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The Middle Ages European Knights By Lewis Beard. Introduction In this PowerPoint you will learn about knights who lived in the middle ages. The middle.

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Presentation on theme: "The Middle Ages European Knights By Lewis Beard. Introduction In this PowerPoint you will learn about knights who lived in the middle ages. The middle."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Middle Ages European Knights By Lewis Beard

2 Introduction In this PowerPoint you will learn about knights who lived in the middle ages. The middle ages lasted from 500 A.D to 1500 A.D Knights were paid by the king to fight for him in the form of money and land. Knights are a large part of medieval history and are still very well known today. But most people do not know much about knights and this presentation will explain how one became a knight, the life of a knight, armour, weapons and more.

3 Home Page Click a picture to find out about it Bibliography

4 The Armour The armour of knights changed throughout the middle ages due to technological advances. Armour was in use throughout the whole time period of the Middle Ages. In those days, it was very important to protect yourself as there were many wars in medieval times. Chainmail armour The first armour that was used is known by many names but it is commonly known as chainmail armour. Chainmail armour was invented and available to Europeans in the second century BC. Chainmail armour consists of thousands of metal rings to form a shirt, leggings or a coif. The process of creating chainmail armour is long and difficult. Each individual ring has to be riveted to avoid it and other rings spreading, making the armour useless. Chainmail armour was popular because it was flexible, allowed easy movement, was cheap and provided decent protection. A disadvantage is that chainmail is very heavy and can weigh up to 25 kilograms. There was other protection to go with the chainmail armour as well. Under the chainmail, knights would wear padded clothes called an aketon. Along with this, the knight would carry a wooden shield covered in leather and a helmet. Chainmail armour was effective against sharp weapons such as swords, axes, spears and arrows. Chainmail shirt and coif

5 The Armour Plate Armour As technology and knowledge of warfare increased, so did the quality of armour. In the late 13 th and early 14 th centuries, plate armour came in to existence. The plate armour eventually grew into full body armour in about the 15 th century. In the 13 th and 14 th centuries only partial plate armour was used. Plates covered vital areas such as the chest and joints. Chainmail armour and padded clothing were still worn underneath. Chainmail armour was still effective, but knights realised that the chainmail armour was ineffective against hard blows with weapons such as the mace. Plate armour still had the advantages of chainmail plus protection against blows with blunt weapons. At this point, helmets and shields were still in use. In about the 15 th century, full body armour was in use. Chainmail was still used, but only to protect areas that plate armour could not. Chainmail protected the groin and the underarms. Knights were so protected at this point of time that the shield had no use and was no longer used. Knights were so protected, that in battle, it is said that a knight was equivalent to a tank. They could charge through ranks of foot soldiers and not be scratched by archers. On the other hand, there were some major disadvantages about using full body plate armour. Suits of amour were very expensive and took a long time to make. Knights had to be very wealthy The armour had to be tailored perfectly. A tiny error could stop the whole suit from being able to move The armour was very heavy, hot and uncomfortable. It could weigh approximately kilograms It could take over an hour to put on a suit of armour

6 The Armour Horses and Armour Knights often had horses. Being mounted in battle was a huge advantage. Knights often chose to armour their horses. Horse armour included helmets and body armour, either chainmail or plate. By protecting the horse, the knight had the height advantage for longer. The End of Armour The use of armour in the battlefield came to an end in late 15 th and 16 th centuries. The development of gunpowder created new weapons that a suit of armour could not provide protection against. Some of these weapons were cannons and basic rifles. Suits of armour did not completely vanish though. They were seen as a sign of wealth and importance so they were used in ceremonial parades. Today, they are still used in some parades and are a decoration for extremely wealthy people. A ceremonial suit of armour

7 The Armour The Sabatons protects the feet Greaves protects calf and ankles Poleyns protects kneecap Cuisses protects thigh Besagews are small shields protecting armpits The rerebrace or upper cannon protects upper arm The vambrace or lower cannon protects lower arm The gauntlet protects hands The breast plate protects chest The backplate protects back Faulds protect hips, abdomen and lower back. Faulds are attached to the breast plate Couter protects elbow Tesset protects upper thigh and is attached to faulds The visor is part of the helmet that protects the eyes and mouth The sallet is moveable and has a slit for vision The bevor protects the neck Sabatons

8 The Weapons Knights had a wide range of weapons they used in battle. However, there some weapons in particular that were favoured by most knights. These weapons were the most effective ones. The Sword The sword was the most commonly used weapons. Although this weapon was invented long before the first medieval knights, they were very effective in battle. Medieval swords were made of low carbon steel. Swords were double edged and had a hilt, pommel and a crossguard. The hilt is the grip that the knight holds the sword by. The crossguard protects the knights hands by stopping blades reaching them. The pommel is a weight at the end of the sword to balance it. The pommel can also be used to melee the enemy. Swords were often decorated by an inscription which was often a prayer or the owners name. Wealth was often seen by how decorated the sword was. Hilt Crossguard Pommel

9 The Weapons The Lance Another common weapon used by knights on horses is the lance. The lance was a long wooden pole about 9-14 feet in length with a metal tip at the end shaped like a spear head.. This was very useful in battle as knights could knock off and kill mounted enemies. He could also kill foot soldiers with his height advantage. The knight could continue to use the lance until he was killed or the lance was dropped or broken. When the lance was no longer used, the knight could dismount and continue battle with his sword. This is why lance was also a very reliable weapon. The Dagger As well as lances and swords, the third weapons that was commonly used was the dagger. The dagger was small and light unlike the sword which was about 14 kilograms. The dagger could be used in close range combat. The sword and dagger were always in the knights belt.

10 The Weapons Other Weapons Apart from the sword, lance and dagger other weapons were used but not as commonly as the others. Some of these included metal axes, maces, war hammers and flails. Battle axes are like ordinary axes except the blade is shaped differently to inflict more damage. A mace is a weapon with a handle and a shaft. It has a spiked steel ball on the end to inflict damage. A war hammer was made of iron. It held the basic shape of a modern day hammer but had a spike on it. This weapon was very effective against full plate armour. The flail is a variation of a mace. There were different kinds of flails, but they generally had a handle and chain. On the end of the chain was a steel spiked ball, like on the mace. Flail Mace War Hammer Battle Axe

11 Becoming a Knight Early Days Because of the feudal system, a boy as young as eight could become a knight only if his father was one or if the boy was a member of the aristocracy (highest social class). The boy was sent to the nearest castle owned by the lord or a relative who had the necessary equipment and skills to train boys to become a knight. Life of a Knight-in-Training Knights-in-training practiced various skills that would help them in their knighthood. Some these skills involved activities that would increase their strength. They also practiced wrestling and learnt how to ride horses. Knights- in-training also practiced their skills with weapons. They often used swords and spears and practiced with a wooden dummy or a heavy sack. This dummy was known as a quintain. The knights in training also practised agility. When they speared the quintain, the structure on which it was supported would spin. The young man would try to escape without being hit. These young knights-in-training would also be taught academic subjects such as reading, writing, Latin and French. The lady of the castle taught them how to sing, dance and behave in the kings court.

12 Becoming a Knight Being a Squire At around the age of 16, a knight-in-training would be sent to be a squire for a knight. This was a great experience for young man to see what a knight was like. A squire had many duties. Some of these included dressing the knight, preparing his meals, tending to the knights horse and keeping the knights armour and weapons in order. Squires also went to tournaments and assisted the knight on the battlefield. Squires also trained to be knights by wearing full armour while handling swords, lances and riding horses. Becoming a Knight When a squire at the age of had complete all of the required training, he was allowed to become knight. He was a knighted in a ceremony known as the dubbing ceremony. In the hours preceding the ceremony, the squire had to become pure by praying all night and confessing his sins to the priest. He also had dress in his best clothes for the ceremony which was taken outdoors in front of family and friends. The knighting ceremony is very much like the ones today. The lord or another respected person tapped the young mans shoulders lightly with a sword. That was the moment that he was officially a knight.

13 The Chivalry Code When most people think of knights, they think of a knight that abides the Chivalry Code. The Chivalry Code was a code that knights were supposed to follow. This is a list of some of the laws knights had to follow Defend the weak and defenceless Be loyal to your king Always serve God Be humble before others, especially superiors Do not boast Be courteous to women Never attempt to escape when captured Spare the lives of captured enemies The Truth Knights were expected to follow the code but not all did. Some slaughtered, looted and destroyed captured cities and towns. They also killed captured enemies that were not knights and nobles. Some knights were cruel and unfair towards peasants and even raped peasant women.

14 Tournaments During times of peace, knights participated in tournaments to practice their skills for the next battle. Tournaments also offered a prize for the winner. Tournaments were a high participation event and were very enjoyable for both the competitors and spectators. There were many different kinds of tournaments in the middle ages. Jousting The jousting event was an individual elimination event that took several days to complete. This event was on a horse back and used lances and shields. The aim of the game was to gallop across the playing field and try to knock over the opponent. This event was best out of three. The person who lost was eliminated and the winner went through to the next round. This was continued until the grand final. The winner of this would receive the prize money. There was another jousting event where one knight would proclaim that he would take on all challengers on a set date. This event was known as the passage of arms or pas darmes. The proclaimed would have to defeat all the other challengers in order to claim the prize. Melee a Pied and Melee a Cheval These events are team events. Melee a Pied is an event were soldiers fight each other on foot with weapons. Melee a cheval is similar but is on horseback. The lance is not used in Melee a Cheval.

15 Tournaments Statue of Arms In the early tournaments, proper weapons were used with pointed ends and sharp edges. Alcohol was also available to the competitors. Because proper weapons were used, there were many deaths and injuries in these tournaments. Because alcohol was available, knights would become drunk and brawl among themselves. Some were even known to slaughter and rape the local villagers. This was a very serious problem. In 1292, the Statue of Arms for Tournaments was taken place. This requested that all weapons should be blunt and that new laws and regulations take place to stop the killing and rape of villagers. The Statue of Arms was a success. Location of Events As time went by, the tournaments became more organised. The tournaments began to be sponsored by rich nobles. These nobles also provided the location and prizes of these tournaments. The Tournaments were taken place near the nobles castle.

16 Tournaments Courtly Love Women were allowed to attend the tournaments. They watched the men participate in the events and then the women went to the feasts at night. During the day, if knights favoured a woman in the crowd, they could go up to her to show their admiration for her, even if she was married. Knights could beg for a token from her. If she agreed, she would give him a veil, ribbon or a sleeve. The knight would then wear the token on his arm and dedicate his performance to that lady.

17 bibliography Knights and Armor Web. 1 Jan. Middle Ages Web. 1 Jan. Finkelshteyn, Norman J. A brief history of armour Web. 1 Jan. Medieval Fiefdom. Think Quest, Web. 1 Jan. Medieval warhammer." Medieval ware. Web. 1 Jan. Medieval knights." Castles. Web. 1 Jan.


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