By Richard W. Kaeuper
This unique and authoritative textual content unearths how chivalry used to be a part of the matter of violence in medieval Europe, no longer only its answer. the fitting was once to internalize restraint in knights, yet a detailed analyzing of chivalric literature indicates chivalry additionally praised heroic violence by way of knights. This interesting ebook lays naked the conflicts and paradoxes surrounding the idea that of chivalry in medieval Europe.
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Nicholas, Medieval Flanders, 62–70; Dhondt, ‘Les “Solidarités” médiévales’. 26 27 Issues and Approaches 18 universal violence, and the gradual restoration of order. However much his point of view might differ in detail from our monastic writers—he can show a caustic anti-clericalism, for example—his account dovetails with their emphasis on the perils of private war and vengeance, the need for a strong authority figure to repress violence and secure peace. The murdered Count Charles had been just such a figure.
Second, the direction of much of this writing points us towards the fundamental issue of securing order in society. In other words, if most chivalric literature involves criticism, debate, and reform, much of it was written in the shadow of fears for public order This is not to suggest that authors of chivalric literature were cheerless critics, taking only the odd, scowling glance out of a study window at actual knighthood—to confirm their dislike—while grinding out works presenting one critique after another.
The Framework of Institutions and Ideas If public order is the background issue, what focal points of power and authority should we consider? Analyses of the hierarchical organization of medieval society have focused on the three broad functional categories, the three theoretical ‘orders’ used by medieval writers themselves: those who pray, those who fight, and those who work. Institutional historians have, of course, emphasized the major governing institutions of Church and State. In trying to understand the basic issues involving order in the sense intended in this book, however, neither of these classic formulations is sufficient.