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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2015 2:53 pm    Post subject: Knighthood in Eastern Europe         Reply with quote

I was very interested when I read about several Serbian knights acting in the Battle of Kosovo, especially one who stuck a dagger in the Sultan Murad's chest. This brought me to the question: They were not only Catholics who could become knights or orthodox adopted this honor? When knights become common class on the battlefield in Serbia and Bulgaria? The Hussites employed knights too?



Last edited by Pedro Paulo Gaião on Thu 23 Apr, 2015 3:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Boris R.





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PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2015 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you are making a common mistake of over-generalisation. the interpretation we have today is nothing like what was used at the time

by the late 14. century each nobleman west of Byzantium had the horses, the armour and the right to be called 'Vitez' which translates, altough not really well into a - knight. it had nothing to do with the church. the vast majority of neighbouring feudal leaders from Bosna were neither orthodox nor Catholic but rather Cathars (Bogumili). And they had armoured knights too.

therefore a simple mercenary with enough gold, could buy a horse, and armour, and a keep. the title was by that time achieved by virtue of itself

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Mike Janis




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Apr, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I’m sorry Pedro, but you are trying to apply the Anglo-French concept of Knighthood to other cultures and that does not work. Even the Empire, next to France had different concepts.

A Ritter was a mounted warrior. He might be noble or peasant. If you saw someone if armor, on a horse, you might think Knight. But, you would probably be wrong.

The Empire also had the concept of Ministerialis. They took many forms but imagine: a warrior in a fine set of armor on a war steed, leading a group of Ritter’s, some of noble birth, out of his castle. You might call him a Knight. But, what if I told you he was not raised up in a religious ceremony? Or, if I said he was an unfree peasant bound to the land and his lord. By virtue of his power, and having his Lord’s ear and trust he was considered (but not legally) nobility. Ministerialis composed the bulk of the German “knights”.

MikeJ
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Apr, 2015 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Orthodoxy would probably be biggest censure here indeed.

While Poland, Czech, Hungary would have pretty much huge caste 'western' knights, with all the cultures, ceremony (tourneys, knighting with giving belt, touching arm with sword etc.), lands further East wouldn't be like that anymore. Save occasional, perhaps even numerous Rus warriors knighted in Western manner as courtesy here and there.

On the other hand, even without exactly same name and culture, the practice was still rather similar.

Russian boyars would still indeed be owners of larger amounts of land, with peasants and other people working on them, who would serve their Lord in battle, mounted.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Apr, 2015 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Serbia in 14th century, although orthodox, was europeanized in military culture. "Vitezovi" (knights) functioned pretty much the same and were called the same as "vitezovi" in Croatia where there was a complete catholic religious ritual connected with "vitezovi" like in the more western european countries. Serbia wasn't really fond of Byzantium in middle ages so it tried to get as close culturally to western europe as possible. Except religiously, of course, they were always proudly orthodox, but orthodoxy was never really as centralized like catholicism, so it is not weird for eastern european country to be orthodox, but liking western neighbors more than Byzantium... So, although not the same, and not with the same rituals as in the west, it is not really a mistake to think of Bosnian cathar or Serbian orthodox noble armoured warriors as knights.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know exactly how it worked in the Greek / Russian Orthodox zone but in the Latin / Catholic zones of Central and Eastern Europe knights were at least as ubiquitous as in France.

In addition to what has been mentioned already, you also have the Teutonic Knights, the Livonian Knights, knightly groups in Prussia such as the Lizard Union and the Knights of Dobrzyn, merchant-knight organizations like the Brotherhood of the Blackheads and elite knightly themed guild halls such as the King Arthurs Courts in several Baltic-Hanseatic Towns, and knightly leagues throughout Bohemia, upper and lower Lusatia, Slovakia (formerly northern Hungary), Silesia and of course, Hungary and Austria.

One of thing's that struck me when I first traveled to the Czech Republic was the ubiquity of medieval era paintings, reliefs, and statues of St. George and the dragon. They seem to be everywhere. l had used to think of St. George as kind of an English symbol of chivalry, but he is huge in Poland and Czech.



In Poland and to some extent in Lithuania, the aristocracy was much broader than it was in France, (as much as 20% of the population in some areas compared to closer to 1% in France) so you had far more people with the status of knighthood. (not every noble was a knight of course nor every knight a noble)

When you look at portrayals of battles up to around the mid 15th Century Polish knights look a lot like French or German knights on the battlefield. They started reorganizing their cavalry around the famous 'winged hussars' a bit later in the 16th IIRC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Orsha#...sha_01.jpg

For example, look at this famous painting of the battle of Orsha (1514) between the Poles (with some Czech and Hungarian mercenaries) vs. the Muscovites (Russians). The Poles are pretty easy to identify (in the center-right) as the guys in Milanese harness on the armored horses. The Hungarian light-hussars are mostly toward the bottom right with their tophats, the Czechs are up in the upper-right corner behind one of their characteristic gun-wagons (which were apparently instrumental in the victory)

There were also many knights in Scandinavia of course.

Jean

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found a nice wiki on medieval Poland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warfare_in_Medieval_Poland

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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris R. wrote:
you are making a common mistake of over-generalisation. the interpretation we have today is nothing like what was used at the time

by the late 14. century each nobleman west of Byzantium had the horses, the armour and the right to be called 'Vitez' which translates, altough not really well into a - knight. it had nothing to do with the church. the vast majority of neighbouring feudal leaders from Bosna were neither orthodox nor Catholic but rather Cathars (Bogumili). And they had armoured knights too.

therefore a simple mercenary with enough gold, could buy a horse, and armour, and a keep. the title was by that time achieved by virtue of itself


Actually, I not talking about any heavy armoured horseman with sword, lance and so. I'm talking about a class (I think all knights, even without lands, were noblemen) that was knighted in some time of his life. He would be an vassal of an Lord or perhaps even an "Hedge knight" (I don't know how do you rank an knight doesn't have any Lord, usually acting as mercenaries who people usually don't trust).

As far as I know, Vitez is pretty much the same as an Knight, even with he doesn't have any commitment to the church, but with his lord. My interest came of it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo%C5%A1_Obili%C4%87

And this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palman

And mainly for this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Serbian_knights




Mike Janis wrote:
A Ritter was a mounted warrior. He might be noble or peasant. If you saw someone if armor, on a horse, you might think Knight. But, you would probably be wrong.

The Empire also had the concept of Ministerialis. They took many forms but imagine: a warrior in a fine set of armor on a war steed, leading a group of Ritter’s, some of noble birth, out of his castle. You might call him a Knight. But, what if I told you he was not raised up in a religious ceremony? Or, if I said he was an unfree peasant bound to the land and his lord. By virtue of his power, and having his Lord’s ear and trust he was considered (but not legally) nobility. Ministerialis composed the bulk of the German “knights”.



I thought Ritters were some sort of "Hereditary Knights". I'm reading about Ministerialis, it looks amazing! But, even so, in the German Crusade of 1197, the emperor Henry VI brought 60,000 men to Acre, about 7.000 of these were knights (at least by what it says on the Wikipedia article). I think in Germany had both knights, as Ritters and Ministerialis, or I'm wrong?
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Boris R.





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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:


Actually, I not talking about any heavy armoured horseman with sword, lance and so. I'm talking about a class (I think all knights, even without lands, were noblemen) that was knighted in some time of his life.
.....
As far as I know, Vitez is pretty much the same as an Knight, even with he doesn't have any commitment to the church, but with his lord


Not true. and this is where the Vitez differs from the western term Knight. If you look closely at the word, in Czech (another old Slavic language) it means champion or a winner, and even older word used to stand in its stead, sometimes used interchangeably with Vitez. That word is: Junak, which again translates into a hero or a champion. Every man that took up arms in defence of his home could be called Junak. I guess that Vitez could be more rigthfully translated as: knight - errant.
(Even in WWII the partisans that stood up against fascism were called like this by the common folk.)
Three bogatyrs from russian bylinas were also Vitezi, altough not of noble birth but rather from common stock.



PS to touch on the subject of Battle of Kosovo or even the certified existance of any of its protagonists from today's perspective is something rather nightmarish from a pure historical viewpoint, because this single battle has been ingrained in the very essence of the serbian nationalism today and has been so much shrouded in legend and myth that it is impossible to diffuse real historical details from folklore and mythology. you have touched on a subject so bizarre and unique that every medievalist today tend to avoid from miles away. good luck!

"The Kosovo Myth or Kosovo Testament is a traditional belief of the Serbian people asserting that the Battle of Kosovo symbolizes a martyrdom of the Serbian nation in defense of their honor and Christendom against Turks (non-believers). The legend evolved slowly through chronicles and particularly the oral tradition of Serbs. Since the 19th century period of national revivals in Europe, the Kosovo Myth became an important constitutive element of ethnic identity, as well as cultural and political homogenization of Serbs, and later of members of other South Slavic nations (Yugoslavs). The basic elements of the Kosovo Myth are vengeance, martyrdom, betrayal and glory. This myth dominated political discourse in Serbia until the end of the 20th century. The Kosovo myth is incorporated into the Serb national identity's multifaceted mythomoteur."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_Myth

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.


Last edited by Boris R. on Sat 18 Apr, 2015 3:22 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Serbia in 14th century, although orthodox, was europeanized in military culture. "Vitezovi" (knights) functioned pretty much the same and were called the same as "vitezovi" in Croatia where there was a complete catholic religious ritual connected with "vitezovi" like in the more western european countries. Serbia wasn't really fond of Byzantium in middle ages so it tried to get as close culturally to western europe as possible. Except religiously, of course, they were always proudly orthodox, but orthodoxy was never really as centralized like catholicism, so it is not weird for eastern european country to be orthodox, but liking western neighbors more than Byzantium... So, although not the same, and not with the same rituals as in the west, it is not really a mistake to think of Bosnian cathar or Serbian orthodox noble armoured warriors as knights.


Very impressive Luka, but I don't usually think armoured noblemen as knights (like de Gendarmes, who were highborn who fight as heavy cavalrymen). Do you have any name of famous knights in Crotia, Serbian and other slavic kingdoms? I also would like to show that:



Quote:
3: Serbian knight, 15th century
Under constant pressure from the Ottomans throughout the second half of the 14th century, Serbia began to import a growing volume of its arms from the West, in particular from Venice and Lombardy. By the 15th century better-equipped Serbs had become indistinguishable from their Italian counterparts, except in retaining a shield (probably in response to the Ottomans' dependence on archery). Ironically contingents of Serbian heavy cavalry consequently appeared in most Ottoman field armies during the first half of the 15th century, becoming famous for the effectiveness of their close-order charge . A 1,500-strong Serbian contingent even attended the siege of Constantinople in 1453.



As mentioned, Serbia and the Western Slavs imported much of Italy and the rest of the West. I've even had read about serbian knights acting in vassal obligation under Ottoman army. So I think the slavs came to adopt this "rite" of knighting armored warriors, whatever the investiture ceremony and vows consist of



Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
One of thing's that struck me when I first traveled to the Czech Republic was the ubiquity of medieval era paintings, reliefs, and statues of St. George and the dragon. They seem to be everywhere. l had used to think of St. George as kind of an English symbol of chivalry, but he is huge in Poland and Czech.



In Poland and to some extent in Lithuania, the aristocracy was much broader than it was in France, (as much as 20% of the population in some areas compared to closer to 1% in France) so you had far more people with the status of knighthood. (not every noble was a knight of course nor every knight a noble)

When you look at portrayals of battles up to around the mid 15th Century Polish knights look a lot like French or German knights on the battlefield. They started reorganizing their cavalry around the famous 'winged hussars' a bit later in the 16th IIRC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Orsha#...sha_01.jpg

For example, look at this famous painting of the battle of Orsha (1514) between the Poles (with some Czech and Hungarian mercenaries) vs. the Muscovites (Russians). The Poles are pretty easy to identify (in the center-right) as the guys in Milanese harness on the armored horses. The Hungarian light-hussars are mostly toward the bottom right with their tophats, the Czechs are up in the upper-right corner behind one of their characteristic gun-wagons (which were apparently instrumental in the victory)

There were also many knights in Scandinavia of course.

Jean


I didn't now that knights were so "popular" with Poles. Yeah, I saw a lot of pictures of them but, it's still impressive. Also, "many scandinavian knights"? That's new, I do not know much about Scandinavian militarism at least until the end of the Viking Age, but did not know that knights were frequent figures
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I think in Germany had both knights, as Ritters and Ministerialis, or I'm wrong?


In Germany (which was a loose concept in the medieval period, since there was no country called Germany, plus a lot of towns in the Slavic, Baltic and Scandinavian regions had German speaking populations and German legal charters) there were several different types of knights.

Ritter just meant knight or man at arms, literally 'rider'. Later in the 17th Century the term (or a variant) was used more specifically to refer to armored cavalry armed with pistols.

Knights and membership in the nobility are two different things. Knight was a legal and social status, loosely connected to martial abilities but in practice, not necessarily linked at all. Knights who actually fought as heavy cavalry on the battlefield were a subset of people with the legal title of a knight (and allowed to wear the belt and spurs of a knight, among other things).

In the German speaking areas, in addition to ministerials, (serf knights), you also had free imperial knights (Reichsritter), who were independent minor nobility, you had constafler who were urban merchant-knights, your had ritterbruden, monk-knights (many of whom were also ministerials), you had edelfrei, another type of minor noble (higher ranked than the free imperial knights but usually dependent as a vassal on a prince, or some other feudal entity), you had middle to higher nobility, and you had princes (furst), both of whom were almost always knights in terms of legal status, though they didn't always fight.

Many of the actual military captains (including some who went on to become Kings) seem to have been from the lower ranks of the nobility or one of the other non-noble estates.

I suspect it was basically the same in most of the rest of Europe, with regional variations.

Chivalry is complicated aint it?

Jean

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Henrik Zoltan Toth




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2015 12:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Generally in the era of Emperor Sigismund, when a South-European state became an allie of Hungary, it's ruler (the voivod or the despot) got a place in the order of the Dragon, so he surely became a knight and probably the right to raise his men to knights.

In Hungary every county and town had to send soldiers into the army. Sometimes just transporters, infantry lancers or mounted archers, but generally a number of "lances" :a heavy rider (not necceseraly a knight) and two light riders.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2015 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro, I'm slightly confused, you say you don't imagine armoured noblemen as knights, can you explain that? If you are interested in knightly families of Croatia, start with these. Šubići are old noble family and some of them held some big titles, but they were a big and powerful family and not all got to high titles. They had plenty of land in their most powerful period and they had their own vassal knights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0ubi%C4%87_noble_family

Here are some more noble families whose members would in medieval times fought as knights and even later, in 16th or 17th centuries they still mostly fought as armoured cavalrymen, commanders of cavalry troops such as hussars or cuirassiers...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Frankopan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Ilok

Here are some famous knights:
John (Ivan) Paližna, prior of Knights of St.John: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Palisna
Jernej Kneginečki, župan of Varaždin, he distinguished himself in fights against Mongols in 1241/1242 and later against Austrians.
Đuro (George) Paližna, also prior of Hospitaller Knights, fought and died leading Knights of St.John at Mohacs against the Turks.
Krsto Frankopan, fought against Venice and the Turks, died in battle against Ferdinand of Habsburg: http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krsto_I._Frankapan_Brinjski
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2015 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Ritter just meant knight or man at arms, literally 'rider'. Later in the 17th Century the term (or a variant) was used more specifically to refer to armored cavalry armed with pistols.


Interesting, I swore it was a hereditary knight, after all is any man riding a horse, but I think the Black Ritters were from late 16th


Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Knights and membership in the nobility are two different things. Knight was a legal and social status, loosely connected to martial abilities but in practice, not necessarily linked at all. Knights who actually fought as heavy cavalry on the battlefield were a subset of people with the legal title of a knight (and allowed to wear the belt and spurs of a knight, among other things).


So, you mean that the title of a knight is not necessarily related to the martial "chivalric" service? Like as a public official or administrator who won the title for a given service?

Also, can you explain me who were allowed to wear belts and spurs? I'm not familiar with these details and didn't know that knights wore different equipment than other men-at-arms of humble origin


Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
In the German speaking areas, in addition to ministerials, (serf knights), you also had free imperial knights (Reichsritter), who were independent minor nobility, you had constafler who were urban merchant-knights, your had ritterbruden, monk-knights (many of whom were also ministerials), you had edelfrei, another type of minor noble (higher ranked than the free imperial knights but usually dependent as a vassal on a prince, or some other feudal entity), you had middle to higher nobility, and you had princes (furst), both of whom were almost always knights in terms of legal status, though they didn't always fight.

Many of the actual military captains (including some who went on to become Kings) seem to have been from the lower ranks of the nobility or one of the other non-noble estates.

I suspect it was basically the same in most of the rest of Europe, with regional variations.

Chivalry is complicated aint it?

Jean


Yeah, but some things caught my attention. Really existed titles of knighthood which were hereditary? I'm very confusing when someone say "Prince", cause I would think in a "sub-monarch", like the Principality of Wales and so ...

In Kingdom of Portugal (the "feudal" state in which I am most familiar with) they had Villeins, Merchants and other who fought as knights but they didn't have the status of knighthood. But in Portuguese we don't have any word which could differentiate horsemen of knights (it's just "Cavaleiro"), so they were stylized as "Cavaleiros-Vilãos".
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2015 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Zoltan Toth wrote:
Generally in the era of Emperor Sigismund, when a South-European state became an allie of Hungary, it's ruler (the voivod or the despot) got a place in the order of the Dragon, so he surely became a knight and probably the right to raise his men to knights.

In Hungary every county and town had to send soldiers into the army. Sometimes just transporters, infantry lancers or mounted archers, but generally a number of "lances" :a heavy rider (not necceseraly a knight) and two light riders.


So, knighthood didn't exist in Medieval Hungary or just it was just "not fashionable" as it would be in other countries? They fought as knights, wear "knightly" arms and warfare but were just nobles and rich commoners who just fought the way they see it would fit themselves?



Luka Borscak wrote:
Pedro, I'm slightly confused, you say you don't imagine armoured noblemen as knights, can you explain that?


Well, many nobles would eventually fight with armour, warhorse and so. But they were just vassals doing what there were expected to do. Like the Gendarmes, who were very heavy horsemen raised from nobility to fight as standing soldiers for the King of France. Even if they fought like knights, they were not knights, actually, any noblemen would fight as knights, but they were not knighted or anything like that, like an baron or other noble fighting in battlefield.


Luka Borscak wrote:
If you are interested in knightly families of Croatia, start with these. Šubići are old noble family and some of them held some big titles, but they were a big and powerful family and not all got to high titles. They had plenty of land in their most powerful period and they had their own vassal knights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0ubi%C4%87_noble_family

Here are some more noble families whose members would in medieval times fought as knights and even later, in 16th or 17th centuries they still mostly fought as armoured cavalrymen, commanders of cavalry troops such as hussars or cuirassiers...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Frankopan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Ilok

Here are some famous knights:
John (Ivan) Paližna, prior of Knights of St.John: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Palisna
Jernej Kneginečki, župan of Varaždin, he distinguished himself in fights against Mongols in 1241/1242 and later against Austrians.
Đuro (George) Paližna, also prior of Hospitaller Knights, fought and died leading Knights of St.John at Mohacs against the Turks.
Krsto Frankopan, fought against Venice and the Turks, died in battle against Ferdinand of Habsburg: http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krsto_I._Frankapan_Brinjski



Thanks for the information.
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Henrik Zoltan Toth




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2015 2:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ment if a town armoured a citizen to ride into the war, then he became a part of the country's heavy cavalry units, but he was not a knight. I thinkin the Balkan there was something similar. There were noble families, probably with possessions in other states (where the became a knight). There is no general answer for your question.

Most of the middle and law nobles in Hungary could not effort a heavy armour, but they could had get it from the royal armoury or from a baron/high curch man. And if somebody was particularly succesful on the battlefield, he could had get a coat of arms (like the one from 1504 of the Máriássi family in your first post) and became a knight.

(and except of the flagkeepers everyone was allowed to wear spurs, but I know what you mean Happy )
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2015 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

Interesting, I swore it was a hereditary knight, after all is any man riding a horse, but I think the Black Ritters were from late 16th


The term 'black rider' was used back into the 15th Century sometimes to refer to cavalry of the famous Hungarian Black Army (Fekete Sereg) simply because so many of the soldiers (both cavalry and infantry) wore blackened armor. I think the image from your OP is of a knight in the Black Army.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Army_of_Hungary

But it was also a general euphemism for mercenaries, who seemed to wear blackened armor a lot. There were some mercenary companies in northern Europe called the "black band" and so on.

Quote:

So, you mean that the title of a knight is not necessarily related to the martial "chivalric" service? Like as a public official or administrator who won the title for a given service?


Yes, there are three things which get associated with knights. Knight as a legal status, somewhat similar to Roman equites, though not identical. This gives you many specific rights like your word being admissible as evidence in some courts, for example, and courtesies related to honor, but it doesn't mean you are a noble or even free. It was often given to certain courtiers and diplomats so as to make their jobs easier, and also many nobles got the status one way or another for similar reasons.

Then there is 'knight' as in the leader of a 'lance'. This guy may or may not be a knight and may or may not be a noble, but he leads a group of cavalry and fights armored and (usually) on an armored horse.

Then there is 'knight' as a euphemism for the lower nobility. Again, these people may not be knights and in many cases are not. Many times in the European Diets the estates of the 'knights' (gentry, lower nobles, rich peasants etc.) are seperate and sometimes in opposition to the princes.

Knight was a legal status that you were usually given by another knight, and could gain based on battlefield prowess, skill in a tournament, by joining a knightly order, or by being given the status by a prince or a prelate (Church prince) or by a town.

Quote:

Also, can you explain me who were allowed to wear belts and spurs? I'm not familiar with these details and didn't know that knights wore different equipment than other men-at-arms of humble origin


There was a specific type of belt which you were not supposed to wear if you were not a knight. Like batmans belt which I think is made in imitation of a knights belt. Like this:

http://armstreet.com/catalogue/full/medieval-...uard-3.jpg

http://www.greydragon.org/trips/Wales2005/Wales-2/stdavids078.jpg

Something similar with the spurs too apparently (maybe gilded or silvered spurs) but I don't know the details.

Quote:

Yeah, but some things caught my attention. Really existed titles of knighthood which were hereditary? I'm very confusing when someone say "Prince", cause I would think in a "sub-monarch", like the Principality of Wales and so ...


That is a common misconception these days, due to the influence of English monarchy and Walt Disney. In the medieval and Early Modern period a 'prince' meant a territorial ruler from the upper nobility with a substantial amount of land and military power. If you follow the link this article explains the concept pretty well for Germany, where (as usual) it's a bit better defined.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BCrst

If you read Machiavelli 'Il Principe' it's about the concept of the Prince in that era.

A prince could be a baron, a duke, an archbishop (prince-prelate) or some other noble rank by title, but what made him a prince was his level of power. To further confuse the issue not only did many prelates (bishops, abbots, archbishops and cardinals) have the status of prince, so to did many towns and urban republics.


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In Kingdom of Portugal (the "feudal" state in which I am most familiar with) they had Villeins, Merchants and other who fought as knights but they didn't have the status of knighthood. But in Portuguese we don't have any word which could differentiate horsemen of knights (it's just "Cavaleiro"), so they were stylized as "Cavaleiros-Vilãos".


This was common throughout Europe, which is one of the things that makes it difficult to figure all this out.

Jean

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2015 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The battle of Coutrai 1304 is commonly called the Guldensporenslag (Gilded spurs battle) but this name only came about halfway the 17th century so whether or not the Knights present wore golden spurs is not certain. Gilded spurs probably existed though.

As for Princes; I believe they had two or three kinds:


The heir apparent is usually called the (crown) Prince as in Disney movies. The position usually had a piece of land or title attached to it. So the British heir apparent is called the Prince of Wales, the French is called the Dauphin (of France), the Spanish had the Prince of Asturias. While not strictly medieval the Dutch heir apparent is called the Prince(s) of Orange.

In Valois France you had what was called a Prince du sang or prince of the blood. It was a person related to the king through the male line. The paternal cousin of the current king could be called a prince of the blood and was eligible for succession should the primary line fail. This is what set off the 100 years war because a dispute arose over this inheritance rule, or more accurate it formed a legal opportunity for the England king to press his claim to the French Throne.

A third type of Prince would be the rulers of Principalities. Within the HRE the emperor could raise a county or duchy into a sovereign (Reichsfreiheit/Imperial immediacy) principality as he did with the Principality of Orange. These principalities stood directly under the authority of the Emperor and not some other local lord.


Jean also listed a fourth type of Prince, the word was essentially used as a generic term for Ruler.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

when you are reading medieval documents they almost always refer to the 3rd or 4th definition of prince per above. Most countries in Europe didn't even have stable dynastic monarchies in the medieval period, and even England and France barely qualified since dynasties were so often overthrown or contested by other families (War of the Roses for example).

The King of France himself was considered a prince, as was the Pope and the HRE.

The Holy Roman Emperor was of course elected by the so-called prince-electors:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince-elector

though that didn't actually mean he was necessarily any more powerful than the others who elected him. Frederick III for example who was HRE for most of the 15th Century was a fairly minor prince and rarely even left his local fief in Austria.

I believe the Prince of Wales was actually a euphemism based on the original (native Welsh) prince of wales who was the local ruler of that district, until the Enlgish took the place over. Then it became traditional for the heir apparent of the current dynasty to be given that particular fief. It was normal for a prince to grant wealthy fiefs to favored family members so that they would have income and status.

I think Dauphin also has a more specific meaning than 'prince' though I'm not very familiar with the Dutch or Spanish equivalents you mentioned (I always thought the "Prince of Orange' was the Dutch king once the monarchy was established, but that was 18th Century right?). The term a 'prince of the blood' to me specifies that the prince in question has this inheritance status (in the second part of the phrase). I.e. there is a prince, and then there is a 'prince of the blood', two distinct things, or one is an elite subset of the other..

But in the medieval period, this term 'prince' was widely used in European discourse, laws, treaties etc. in the sense of a territorial ruler of some minimal level of secular power. Not just in the Holy Roman Empire but also in Italy, in Burgundy and Flanders (the Duke of Burgundy was referred to and referred to himself as a 'prince'), in Scandinavia, in Poland and Bohemia and Hungary, Russia and so on. I think in Spain too at least to some extent, as I have read translations of some Catalan documents from the Kingdom of Aragon which refer to 'princes'. If you are reading primary-source documents from the medieval world, when they say 'prince' they mean the same as the Latin princeps (or Machiavelli's definition) 99% of the time to my experience.

The Disney style prince-charming as in the heir apparent being groomed for the throne, is mainly a post-medieval phenomenon in my opinion.

Jean

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
I believe the Prince of Wales was actually a euphemism based on the original (native Welsh) prince of wales who was the local ruler of that district, until the Enlgish took the place over. Then it became traditional for the heir apparent of the current dynasty to be given that particular fief. It was normal for a prince to grant wealthy fiefs to favored family members so that they would have income and status.

I think Dauphin also has a more specific meaning than 'prince' though I'm not very familiar with the Dutch or Spanish equivalents you mentioned (I always thought the "Prince of Orange' was the Dutch king once the monarchy was established, but that was 18th Century right?). The term a 'prince of the blood' to me specifies that the prince in question has this inheritance status (in the second part of the phrase). I.e. there is a prince, and then there is a 'prince of the blood', two distinct things, or one is an elite subset of the other..

But in the medieval period, this term 'prince' was widely used in European discourse, laws, treaties etc. in the sense of a territorial ruler of some minimal level of secular power. Not just in the Holy Roman Empire but also in Italy, in Burgundy and Flanders (the Duke of Burgundy was referred to and referred to himself as a 'prince'), in Scandinavia, in Poland and Bohemia and Hungary, Russia and so on. I think in Spain too at least to some extent, as I have read translations of some Catalan documents from the Kingdom of Aragon which refer to 'princes'. If you are reading primary-source documents from the medieval world, when they say 'prince' they mean the same as the Latin princeps (or Machiavelli's definition) 99% of the time to my experience.



Jean


The Dauphin was initially ruler of the fief Dauphiné, but to what extent he actually managed that I do not know. Wikipedia has a tiny bit of info on it but no sources listed.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...477-fr.svg

As for the whole Prince of orange thing, it's complicated. The house of Nassau got the Principality of Orange somewhere in the 16th century and then became Stadtholders of the Dutch republic. They lost the Principality but continued using the title. Something the French didn't like so the official writing is prince of oranje instead of orange, they call themselves princes of a principality that doesn't exist and that they didn't own when it was still around.

If your ancestors had called themselves lords of New Orleans you might have been one now Wink

Regarding the Prince of the blood: I do not know what you mean really. Prince of the blood was a title claimed by every male relative to the king (to a certain degree) it had nothing to do with having a principality. All "agnatic descendants of Saint Louis IX" were recognized as such.
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