Chivalric Orders
A Brief History
Written by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

Music playing is "In Monte Olivetti" by Mikolaj Zielenski(1550-1616)
From Early Polish Music

Treatises such as the French, Ordene de Chevalerie written in the Middle Ages, set standards, which were rarely achieved in practice. Knights were men who were trained to fight and they inhabited a violent world.

In medieval times, honor meant more than courage and warrior skills. The warrior's code was based on:

(Hopkins, Andrea, Knights: The Complete Story of the Age of Chivalry, From Historical Fact to Tales of Romance and Poetry. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1990, 8).

As with all segments of society, Knights came in both "good" and "bad."

"The aristocracy and gentry, of medieval Europe were fascinated by the idea of chivalry..." (Ibid 10)

For example: In 1306, The Feast of the Swans was held by Edward I of England. This feast honored his eldest son as a knight, as well as 300 young men of noble birth to fight against Scotland.

The "Way of the Warrior" was a concept present in every world culture, on various levels.

Thousands of knights and men at arms went to the Holy Lands and there was a great uniting of warriors and churchmen (monks as knights) into military orders. They (the warrior monks) lived under the monastic rules of poverty, chastity, and obedience (the Spanish order of the Knights of Santiago were the only ones who were permitted to marry). They were separated from dynastic concerns and even though they became extremely wealthy they could not participate in the more frivolous activities of the knightly life, such as tournaments or dancing. In that respect they were not mainstream knights, but they developed a high discipline of military training, built fortresses, and learned the tactics of siege warfare.


Knights, the Protectors of the Realm
Knights Templar History

For a Timeline of Military Orders



[Polish Orders of Chivalry | Military Orders of St. Michael | The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem

You are the visitor since September 8, 2003

Webmaster: Margaret Sypniewska
Email Margaret:

This page was last updated on December 31, 2016

This page is hosted by