I have been reading up on the Code of Chivalry and different codes of military honor throughout history … and I am seeing A LOT there to like …. and I am seeing how different the behavior described in those codes is from typical 21st Century American behavior.
King Arthur may be fiction, but Camelot was based on the ideas of chivalry … and this is the oath taken by the Knights of the Round Table:
“I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth, I will never boast, but cherish humility instead, I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word, I will defend those who cannot defend themselves, I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises, I will uphold justice by being fair to all, I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship, I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them, I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help, I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven, I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.”
And I was thinking that it would be a great thing to bring some of that chivalry back.
But then I thought it all might be misunderstood … that many would hear the world “chivalry” and think it just means opening doors for women …. which is in there, but is the most minor point of the code … and that the whole thing would seem chauvinistic.
And then I found women knights! …. There are plenty of examples, but in 1149 the Moors attacked a city in Spain and only the women were there to fight. So they did fight and they won … and they were knighted and became The Order of the Hatchet.
They were called dames.
A word which has fallen out of use in America, but wasn’t really a compliment when it was used.
Which sort of proves my point, I guess.