The Middle Ages or medieval era is sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages. It began around 476 A.D.after the Roman Emperor lost a great deal of power throughout Europe. The medieval era spans about 1,000 years ending around 1450. Although in Spain it was not until 1492 when their modern or Renaissance era began.
The Middle Ages were dominated by:
A Knights Chivalry
A knight was an elite soldier in wars, the crusades and in battle, although when not in battle they often acted for the local lord or king as his law enforcement officers.
Warhorses were large and powerful and only the wealthy could afford them.
Chivalry was a knights code of conduct. Chivalry is taken from a French version of the Latin word for horse (Cheval, in France they were referred to as chevaliers) Most knights were experts with horses. The principles and customs of a knight included: humility, honor, love and fear of God, courage, mercy, sacrifice, graciousness and unparalleled courtesy toward women.
Originally knights were specialized foot soldiers or sometimes attendants. Their status was elevated around 800 A..D.
Kings and lords could dub a soldier to a knight by striking the knights shoulder with the flat of his royal sword. At that time the knight was given a pay raise, a sword and often his own plot of land. Most knights were required to be 21 years old.
A knight required attendants to maintain his horses and hand him his weapons. He assisted the knight in mounting and dismounting his horse and was often left with the task of guarding prisoners.
An attendant might become a squire who assisted the knight in battle training and exercises. They often were able to become knights themselves.
A knights clothing was typically better than average. For battle he wore chain mail partial suits of armor and helmets. His sword, dagger and lances were often his weapons of choice. In 1400 full suits of armor came into use.
When dubbed a knight he received his own banner which identified him on and off the battlefield. It was called his coat of arms. The pattern chosen was repeated on his shield and other items which belonged to him.