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Osprey Men-at-Arms 155 : The Knights of Christ

The ancient warrior code which persisted in medieval Christian Europe dictated that a man's greatest virtues were physical strength, skill at arms, bravery, daring, loyalty to the chieftain and solidarity within the tribe. Ideals diametrically opposed to those of the primitive Church. By the early 8th century however, the Church had grown wealthy, and the Saracen invasions of Spain and France posed a threat to that wealth. The Roman Church began to support war in defence of the faith, and by channelling the martial spirit into the service of God, the brutal warrior of the past was transformed into a guardian of society. War was acceptable if it was socially useful, and the warrior codes were harnessed to create a new chivalrous spirit whereby the élite warrior class, now the nobility or ruling class, was the defender of the faith, protector of the poor and weak. This new Miles Christanus was to become a romantic hero to rival the heroes of the old pagan sagas - a member of an international brotherhood of a single class, with a common code of behaviour, and sharing a common code of ideals. Terence Wise details the history, organisation and equipment of the many different orders of knights which fought against the pagan hordes accompanied by numerous illustrations, including eight full page colour plates by Richard Scollins.

    Contents
  • The Church Militant
  • Military Orders in the Holy Land
  • The German Orders
  • Spanish Military Orders
  • The Italians Orders
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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