If you’re interested in learning more about the ranks, roles, and culture of medieval knights, here are the top 10 books that provide valuable insights into this fascinating subject.
1. “The Knight in History” by Frances Gies
This acclaimed book provides a comprehensive overview of the historical development of knighthood, from its origins in the Early Middle Ages to its evolution during the Crusades and beyond. It delves into the various ranks, roles, and responsibilities of knights, and explores their social, cultural, and military significance
2. “The World of the Knight” by Christopher Gravett
This beautifully illustrated book offers an in-depth exploration of the life of a medieval knight, including their training, armor, weapons, chivalric code, and social status. It also delves into the different types of knights, such as the knight errant, the tournament knight, and the knight of the religious orders.
3. “Knights: The Complete Story of the Age of Chivalry” by Maurice Keen
This comprehensive book provides a detailed account of the historical, cultural, and social aspects of knighthood in the Middle Ages. It covers the origins of knighthood, the knightly virtues, the role of women in chivalry, and the decline of knighthood in the later medieval period.
4. “The Knights Templar: A New History” by Helen Nicholson
This well-researched book offers a fresh perspective on the legendary Knights Templar, one of the most famous medieval chivalric orders. It delves into their origins, organization, ranks, and roles, as well as their military campaigns, financial activities, and downfall.
5. “Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight” by David Edge
This authoritative book focuses on the arms and armor used by medieval knights, providing detailed descriptions, illustrations, and historical context. It covers the development of armor, weapons, and horse equipment, and explores the evolution of knightly warfare and tactics.
6. “The Flower of Chivalry: The Code of Conduct for the Medieval Knight” by Richard Kaeuper
This scholarly work delves into the chivalric code, which guided the behavior and ideals of medieval knights. It examines the virtues, ethics, and rituals associated with chivalry, and provides insights into the social and cultural context of knighthood.
7. “The English Knight: From Chivalry to Tudor Rule” by Geoffrey Parnell
This comprehensive book offers a detailed account of the English knight from the High Middle Ages to the Tudor period. It covers their training, equipment, and role in warfare, as well as their social status, family life, and cultural influence.
8. “The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England
A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century” by Ian Mortimer – While not solely focused on knights, this immersive book provides a vivid and detailed glimpse into the everyday life, customs, and culture of medieval England, including the role and status of knights in society.
9. “The History of Chivalry and Armour” by Leon Gautier
This classic work delves into the history of chivalry and armor, providing a comprehensive account of the evolution of knighthood, the ideals of chivalry, and the development of armor and weapons.
10. “The Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke” translated by Thomas Cleary
While not strictly about medieval European knights, this book offers insights into the code of conduct followed by the samurai in feudal Japan, which shares many similarities with the code of chivalry followed by medieval knights in Europe.
It explores the virtues, principles, and way of life of the samurai, providing a unique perspective on the concept of knighthood and the ideals of honor and courage.
These top 10 books about medieval knights cover a wide range of topics related to knighthood, including their history, culture, armor, weapons, chivalric code, and social status.
They provide valuable insights into the ranks, roles, and responsibilities of knights, as well as their significance in medieval society and warfare. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a fan of medieval literature, or simply curious about the world of knights.
These books are an excellent resource for delving into the rich and complex world of medieval knighthood.