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Page: At age seven, a nobleman's son began training for knighthood. During this first step of training, boys were called pages.
As a page, a boy learned how to fight, how to use weapons, and how to ride a horse into battle. He learned manners from the nobleman's wife.
Like everyone, pages had a strict rule of conduct, a certain way of behaving that they had to follow. The rules were very detailed and very clear. Some of the rules were:
When you enter a lord's place, say, "Good Speed" and with humble cheer, greet all who are present.
Do not rush in rudely, but enter with head up and at an easy pace, and kneel on one knee only to your lord.
Make obeisance (bow) to your lord always when you answer, otherwise stand as still as a stone until he speak.
Squire: At age 15, a page could become a squire. Each squire was assigned to a knight. A knight could have several squires. The squire assisted the knight to whom he was assigned. Squires continued to learn how to fight and how to behave.
Knights: Once a squire proved himself in battle, and his knight felt he was ready, he could become a knight himself. Squires were knighted in elaborate ceremonies.
Chivalry: All knights, like all people from all walks of life in the Middle Ages, had to behave in a certain way. This way was called the Code of Chivalry. The code said that all knights had to be brave in battle. They had to keep their promises. They had to defend the church. They had to treat noblewomen in a courteous manner. Over time, chivalry became the basis of good manners in Western society.
Article posted February 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM •
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