By: Kevin Castillo and Harrison McLeod 1st Period
The knight was one of three types of fighting men during the middle ages: Knights, Foot Soldiers, and Archers. The medieval knight was the equivalent of the modern tank. He was covered in multiple layers of armor, and could plow through foot soldiers standing in his way. No single foot soldier or archer could stand up to any one knight.
Knights were generally the wealthiest of the three types of soldiers. This was for a good reason. It was terribly expensive to be a knight. The war horse alone could cost the equivalent of a small airplane. Armor, shields, and weapons were also very expensive. Becoming a knight was part of the feudal agreement. In return for military service, the knight received a fief. In the late middle ages, many prospective knights began to pay "shield money" to their lord so that they wouldnt have to serve in the kings army. Mainly, you had to be the son of a noble to become a full knight. The other, more common way was to pay and make a feudal agreement. You trained from the time you were eight, to your mid-twenties. Then, you were dubbed a knight.
Knights believed in the code of chivalry. They promised to defend the weak, be courteous to all women, be loyal to their king, and serve God at all times. Knights were expected to be humble before others, especially their superiors. They were also expected to not "talk too much". In other words, they shouldnt boast. The code of chivalry demanded that a knight give mercy to a vanquished enemy. However, the very fact that knights were trained as men of war belied this code. Knights were supposed to be warriors of God. Most knights did believe in God, but did not follow the rules of The Bible very well. Most but not all, used their rank in class and “belief” in religion to over power lower class citizens and rise in power as well. The Knights that did truly follow God acted in a different manner than the others. They had morals, mercy, and compassion for those lesser than them.
Knights used long swords, axes, knives, shields, chain mail armor, heavy metal armor, war horses, maces, and basically anything else at their disposal.
Medieval warrior priest and bishops often accompanied knights and infantry into battle, particularly during the crusades, and they personally led medieval armies to protect their worldly realms. Since it was forbidden to spill Christian blood, some warrior bishops used blunt clubbing weapons like the mace to circumvent this prohibition.
As warfare evolved the knights were encouraged to follow God and defend themselves in the name of God. As the crusades came around these men and knights were convinced to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims. By doing this the pope convinced them that they would be absolved of all sins and earn a place in heaven.