What was Chivalry during the Medieval Times?

During the Middle Ages, the concept of chivalry had a set of rules which included moral and religious codes of conduct which differed among classes but was expected everyone. Chivalry emphasised on protection of honour, having courage and service to the leaders. Chivalry, because of what it meant was expected of gentlemen, who were mainly knights, members of the army or members of the court.

What were the types of Chivalry?

There were three types of chivalry. They were:-

  1. Duties to countrymen
  2. Duties to God
  3. Duties to women

Duties to countrymen were often called ‘warrior chivalry’. The knight who fought for his country’s honour was perceived to be honourable, truthful, protective of his fellow countrymen and brave. They were selfless and were expected to look after their brother-in-arms’ back including their own. As part of their Duties to Countrymen, acts of chivalry also include knights serving their lords, helping anyone in need, complete any task and never backing down from a challenge, especially if it is for an equal.

When it comes to Duties to God, one is expected to be faithful to God, and the church.  He is expected to be good and not fall from the eyes of God by harming others, being dishonest. One is expected to put God before anyone else.

Duties to women mean, not dishonouring a woman with words or actions. A gentleman is expected to be gracious towards the woman. This form of chivalry was originated from the medieval worship of the Virgin Mary.

These forms of chivalry were different but overlapped a great deal. Irrespective of the gentleman’s social status, he was expected to follow these rules of conduct to be considered a chivalrous man. A knight was especially expected to adhere to these courtly roles of honour to be respected.