Illustration of the French soldier called Chevalier de Bayard, sitting on a horse in full armor and holding a polearm. His visor is raised. Also called "The Good Kight", his given name was Pierre Terrail and he was known for being happy and kind. He was the ideal knight. The illustration includes a tree (left), on which hangs Bayard's shield. There is also a road and small town in the background.

Chevalier de Bayard on Horseback, a French Knight Named Pierre Terrail

Illustration of the French soldier called Chevalier de Bayard, sitting on a horse in full armor and…

"The chivalry of the gothic nations began in the woods of Germany. No youth was then permitted to assume arms, at that time the geat privilege of the noble and the free, at his own pleasure. It was made a social rank, to which it was necessary that the aspiring candidates should be elected in the public councils of their rude commonwealth; and the emulated distinction was then solemnly conferred by the prince, or a kinsman, giving them a javelin and a shield. In these customs we see the origin of knighthood." — Goodrich, 1844

Chivalry and knight-errantry

"The chivalry of the gothic nations began in the woods of Germany. No youth was then permitted to assume…

A poster of facts and illustrations of the age of feudalism and chivalry.

Feudalism and Chivalry

A poster of facts and illustrations of the age of feudalism and chivalry.

Plate Gorget.

Gorget

Plate Gorget.

"A fief was conferred by a very solemn and peculiar ceremony called homage. The person about to become a vassal, kneeling with uncovered head, placed his hands in those of his future lord and solemnly vowed to be henceforth his man and to serve him faithfully even with his life. This part of the ceremony, sealed with a kiss, was what properly constituted the ceremony of homage."—Myers, 1905

The Ceremony of Homage

"A fief was conferred by a very solemn and peculiar ceremony called homage. The person about to become…

"At the age of twenty-one the squire became a knight, being then introduced to the order of knighthood by a peculiar and impressive service."—Myers, 1905

Arming a Knight

"At the age of twenty-one the squire became a knight, being then introduced to the order of knighthood…

A group of knights on a quest for King Arthur to find Mabon, the son of Modron, who was stolen from his mother when only three nights old.

Knights

A group of knights on a quest for King Arthur to find Mabon, the son of Modron, who was stolen from…

Two knights overlooking the Severn River with Gloucester Castle in the background.

Knights

Two knights overlooking the Severn River with Gloucester Castle in the background.

The collar of the Order of the Garter. "Order of the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in Great Britain, consisting of the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and twenty-four knights companions, and open, in addition, to such English princes and foreign sovereigns as may be chosen, and sometimes to extra companions chosen for special reasons, so that the whole order usually numbers about fifty." -Whitney, 1911

Order of the Garter Collar

The collar of the Order of the Garter. "Order of the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in Great…

The star of the Order of the Garter. "Order of the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in Great Britain, consisting of the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and twenty-four knights companions, and open, in addition, to such English princes and foreign sovereigns as may be chosen, and sometimes to extra companions chosen for special reasons, so that the whole order usually numbers about fifty." -Whitney, 1911

Order of the Garter Star

The star of the Order of the Garter. "Order of the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in Great…

"A tilting match between two knights." -Foster, 1921

Tilting Match

"A tilting match between two knights." -Foster, 1921

"A tournament. The most famous amusement of the chivalrous age was the tournament, which took place in an open space surrounded by a balustrade or a rope, called the lists. It was a mimic combat between knights, who each tried to unhorse the other with his lance. The successful knight was hailed with shouts of applause from the spectators and received a prize from his mistress or the queen."—Colby, 1899

Tournament

"A tournament. The most famous amusement of the chivalrous age was the tournament, which took place…