The Book of Chivalry is the most pragmatic of all surviving chivalric manuals. Written at the height of the Hundred Years War, it includes the essential commonplaces of knighthood in the mid-fourteenth century and gives a close-up view of what one knight in particular absorbed of the medieval world of ideas around him, what he rejected or ignored, and what he added from his experience in camp, court, and campaign.
Geoffroi de Charny was one of the quintessential figures of his age, with honors and praise bestowed upon him from both sides of the English Channel. He prepared the Book of Chivalry as a guide for members of the Company of the Star, a new but short-lived order of knights created by Jean II of France in 1352 to rival the English Order of the Garter.
Elspeth Kennedy here edits the original French text of Charny and provides a facing-page translation for the modern reader. Richard. W. Kaeuper's historical study places both man and his work in full context. In the formal themes that give Charny's book structure, and in his many tangential comments and asides, this work proves a rich source for investigating questions about the political, military, religious, and social history of the later Middle Ages. With this translation, the prowess and piety of knights, their capacity to express themselves, their common assumptions, their views on masculine virtue, women, and love once more come vividly to life.
Chivalry--with its pageants, heraldry, and knights in shining armor--was a social ideal that had a profound influence on the history of early modern Europe. In this eloquent and richly detailed book, a leading medieval historian discusses the complex reality of chivalry: its secular foundations, the effects of the Crusades, the literature of knighthood, and its ethos of the social and moral obligations of nobility.
"This is a rich book, making effective use of all sorts of documents and illustrations. Keen moves easily across Europe in search of the international spirit of chivalry. . . . The pageantry he presents is colorful and his conclusions uplifting."--David Herlihy, New York Times Book Review
"An elegantly written, important book."--Carolly Erickson, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Splendid. . . . Keen is exemplary in the use he makes of many kinds of medieval literature, epic and lyric poetry, family and military histories, didactic treatises, translations into the vernacular of books of the Bible and of works from ancient Rome."--R.C. Smail, New York Review of Books
"Original and] beguiling."--Fiona MacCarthy, Times (London)
"A most readable and comprehensive survey: stimulating, informative, a splendid creation of context."--Nicholas Orme, Times Higher Education Supplement
"All historians of Western society . . . will do well to refer to this book."--Georges Duby, Times Literary Supplement
Rich sourcebook of approximately 500 black-and-white designs traces history and meaning of the shield, symbols, crests, helmets, and blazonry, with special emphasis on such devices as beasts, monsters, human, and part-human figures. American, British, French, and Russian costs of arms are displayed, as are insignias of the clergy, state seals, and modern institutions.
A magisterial history of the origins, reality, and legend of the knight
Born out of the chaos of the early Middle Ages, the armored and highly mobile knight revolutionized warfare and quickly became a mythic figure in history. From the Knights Templars and English knighthood to the crusades and chivalry, The Knight in History, by acclaimed medievalist Frances Gies, bestselling coauthor of Life in a Medieval Castle, paints a remarkable true picture of knighthood--exploring the knight's earliest appearance as an agent of lawless violence, his reemergence as a dynamic social entity, his eventual disappearance from the European stage, and his transformation into Western culture's most iconic hero.
Coats of arms were at first used only by kings and princes, then by their great nobles, but by the mid-13th century arms were being used extensively by the lesser nobility, knights and those who later came to be styled gentlemen. In some countries the use of arms spread even to merchants, townspeople and the peasantry. From the mundane to the fantastic, from simple geometric patterns to elaborate mythological beasts, this fascinating work by Terence Wise explores the origins and appearance of medieval heraldic devices in an engagingly readable style accompanied by numerous illustrations including eight full page colour plates by Richard Hook.
The literature of chivalry and of courtly love has left an indelible impression on western ideas. What is less clear is how far the contemporary warrior aristocracy took this literature to heart and how far its ideals had influence in practice, especially in war. These are questions that Maurice Keen is uniquely qualified to answer. This book is a collection of Maurice Keen's articles and deals with both the ideas of chivalry and the reality of warfare. He discusses brotherhood-in-arms, courtly love, crusades, heraldry, knighthood, the law of arms, tournaments and the nature of nobility, as well as describing the actual brutality of medieval warfare and the lure of plunder. While the standards set by chivalric codes undoubtedly had a real, if intangible, influence on the behaviour of contemporaries, chivalry's idealisation of the knight errant also enhanced the attraction of war, endorsing its horrors with a veneer of acceptability.
Templars in America explodes the myth that Columbus was the first European to discover the Americas. Using archival and archaeological sources, Tim WallaceMurphy and Marilyn Hopkins reveal the Venetian connection between the Knights Templar and preColumbian America and prove the continuous history of such exploration from the time of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, through the Viking explorations.
Told in fascinating detail, this story takes as many twists and turns as a historical mystery novel.
Templars in America takes readers through the many possible early explorations of America, which set the stage for the real mystery: the tale of how various dealings between Venice and Normandy resulted in the Templars coming to America.
Two leading European Templar families, nearly 100 years before Columbus, combined forces to create a new commonwealth in America. This is the story of Henry St. Clair of the Orkney Islands, then part of Normandy, and Carlo Zeno, a Venetian trader. These early explorers made peaceful and mutually beneficial contact with the Canadian Mikmaq people.
Although the voyage had little immediate political or commercial impact, it acts as a signpost to a centurieslong process that culminates in the beliefs and traditions of the Templars and Freemasonry, shaping the thinking of the founding fathers of the United States and the American Constitution.
Templars in America is a wild ride through the golden age of exploration to the founding of the United States of America.
Though it simmers ceaselessly beneath the surface of society, violence is, for the most part, held in check by conscience and will, laws and social conventions. Even in war, it is constrained to some extent by human rights treaties, codes of honor, and traditional rules of engagement. Every once in a while, however, it erupts uncontrollably, unleashing atrocities that are almost beyond our comprehension.
World's Bloodiest History recounts some of the most horrifying episodes of the past, from ancient times to our own, in searing detail, while rigorously investigating their causes-from religious fanaticism and ethnic rivalry to political power struggles and hunger for vengeance-and their consequences. It explores, for example, what led Romans in 146 BCE to abandon their typically civilized policy to co-opt conquered peoples and instead raze the city of Carthage to the ground and slaughter thousands of its inhabitants. It questions what drove the U. S. Militia, in Colorado in the winter of 1864, to gun down and bludgeon to death and then barbarically mutilate 150 Cheyenne (two-thirds of which were women and children) and how this changed the course of North American history. It strives to understand why, in 1994, ethnic Hutu villagers in Rwanda abruptly tured on their Tutsi neighbors and colleagues, massacring eight hundred thousand of them, and why the international community did nothing to stop them.
Engrossing in their descriptions of diverse historical periods and cultures, intriguing in their insights into human impulses and motivations, perplexing in their implications, these are stories that lead us to reflect on our own character and strength of will, and to question, at the most basic levels, what it means to be human.