The origins importance and decline of knighthood

Etymology[ edit ] The word knight, from Old English cniht "boy" or "servant"[6] is a cognate of the German word Knecht "servant, bondsman, vassal". Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht.

The origins importance and decline of knighthood

Do you get a sword and a squire to boss around? Inquiring minds want to know, so we did a bit of research. Here are the answers to some of your most pressing knighthood-related questions. Sincethe British government has been awarding notable citizens with spots in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empirewhich just recently welcomed Beatle Ringo Starr into its ranks.

Although the Order, which was established by King George V, was originally meant to honor top-notch civilian and military behavior in wartime, it quickly expanded to include peacetime achievements as well. Congratulations Sir Ringo Starr! Achieving one of the first two ranks earns a person a slot in the knighthood, which means they can add "Sir" or "Dame" to their names, i.

All members of the Order of the British Empire can add the initials of their rank to the end of their names, though, which is why you sometimes read about celebrities with ranks following their names, like " Roger Daltrey CBE.

InIrish-born BBC personality Terry Wogan received an honorary knighthood, and when he became a British citizen later that year, he could start making people call him Sir Terry Wogan.

Technically, the reigning monarch is the sovereign of the Order and is in charge of making all appointments. On a more practical level, though, the monarch receives counsel and recommendations from the Secretary of State for Defence and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

While lots of notable figures are offered the honor of joining the Order of the British Empire, only a few heavy-hitters get to become knights and dames commander.

Simply put, these higher honors go to the bigger names. In fact, a number of people have turned down the honor due to uneasiness with its militaristic or imperialist overtones.

According to an AP story, approximately two percent of the or so people offered spots in the Order each year decline them. John Cleese rejected a CBE and said he felt much more honored when a Swiss zoologist named a lemur after him in Vanessa Redgrave became a Commander of the British Empire inbut she turned down an offer of damehood in When asked about the decision to just say no inRedgrave told The Independent, "My difficulty is in receiving anything that says British Empire, because I am a Unicef special representative at the service of children from any country.

If there were no mention of the British Empire, I would be as honored as anybody. If I were asked to be a baroness, for example, I would see that in a different light.

Rather, they discreetly tell the tale after some time has passed. Knights and Dames Grand Cross get to wear special gear to formal events like coronations.

This getup includes a pink-with-gray-edges satin mantle and a collar of six gold medallions. The badge is basically a cross hanging from a pink ribbon with gray edges, although various ranks wear their badges in unique ways.

Members and Officers simply wear their badges like military medals pinned to their chests, while higher-ups wear theirs on sashes or around their necks.

Other benefits include getting a spot in the British order of precedence, the arcane system that develops the hierarchy of ceremonial importance for things like state dinners.

Furthermore, knights win their wives the right to be called "Lady," and Knights and Dames Grand Cross can modify their coats of arms to reflect the honor. If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions mentalfloss.

An earlier version of this post originally appeared in A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch or other political leader for service to the monarch or country, which also meant knight; but this meaning was in decline by about [6] Origins of medieval knighthood.

Further information: Bucellarius.

The origins importance and decline of knighthood

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Jun 23,  · Thus, the origins of 'feudalism'--and even 'feudalism' itself as a concept has been challenged by Susan R. Reynolds-- and the knight lie in the collapse of the Carolingians, not in their golden age.

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A good summary is provided by Kelly DeVries in his book, Medieval Military Technology (the chapter on 'the stirrup, mounted shock combat and the. The Medieval Knight has a long history and the pinnacle of a mans career in the feudal age was being deemed a knight.

It came in a ceremony where the king, queen or lord would tap the mans shoulder with the flat of a sword as shown in the leighton poster here. Airline chicken Airline chicken can be several things, depending upon who you talk to.

It can be a fancy cut, a special presentation, or a negative appelation directed at inflight foodservice.

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