be very brutal. To practice, they would participate in tournaments. These tournaments included different events, including jousts.
A joust was a contest where two knights faced off against each other on horseback. The goal was to knock off the other knight with weapons, like a long wooden pole called a lance. As you can imagine, this event could be quite brutal and sometimes it even resulted in death. The winner often received money and public approval for their battle skills.
Code of Chivalry
There were rules of conduct knights had to abide by. These rules are often referred to as the Code of Chivalry. In order to use chivalry in daily life, a knight had to be loyal to their lord or king. They also had to show bravery and courage on the battlefield.
In addition, the Code of Chivalry required knights to provide protection to those who were considered weak or unable to protect themselves. This meant that knights were especially protective of women and children.
Unfortunately, there were knights who did not always follow the Code of Chivalry. There are many legends about what actually happened to a knight who violated the code. One legend is that the knight had to undergo a fake death and funeral! Regardless of what form it took, this punishment could be very humiliating for someone who had an important status in society.
Changes in Society
As the Middle Ages progressed, the need for knights began to fade. Inventions like gunpowder and different types of bows and arrows were much more effective. Using knights as soldiers wouldn't be necessary in battle anymore. However, the concept of chivalry continued. Today, people celebrate this period in history with festivals that reenact the music, dress, and tournaments of medieval Europe.
Medieval Europe was characterized by soldiers called knights who were often born into nobility, which included kings, queens, wealthy landowners, and powerful lord and ladies of estates, called manors. Knights participated in a training process, and they engaged in jousts, a contest where two knights faced off against each other on horseback, to prepare for battle. The Code of Chivalry was a strict set of rules Knights had to follow.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack
Knighthood & Chivalry: Lesson for Kids
Related Study Materials
Explore our library of over 84,000 lessons
- College Courses
- High School Courses
- Other Courses
- Create a Goal
- Create custom courses
- Get your questions answered