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Justin Pasternak




Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Medieval Knight College Project         Reply with quote

I'm making an interactive flash project on why I like Medieval Knights. I'm having a bit of trouble trying to explain why "I like Medieval Knights" and what they mean to me?

So, what I'm asking is what exactly do you all like about knights?

1. What do you like about their armor?

2. What do you like about their weaponry?

3. What do you like about their battle tactics/fighting skills?

4. What aspects of the Medieval Knight (the man-at-arms - the knight's military role and/or the gentry - the knightly social class) intrigues you the most?


Last edited by Justin Pasternak on Fri 27 Apr, 2007 11:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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Felix Wang




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In addition to numbers 1,2, and 3, the answers to #4 are extremely important. I suspect that it is difficult to separate the social/literary values from the physical gear of the knight. Chivalry, in all its aspects, is hugely important in defining some people's interest in knights.
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B. Stark
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Location: ORYGUN
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Romanticism aside, armor, from all it's forms during the "Middle Ages", impresses me by the skill and diligent handwork it would take to make a full suit of mail. 100,000 links +/- is truly amazing. Let alone the resiliency of mail and the length of it's use. Plate armor as well is fascinating in the skill and creative imagination employed to make it. Up to the masterpieces of the High Gothic style armors of the late 15th century. amazing metal work that we just really can't duplicate, though some come close.

Weaponry as well, though the sword is the most identifiable weapon of the knight, were amazing medieval engineering technology. Rife with symbology as well and tied directly to a knight's faith, if only metaphorically, and this feature became less common as the years wore on. Not to mention the variety of swords, and the versatilty of the weapon itself. For close hand to hand combat a sword is very hard to beat, especially when lightly armored or without armor. Of course the gun wrote the epitaph for swords as the "king of weapons". Other weapons such as maces, axes and the like have their own appeal. All of them from the simple to the more complex are awe inspiring for their proportions, volumes and overall aesthetics.


For me the level of dedication to hand weapon skills(which was an absolute necessity) is overall impressive. though esoteric in a sense in this modern age, it just has that draw of the ability to stand toe to toe against someone who intends you harm with sharp steel. A very intangible and hard to desribe notion. For me least ways.

All of Medieval Society intrigues me! The nobility, the clergy, and in many ways mores so the peasant and non-noble middle or land owning classes. They did not think like you and I. Their appreciations were in amny ways removed from our daily concerns of the modern age. For the knightly class, their suppossed smug and disregarding attitude about facing death in battle...all in a nutshell.

"Wyrd bi∂ ful aręd"

Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?

Patrick Henry
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Apr, 2007 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

#3: I'm mostly fascinated by the way they preserved Roman concepts and institutions and modified them to fit the changing conditions of warfare. Their method of warfare was no less sophisticated than most other eras in European history, and the image of them as tactically unimaginative brutes is just a biased picture painted by Renaissance and Victorian authors. Some of them did lack tactical sense but other historical periods (and regions) also had their equivalent share of inept tacticians.

#4: Well...the way they relate to the social and military landscape of medieval Europe at large. I'm afraid this subject is so broad that there's no way for me to expound on it adequately here.

BTW, you have to be clear about what you mean by "knight." Is it the gentry--that is, the knightly social class in general? Is it the man-at-arms--the knight's military role? Or is it the strict institutional definition of "knight?"
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Apr, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Medieval Knight College Project         Reply with quote

Justin Pasternak wrote:
I'm making an interactive flash project on why I like Medieval Knights. I'm having a bit of trouble trying to explain why "I like Medieval Knights" and what they mean to me?

So, what I'm asking is what exactly do you all like about knights?

1. What do you like about their armor?

2. What do you like about their weaponry?

3. What do you like about their battle tactics/fighting skills?

4. What aspects of the Medieval Knight (the man-at-arms - the knight's military role and/or the gentry - the knightly social class) intrigues you the most?


For "Knighthood" as a whole I like the period of 1050 through 1300, and have not researched later eras enough to comment on. So all of these are biased towards what recognized publishing authorities on the subject emphasize about mid 10th through 13th century....

1) I like the mail, and harness that was not overly complicated. I appreciate that combat was brutal (these were not armored tanks riding with immunity through adversaries) in the early era when knighthood was becoming a recognized institution.
2) Even if fairly simple, the swords and lances of the "high medieval" era were very functional. I appreciate design which emphasizes form through function. The later stuff is better eye candy though...... I have to confess that I have purchased more collection material that is 14th to 15th century period because the looks are so addictive.
3) This will probably be argued as an erroneous assessment, but I consider the mounted knight to have been a primary force and tactically preferred unit in the era I have referred to. They usually sacrificed as dearly as any other form of soldier in various theaters and seem to be characterized as earning their status in Crusade and battles within Europe.
4) From the 10th through the mid 13th century there seems to have been an "ideal" of knighthood that was evolving towards expecting a perfect man (charismatic leader, courtly statesman, artistic entertainer, defender of religious faith, athlete..all rolled into one). This was of course an ideal. there were plenty of brutal robber knights. At the same time, there were knights who sought to fulfill all aspects of "the ideals of chivalry."

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 12:52 am    Post subject: Re: Medieval Knight College Project         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
3) This will probably be argued as an erroneous assessment, but I consider the mounted knight to have been a primary force and tactically preferred unit in the era I have referred to. They usually sacrificed as dearly as any other form of soldier in various theaters and seem to be characterized as earning their status in Crusade and battles within Europe.


No, it's not an erroneous assessment at all. They were the tactically most significant troops in Europe during that time period, although this was not solely because of their mounted shock power. In fact, it's because of their tactical flexibility--they could operate as heavy cavalry, dismount to be heavy infantry, or leave some of their armor behind and ride as light cavalry. The Battle of Dorylaeum (during the First Crusade) and the 12th-century Battle of Bremule were examples of the heavy infantry role, while the practice of riding out as light horsemen is most clearly exemplified by William the Conqueror's scouting expeditions, though at his time the armor seem to have been light enough that most men-at-arms who went out scouting didn't bother to remove them first. The Bayeux Tapestry clearly depicted most of the scouts in full hauberk, helmet, and kite shield. Another good example would be the frequent small-scale raids by the Teutonic knights against their Bailtic opponents.
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