Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Welcome! ^^

Hello, this is the Integrated Studies topic of 'Middle Ages' for 2009. This webpage will cover the two questions chosen by the teacher and the two questions chosen by me.

- What steps does a boy follow to become a knight?

- What equipment is needed to become a knight?

- What horses were used by the knights?

- Why did fathers want thier sons to become knights?

By Maggie

What steps does a boy follow to become a knight?

In the Medieval Times, there was a type of fighting men, knights. They had strong armour, and had to be able to fight and protect others. Knights were usually sons of nobleman, as the equipment and horse were expensive. They had to serve under the king, in return for land.

To start as a knight, sons of nobleman became pages between the ages of six to eight. The fathers send their sons to a neighbouring castle to be trained by another lord. That lord then teaches the boy how to ride a horse, hunt, hawk, and to be quick, graceful and flexible. The page would also have sword practice, lance practice, and wrestling to strengthen their body. The lady of the castle would teach the page manners, how o behave in the kings court, to sing and to dance. Though it is not common, some pages learnt to read, to write, Latin, French and many civilised topics. Pages would also receive religious training from the chaplain. The lord would teach the page how to look after equipment, such as rolling armour in sand to get rid of the rust. Sometimes they would also receive training-in-arms from squires.

Between the ages of 14 to 16, pages become squires. They have many more duties. Some include dressing the knight, serving the knights meals, caring for the knights’ horse and cleaning their weapons and armour. Squires also have to bring replacement weapons for the knight in battle. They also get to train with real weapons against real knights. They are also taught not to kill knights, but to ransom them. Squires are allowed to carry a sword and shield. At the age of 20, it was possible for squires to become knights. But they had to learn how to handle a sword and lance while wearing, approximately, 40 pounds of armour and riding a horse at the same time.

As squires were usually 20 years of age before becoming a knight, their lord has to agree with the dubbing ceremony. They had to wear a white tunic and red robes at the ceremony. Then they had to fast and pray all night, the chaplain would bless the future knight’s sword. For the future knight, he had to bathe to show that he was pure and the priest would hear his confession. Before the actual ceremony, they had to eat a little breakfast; then the dubbing ceremony would begin. The lord would tap the squire lightly on the shoulders, while saying, “I dub thee Sir Knight.” There would be a great feast after the ceremony finished. But earlier in the Middle Ages, the person dubbing would hit the squire forcefully, knocking him over.

What equipment is needed to become a knight?

To become a knight, that person would have to have a lot of money to buy the weapons and armour. Much of the weapons and armour were heavy, so there would be different types of equipment. Though there were many types of weapons and armour, not all of them were used.

The following were the weapons that knights used; their horse would have some equipment as well. Most would see knights with swords and lances, as they learnt how to use them as a squire. Axes were also used during battle; the battle-axe was used to attack other knights while fighting.

The flail and mace looked similar, but the flail has a chain attache
d to the weight at the end of the weapon. They both dealt deadly blows. They both were probably used by knights who attacked on foot, but it was also possible to attack from horseback.

Knights carried daggers by their side, in case of an unknown attack. It also helped knights as a close-combat weapon. Some knights probably carried crossbows or longbows with them to battles. The crossbow and longbow would’ve helped the knight with long-ranged attacks.

There were also many types of armour and helmets used. There were the conical helmets, basinet helmets and the barbute helmet used for battle. The Great Helm and the frog mouthed helmets were used for jousting. Different styles of helmets were made to protect the knights head form arrows or other attacks.

There was the chainmail and plate mail to protect the body from attacks. There were many parts to a plate mail, the breastplate, pauldron, tasset, gauntlet, greave and sabaton. However, there were also many other parts to a plate mail that protected the knights body.

These were most of the equipment needed to become, and protect, a knight. There were also other weapons and armour used by knights in battle or jousting.

What horses were used by the knights?

There were four horses used by knights, the destrier, courser, palfrey and the packhorse. They were each used for their own reasons, during the Middle Ages.

Destriers were used by knights as warhorses, as they were large, powerful stallions. It carried knights to battles, tournaments, and jousts. Destriers were not a breed, but a type of horse. They were the strongest warhorse. In battles, the destriers would wear a shaffron, a head piece for protection and a crinet, the metal plates that covered the neck. It was a very expensive horse.

Another warhorse, yet less valuable, was the courser. It was a fast and strong horse. They were more common than the destrier. It was popular with nobles, ladies, and high-ranked knights. As well as being used for riding, it was also used for hunting and ceremonial uses.

Knights who travelled around had packhorses with them to carry luggage. Packhorses were used when crossing rough terrain to carry many things, including goods. It was very useful to the knights, leaving the other horses to do their normal jobs, riding, hunting and fighting.

Those horses were used by many knights. The knights needed a lot of money for the expensive and valuable horses. The most valuable would probably be the warhorses, because the knights depended on the horse to take them to battle.

Why did fathers want their sons to become knights?

As not many people knew how to write during the Middle Ages, this information about why fathers want their sons to become knights are mainly opinions. But any information about this might say the same thing as the fathers.

For many people, their opinion about this might be that the fathers wanted their sons to bring back lots more money for the family or to get more land. Most fathers' of knights were nobles, or lords, and with more money or land, they might be more respected.

It could also be a tradition in the family, for fathers to want their sons to become knights. Becoming a knight taught the sons to be educated and well-behaved.

Becoming a knight would give them the title of honour and the family’s land would be protected. It could be that the son wanted to follow in their father's footsteps, to take over the family’s land after the father.

The fathers and sons might feel that they want to fight for the king and defend the king. They might also want to protect the villagers and lords. Fathers might also want their sons to be able to sing and dance, the ways of an entertainer. It could also be possible that fathers want their sons to learn the ways of a knight to help with other jobs.

These are most of the opinions of why fathers wanted their sons to become knights. There could be other reasons from fathers, but as said before, not many people could write and it was not recorded why.




Author: Bea Stimpson

Date: 17/03/09

Title: Quest The Medieval World

Publisher: Stanley Thorns Publishers Ltd

Place of Publication: United Kingdom

Author: Philip Brooks

Date: 17/03/09

Title: Questions and Answers, Knights and Castles

Publisher: Kingfisher Publications Plc

Place of Publication: London


Author: Jake

Date site created: 1997

Title: The Steps of Knighthood

Publisher: Unknown

Place of Publication: Uknown

Date viewed: 15/03/09

Address ( URL ) : http://kyrene.k12.az.us/schools/Brisas/sunda/ma/1jake.htm

Author: Thinkquest 10949 Team.

Date site created: 1997

Title: The Medieval Knight

Publisher: Unknown

Place of Publication: Unknown

Date viewed: 15/03/09

Address ( URL ) : http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/medknight.html

Author: Unknown

Date site created: Last modified on 1 February 2009

Title: Courser ( horse )

Publisher: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Place of Publication: Unknown

Date viewed: 23/03/09

Address ( URL ) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courser_(horse)

Author: Unknown

Date site created: Last modified on 28 January 2009

Title: Palfrey

Publisher: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Place of Publication: Unknown

Date viewed: 23/03/09

Address ( URL ) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palfrey

Author: Unknown

Date site created: Last modified on 25 January 2009

Title: Destrier

Publisher: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Place of Publication: Unknown

Date viewed: 23/03/09

Address ( URL ) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destrier

Author: Unknown

Date site created: Last modified on 17 March 2009

Title: Packhorse

Publisher: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Place of Publication: Unknown

Date viewed: 23/03/09

Address ( URL ) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packhorse