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Re: What would bring a knight shame? (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Finn MacIain:

> I have to disagree with you as to the wrong side of the tracks and
> treason, milord.  
> As far as birth goes, don't forget that Knighthood was not nobility, nor
> was it hereditary.  During the period milady is researching, many
> lowborns were knighted for herioism or prowess in the field.  And many
> knights had sons who didn't inherit their fathers' warlike traits, and
> went happily into the trades.  Not true for a real noble, of course, but
> that's a different story.

One will note that even in the early knightly romances like Floris
and Blanchefleur, the boundary between churl and knight was made
very clear. See Keen's Chivalry for a consideration of how
important coming from a line of knights was even in that late
date-I believe he quotes from Arnold of Ardres' chronicle.

> And as for treason, don't forget that in the Stephen/Matilda chaos,
> practically every knight in the realm was committing treason against one
> or the other "rightful" monarch, depending on who you asked.  Even
> regarding adultery, the romances of the time were probably developing
> along the Abelard and Heloise lines they later took on, which made
> almost a virtue out of that particular vice, so even such a sinner might
> find reason not to feel shame.  

It's not the commission, it's the getting caught, methinks.
Abelard got castrated by her guardian, after Abelard packed
Heloise off to a nunnery. The troubadours' poems do, it is so,
sing the praises of love outside of marriage, but they also give
their lovers pseudonyms to hide behind, and complain of the
malicious gossip of the court and the threat of being caught
after dawn in the garden by the palace guard.

The Stephen/Matilda issue is, of course, subjective. Both of them
punished adherents of the other side severely when they could
capture them. Being a friend of Matilda while trying to hang on
to one's property in areas controlled by Stephen was probably
something one didn't want to make known.

In Service,

Dom Pedro de Alcazar
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Storvik Pursuivant
Argent, a tower purpure between 3 bunches of grapes proper

Craig Levin
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