Somewhere between the “knight as saint” and “knight as sociopath” there lies a middle ground. Common sense would seem to indicate that not all knights were brutal, predatory thugs — if they had been, Western culture would never have survived the Middle Ages. Nor is it reasonable to believe knights were all iconic, transcendental models of virtue and chastity — human nature hasn’t changed that much in the course of the past millennium.Continue reading. . .
One of the challenges of studying history is to avoid looking into the past with a myopic view – to think that people of times past were somehow more simplistic, predictable, or uniform than we are today. When we study a historical period like the Middle Ages, we should strive to appreciate the depth and […]Continue reading. . .
Whatever your standard for virtuous behavior – the code of chivalry, the Ten Commandments, the practice of good sportsmanship, or the Golden Rule – that fact is that the vast majority of us don’t manage to put those principles into practice each and every day of our lives. By the same token, most of us […]Continue reading. . .
If you are one of the many medieval enthusiasts who enjoy this show, and who studies (or perhaps even re-creates) famous battles, dueling, jousting, hunting, knighthood, and the ideals and literature of chivalry, then I’ll bet you have a “bucket list” of arms and armor exhibitions that you have visited, or want to visit in […]Continue reading. . .
Serious scholars of history might once have scoffed at the notion of undertaking an arts and crafts project as a means of historical study. In recent years, however, dedicated efforts into living history and immersive historical experimentation have proved that bringing history to life can, in fact, achieve a different sort of understanding to research […]Continue reading. . .
MAKE A DONATION ONLINE to help pay for the production of this podcast. Anyone who has read Christian Cameron’s historical adventure novels, such as the William Gold series, knows that creating a detailed medieval setting is one of his fortés. He is an author quite skilled at describing battles, armor, and fighting tactics, and at […]Continue reading. . .
Martial arts practice today is a relatively commonplace affair. In dojos, gyms, and studios all over the country (in truth, all over the world) students practice judo, karate, fencing, kendo, escrima, wrestling and boxing as part of their everyday lives – lives that don’t involve duels, assassination attempts, or open warfare. Though these sports maybe confined […]Continue reading. . .
In the first part of my conversation with sword maker Peter Johnsson, we talked at length about the symbolism and cultural significance of the sword, and how it reflects both medieval and modern understandings of the ideals of chivalry. But after the show was over, we went on talking and we both realized that our […]Continue reading. . .
Scott Farrell comments: Humility has long been associated with the qualities of a chivalrous character. In fact, it is one of the principles of chivalry that is notably lacking in just about every other warrior code of honor. No one expected the Greek heroes to refrain from singing their own praises. Viking warriors reportedly indulged in […]Continue reading. . .