The Life of Medieval Knights


Mark Cartwright
published on 22 November 2018

In the Middle Ages, knights were at the top of the social ladder. With the best training, the best clothes, the best weapons and, supposedly, the best manners, they were what everyone else aspired to be. Tales of daring deeds and chivalry were told in poems and popular songs so that lasting fame awaited those knights who rose above their peers. There were legendary knights such as King Arthur and Saint George, patron of all knights, famous tournament winners like Sir William Marshal, and even a few non-Christians were allowed the honorary title of knight such as the great Muslim leader Saladin. In this collection, we look at how exactly one became a knight, what weapons and armour were required and what were the dos and don'ts in order to gain a reputation for perfect chivalry.

According to some legends, Saint George had a mighty sword called Ascalon, made by the Cyclops of ancient Greece, and a shining suit of armour made from Libyan steel.

Articles & Definitions



Questions & Answers

What was life like for medieval knights?

The life of a medieval knight involved training from childhood with mock weapons and horses. From around 14, the boy might become a squire to assist a knight. They trained with real weapons and learnt about chivalry. Once made a knight, he was the most important element of a medieval army. When not fighting, a knight took part in jousts and tournaments.

What did typical medieval knights do?

Typical medieval knights wore heavy full-body armour and rode horses in battle. They were expected to charge at the enemy army. When not fighting, a knight improved his martial skills by participating in jousts and medieval tournaments.

What are 5 facts about knights?

5 facts about knights are: they learnt about weapons from childhood, they studied books on chivalry, they put their coat of arms on their shield, when not wearing armour they wore the flashiest and most fashionable of clothing, and when they died they often had a tomb with a carved representation of themselves in full armour.
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About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark is a full-time writer, researcher, historian, and editor. Special interests include art, architecture, and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the WHE Publishing Director.

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