Om Medieval Chivalry
Emerging in the medieval period, chivalry embodied ideals that elite warriors cherished and practices that formed their profession. In this major new overview, Richard Kaeuper examines how chivalry made sense of violence and war, making it tolerable for elite fighters rather than non-knightly or sub-knightly populations. He discusses how chivalry buttressed status and profession, shaped active piety, and fostered intense warrior attachments and heterosexual relationships. Though showing regional and chronological variations, chivalry at its core enshrined the practice of prowess in securing honor, with this process significantly blessed by religion. Both kingship and church authority sought to direct the great force of chivalry and, despite tensions, finally came to terms with rising knightly status and a burgeoning military role. Kaeuper engages with a wide range of evidence in his analysis, drawing on the chivalric literature, manuscript illumination, and sermon exempla and moral tales.