13 Feb, 2014 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss chivalry, the moral code observed by knights of the Middle Ages. Chivalry originated in the military practices of aristocratic French and German soldiers, but developed into an elaborate system governing many different aspects of knightly behaviour. It influenced the conduct of medieval military campaigns and also had important religious and literary dimensions. It gave rise to the phenomenon of courtly love, the subject of much romance literature, as well as to the practice of heraldry. The remnants of the chivalric tradition linger in European culture even today.

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  • Miri Rubin 12 episodes
    Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History and Head of the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London
  • Matthew Strickland 3 episodes
    Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow
  • Laura Ashe 10 episodes
    Associate Professor in English at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Worcester College

Reading list

  • The Knight and Chivalry
    R. Barber (Boydell & Brewer, 1995) Google Books →
  • Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages
    R. Barber and J. Barker (Boydell Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • The Book of Chivalry of Geoffroi de Charny: Text, Context and Translation
    Geoffroi de Charny (eds. R.W. Kaeuper and E. Kennedy) (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996)
  • A Knight's Own Book of Chivalry: Geoffroi de Charny
    Geoffroi de Charny (trans. R.W. Kaeuper and E. Kennedy) (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • William Marshal: Knighthood, War and Chivalry, 1147-1219
    D. Crouch (Routledge, 2002) Google Books →
  • The English Aristocracy 1070-1272: A Social Transformation
    D. Crouch (Yale University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • Chronicles
    Jean Froissart (trans. G. Brereton) (Penguin, 1978) Google Books →
  • The Waning of the Middle Ages
    J. Huizinga (Benediction Books, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Origins of Courtliness: Civilizing Trends and the Formation of Courtly Ideals, 939-1210
    S. Jaeger (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe
    R. Kaeuper (Oxford University Press, 2001) Google Books →
  • Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry
    R. Kaeuper (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Chivalry
    M. Keen (Yale University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • For Honour and Fame: Chivalry in England, 1066-1500
    N. Saul (Pimlico, 2012) Google Books →
  • Arthurian Romances
    Chretien de Troyes (trans. W. Kibler) (Penguin, 1991) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: b03tt7kn

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Auto-category: 940.1 (Chivalry and knighthood)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, the medieval knight for whom the novel is named, praises the idea of chivalry to the book's heroine, Rebecca.