Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
The knight is a romantic figure which beckons to us across the misty pages of history. Pledged to be brave, loyal, courteous, and to protect the innocent, the knight epitomized the best ideal that a man could strive to become. The knight was usually a man of noble birth who had served first as a page, or attendant in a knights household. Later the knight errant served as a squire to the knight. His duties now were to take care of the knights horse and armor.
The class of knights, or mounted warriors, came into existence to meet a specific threat. European kingdoms were under threat from a number of sources – Vikings from the north, Muslims from the south and east, and invaders from the east. The kings in the ninth century had only infantry to defend against these threats. Infantry alone was vulnerable to the mounted invaders.
So the class of knights arose. The training and maintenance of these mounted warriors
was a hardship to the courts. Feudalism arose as a process to maintain the knights. The knight, after pledging an oath of loyalty to the king, received a parcel of land, called a fief, to support him. With the land went serfs who were to serve the knight. The knight then had to answer the call when the king sent word that he needed assistance in battle. Usually this entailed a certain number of days a year that the knight had to serve the king. He rest of the time he resided at his fief.
Chivalry as a code of conduct for knights arose from this feudalistic system. This code of honor entailed a number of practices which included not attacking an unarmed knight, and ensure that the knight fight only for Christian glory and honor, among other things.
Toy knights and figurines serve to replicate the honor and glory of that past age. Many of the ads here on this page will have an assortment of toy knights to suit your purposes. William Britains, Conte Collectables, and Forward March all offer selections of 1/32 scale toy knight figures.