Characteristics Of Chivalry

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The concept of Chivalry has baffled countless medieval historians throughout the years. Chivalry was supposedly a code that knights and nobles lived their lives by. Similarly to other social structures that were in place in the past historians have struggled to draw conclusions as to the extent to which people lived according to chivalric principles. Sir Walter Scott believed that knights aspired to the code of chivalry, but that in the real world it was not carried out. This conclusion gives a clear picture of chivalry. The aristocracy strived to live according to the ideals of chivalry but it was simply impossible to adhere to such rules in real life. Froissart painted a romantic image of The Hundred Years War and of the aristocracy at the…show more content…
Froissart’s accounts at Crecy he give an account of the new battle tactics that were developing. Froissart gives the historian an insight into the thoughts of the aristocracy at the time. Froissart’s portrayal of chivalry is therefore only somewhat inaccurate. His writings show us some of the chivalric attitudes at the time. His perception of the battlefield that is also accurate. However, like many men of his time he was full of praise for the medieval tourney. It is likely that his descriptions of the tourney are indeed…show more content…
The Fourteenth-century saw European warfare change completely. Military tactics ceased to conform to a specific set of principles. During the early stages of the war the rules of chivalry were at least in theory still practiced, but by the end of the war, chivalry was at the very least a useless concept to adhere to. Chivalry’s usefulness waned after battles such as Crecy and Courtrai as the cavalry began to be replaced by pikes and longbows. The battle tactics used at the Battle of Crecy can be seen through Froissart’s writings about the event. Their formation involved men of arms staying behind while bands of archers were wedged at the sides. It was this form of warfare that defeated the purpose of a cavalry. Froissart does seem to be hesitant towards these new ideals. He describes how the bows ‘fell like snow’ while the ‘splendidly mounted’ French fell to their deaths. Froissart seems to be somewhat annoyed at the English here. He does not criticise the English, but his praise of the French does give us some idea of his viewpoint. His view, however, should not come as a

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