A 14th century depiction of the 13th century German knight Hartmann von Aue, from the Codex Manesse.
A Norman knight slaying Harold Godwinson (Bayeux tapestry, c. 1070). The rank of knight developed in the 12th century from the mounted warriors of the 10th and 11th centuries.
The battle between the Turks and Christian knights during the Ottoman wars in Europe
David I of Scotland knighting a squire
The miles Christianus allegory (mid-13th century), showing a knight armed with virtues and facing the vices in mortal combat. The parts of his armour are identified with Christian virtues, thus correlating essential military equipment with the religious values of chivalry: 
The helmet is spes futuri gaudii (hope of future bliss), the shield (here the shield of the Trinity) is fides (faith), the armour is caritas (charity), the lance is perseverantia (perseverance), the sword is verbum Dei (the word of God), the banner is regni celestis desiderium (desire for the kingdom of heaven), the horse is bona voluntas (good will), the saddle is Christiana religio (Christian religion), the saddlecloth is humilitas (humility), the reins are discretio (discretion), the spurs are disciplina (discipline), the stirrups are propositum boni operis (proposition of good work), and the horse's four hooves are delectatio, consensus, bonum opus, consuetudo (delight, consent, good work, and exercise).
Tournament from the Codex Manesse, depicting the mêlée
Elements of a harness of the late style of Gothic plate armour that was a popular style in the mid 15th to early 16th century (depiction made in the 18th century)
Page from King René's Tournament Book (BnF Ms Fr 2695)
The Battle of Pavia in 1525. Landsknecht mercenaries with arquebus.
Fortified house – a family seat of a knight (Schloss Hart by the Harter Graben near Kindberg, Austria)
The Battle of Grunwald between Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights in 1410
Pippo Spano, the member of the Order of the Dragon
The English fighting the French knights at the Battle of Crécy in 1346
Miniature from Jean Froissart Chronicles depicting the Battle of Montiel (Castilian Civil War, in the Hundred Years' War)
A modern artistic rendition of a chevalière of the Late Middle Ages.
A battle of the Reconquista from the Cantigas de Santa Maria

Person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state or representative for service to the monarch, the church or the country, especially in a military capacity.

- Knight

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Informal and varying code of conduct developed between 1170 and 1220.

Konrad von Limpurg as a knight being armed by his lady in the Codex Manesse (early 14th century)
God Speed by English artist Edmund Leighton, 1900: depicting an armoured knight departing for war and leaving his beloved
Reconstruction of a Roman cavalryman (eques)
Knights of Christ by Jan van Eyck
Depiction of chivalric ideals in Romanticism (Stitching the Standard by Edmund Blair Leighton: the lady prepares for a knight to go to war)

It was associated with the medieval Christian institution of knighthood; knights' and gentlemen's behaviours were governed by chivalrous social codes.


Person specializing in combat or warfare as an institutionalized or professionalized career, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based warrior culture society that recognizes a separate warrior aristocracies, class, or caste.

Recreation of a mounted warrior from the Mongol Empire. The Mongol empire was the second largest empire in history and its military was highly respected and feared.
Samurai, member of the Japanese warrior caste
14th century knight Pippo Spano, member of the Order of the Dragon
Wooden sculpture of an Anglo-Saxon warrior overseeing the faestendic in Joyden's Wood in Kent, England
Roman Warrior painting by Jacques-Louis David, in the Detroit Institute of Arts

European mounted knights would often feel contempt for the foot soldiers recruited from lower classes.

Military order (religious society)

Indications of presence of military orders associated with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Holy Land during the Crusades (in German).
Reconquista of the main towns (per year) (in Spanish).
Extent of the Teutonic Order in 1410.
The Hospitallers in the 13th century
Map of the branches of the Teutonic Order in Europe around 1300. Shaded area is sovereign territory, Grand Master HQ in Venice is highlighted)

A military order (militaris ordo) is a Christian religious society of knights.

Knights of the Round Table

Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail by William Dyce (1849)
The attributed arms of Agloval de Galles
"Queen Guenever's Peril." Alfred Kappes' illustration for The Boy's King Arthur (1880)
The arms of Arthur le Petit
Shared attributed arms of Blamor and Blioberis
Brandelis' attributed arms
The attributed arms of Calogrenant
Calogrenant at the fountain in the BN MS fr.1433 manuscript of Yvain ou le chevalier au lion (c. 1325)
The attributed arms of "Dodinet le Sauvaige"
The arms of Helain le Blanc
The attributed arms of "Herec le fils Lac"
The attributed arms of "Exclabor ly Viescovtiens"
The attributed arms of the Duc de Clerence
Girflet's attributed arms
Giflet throwing Excalibur into the lake in a 1470 illustration for the 13th-century romance La Mort du roi Arthur
The attributed arms of Hector des Mares
Lancelot stops his half-brother Hector from killing Arthur defeated in battle, as depicted by William Dyce in King Arthur Unhorsed, Spared by Sir Launcelot (1852)
The attributed arms of "Lucam le Bouteillier"
Mador's attributed arms
"At last the strange knight smote him to the earth, and gave him such a bugget on the helm as well-night killed him." Lancelot Speed's illustration for The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, abridged from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur by James Knowles (1912)
The attributed arms of "Mellienderis"
The attributed arms of Morholt d'Irlande
Saphar's attributed arms
The attributed arms of "Securades"
"Sir Segwarides rides after Sir Tristram." F. A. Fraser's illustration for Henry Frith's King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1912)
The attributed arms of Tor
The attributed arms of Yvain the Bastard
His attributed arms
Le Morte d'Arthur scene of Guinevere with some of her unarmed knights before they are ambushed by Maleagant, as depicted in Queen Guinevere's Maying by John Collier
The attributed arms of Seguran le Brun

The Knights of the Round Table (Marchogion y Ford Gron, Marghekyon an Moos Krenn, Marc'hegien an Daol Grenn) are the knights of the fellowship of King Arthur in the literary cycle of the Matter of Britain.


Person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch , in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe.

The Old English word 'hlaford' evolved into 'lord'

A "lower" group consisted of landless knights attached to a count or duke.


Soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman.

German man-at-arms 1498 by Albrecht Dürer. The equipment is that of a demi-lancer.
Armour of an early 16th-century man-at-arms
English man-at-arms, funerary brass c. 1431
Fully armoured gendarmes from the Italian Wars (mid 16th century).
Armour for man-at-arms and fully barded horse, Royal Armory of Madrid

A man-at-arms could be a knight, or other nobleman, a member of a knight's or nobleman's retinue, or a mercenary in a company serving under a captain.


Martial game or hastilude between two horse riders wielding lances with blunted tips, often as part of a tournament.

Renaissance-era depiction of a joust in traditional or "high" armour, based on then-historical late medieval armour (Paulus Hector Mair, de arte athletica, 1540s)
Depiction of a late 13th-century joust in the Codex Manesse. Joust by Walther von Klingen.
Depiction of a standing joust in an Alsatian manuscript of ca. 1420 (CPG 359); protection for the legs of the riders is integrated into the horse armour.
The Stechzeug of John the Constant (c. 1500). The shield strapped to his left shoulder is called an ecranche.
Jousting at Middelaldercentret
Armor of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1549
Parade Armour of Henry II of France, c. 1553-55
Armour for King Henry VIII by Matthew Bisanz, 1544
Armour worn by King Henry VIII

From 10 July to 9 August 1434, the Leonese Knight Suero de Quiñones and ten of his companions encamped in a field beside a bridge and challenged each knight who wished to cross it to a joust.

Horses in warfare

The first evidence of horses in warfare dates from Eurasia between 4000 and 3000 BC. A Sumerian illustration of warfare from 2500 BC depicts some type of equine pulling wagons.

Scotland Forever! [crop] depicting the cavalry charge of the Royal Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo.
A soldier in World War I with his mule.
Chariots and archers were weapons of war in Ancient Egypt.
Haniwa horse statuette, complete with saddle and stirrups, 6th century, Kofun period
The "War Panel" of the Standard of Ur
A Qin dynasty sculpture of a chariot with horses and rider from the Terracotta Army unearthed near the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shihuangdi, Xi'an, China, 3rd century BC
Depiction of a Sasanian Persian Cataphract from Taq-e Bostan
Life-size model depicting c. 1850 horse artillery team with a light artillery piece
A horserider of probable Xiongnu origin: the rider wears a hairbun characteristic of the oriental steppes, and his horse has characteristically Xiongnu horse trappings. 2nd–1st century BC. Excavated in Saksanokhur (near Farkhor), Tajikistan. National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan.
Manuscript illustration of the Mahabharata War, depicting warriors fighting on horse chariots
Yabusame archers, Edo period
Spanish and Moorish light cavalry (jinetes) skirmish at the 1431 Battle of La Higueruela
A re-imagination of Louis III and Carloman's 879 victory over the Vikings; Jean Fouquet, Grandes Chroniques de France
Jousting is a sport that evolved out of heavy cavalry practice.
Chasseurs of the Guard (light cavalry) to the left and cuirassier (Heavy cavalry) to the right, at the battle of Friedland.
"Napoleon I with his Generals" by Ludwig Elsholtz. This painting shows light cavalry horses which come into use as officer's mounts in 18th- and 19th-century Europe.
Kanem-Bu warriors armed with spears. The Earth and Its Inhabitants, 1892.
Native Americans quickly adopted the horse and were highly effective light cavalry. Comanche-Osage fight. George Catlin, 1834
Confederate general Robert E. Lee and Traveller. Cavalry played a significant role in the American Civil War.
Australian Imperial Force light horsemen, 1914
Polish Cavalry during a Polish Army manoeuvre in late 1930s.
A memorial to the horses that served in the Second Boer War.
U.S. Special Operations Forces, members of Task Force Dagger, and Afghanistan Commander Abdul Rashid Dostum on horseback in the Dari-a-Souf Valley, Afghanistan, in October 2001.
US Air Force Special Operations Command Combat Controller Bart Decker rides a horse in Afghanistan in the early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Mounted police in Poznań, Poland
Horse Cavalry Detachment of the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division demonstrating a mock cavalry charge at Fort Bliss, Texas

Muslim warriors relied upon light cavalry in their campaigns throughout Northern Africa, Asia, and Europe beginning in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. Europeans used several types of war horses in the Middle Ages, and the best-known heavy cavalry warrior of the period was the armoured knight.

Middle Ages

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.
A late Roman sculpture depicting the Tetrarchs, now in Venice, Italy
Barbarian kingdoms and tribes after the end of the Western Roman Empire
A coin of the Ostrogothic leader Theoderic the Great, struck in Milan, Italy, c. AD 491–501
A mosaic showing Justinian with the bishop of Ravenna (Italy), bodyguards, and courtiers.
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
An 11th-century illustration of Gregory the Great dictating to a secretary
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen, completed in 805
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
A page from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created in the British Isles in the late 8th or early 9th century
Medieval French manuscript illustration of the three classes of medieval society: those who prayed (the clergy) those who fought (the knights), and those who worked (the peasantry). The relationship between these classes was governed by feudalism and manorialism. (Li Livres dou Sante, 13th century)
13th-century illustration of a Jew (in pointed Jewish hat) and the Christian Petrus Alphonsi debating
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
The Bayeux Tapestry (detail) showing William the Conqueror (centre), his half-brothers Robert, Count of Mortain (right) and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in the Duchy of Normandy (left)
Krak des Chevaliers was built during the Crusades for the Knights Hospitallers.
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Portrait of Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, the first known depiction of spectacles
The Romanesque Church of Maria Laach, Germany
The Gothic interior of Laon Cathedral, France
Francis of Assisi, depicted by Bonaventura Berlinghieri in 1235, founded the Franciscan Order.
Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, France
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Map of Europe in 1360
Joan of Arc in a 15th-century depiction
Guy of Boulogne crowning Pope Gregory XI in a 15th-century miniature from Froissart's Chroniques
Clerics studying astronomy and geometry, French, early 15th century
Agricultural calendar, c. 1470, from a manuscript of Pietro de Crescenzi
February scene from the 15th-century illuminated manuscript Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Medieval illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th-century copy of L'Image du monde

Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, and feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.

Order of St. Olav

Norwegian order of chivalry instituted by King Oscar I on 21 August 1847.

Grand Cross set of the Order (1st type)
The Star of The Order of Saint Olav
Design of the collar of the Order of St. Olav since 1906.
Order of Saint Olav Grand Cross with swords badge 1st Type
Order of Saint Olav Grand Cross with swords badge 2nd Type
Order of St Olav - Commander
Order of St Olav - Commander
Order of St Olav - Commander
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross badge
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross Star
Order of St. Olav Knights Class
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross Star - 2nd Type
Order of St. Olav Grand Cross Star - 1st Type
Order of St. Olav Collar and Star
Order of St. Olav Grand Officer Star - 1st Type
Order of St. Olav Grand Officer Badge - 1st Type
Order of St. Olav Knight - 1st Type

Knight, which is divided into two classes: