ReadSpeaker:
ListenLarger documents may require additional load time.
Miles Christi: the medieval ideal of knighthood
Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association. 8 (Annual 2012): p77+. From PowerSearch.
Abstract: 

Concepts such as miles Christi and militia Christi have a long history as they originated in the first centuries AD. The image of chivalry in the form of a moral allegory became prevalent in early Christian literature. The pontificate of Leo IX (1049-1054) is considered a breakthrough period leading directly to the idea of crusades as the highest level of embodiment of the miles Christi concept. Crusades became the best field of action and a test of military prowess and moral qualifications of a "knight of Christ." The subordination of the armed fighting of the knights to the church, justification of its activities thanks to religious sanction, was to bestow a completely new value on it. The influence of the church can be observed more and more clearly in the knighting ceremony in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Modesty, devoutness, and asceticism constitute important components of a "Knight of Christ" figure. The medieval chivalric ideal was a kind of an amalgam of sacrum and profanum but during the centuries the religious element gained an increasing importance.

Full Text: 

When writing about the Christianisation of Poland in the time of Mieszko I, the great Polish historian of the fifteenth century, Jan Dlugosz, observed:

   His [Mieszko I's] idea and effort it was that a pious custom
   preserved almost to our times was introduced that year [979]
   among the dignitaries, knights and noblemen: named Polish
   dignitaries and knights entered churches on Sundays to listen
   to the mass with knights' swords at their belts and, when the
   priest sang the Holy Gospel of St Mathew, John, Luke or
   Mark, all of them immediately unsheathed their swords halfway
   like those who go into a battle, and sheathed them again
   when the scholars answered "Praise the Lord," with that
   frequent act repeated each Sunday showing that they would
   fight fearlessly and boldly to defend the evangelic truth they
   recognised and held, and, if necessary, they would also die for
   it. (1)

This fragment contains references to the sacralisation of fighting and weapons, as well as a religious concept of knighthood, which serves to introduce us to the subject signalled by the title. In this paper I would like to analyse some elements of the medieval ideal of knighthood that, to a greater or lesser degree, utilise religious imagery.

Concepts such as miles Christi and militia Christi have a long history, originating in the first centuries AD. (2) The image of knighthood as a form of a moral allegory became prevalent in early Christian literature; the church was a well-organised and armed militia of Christ with a precise division of duties in that army: bishops as its generals, saints as its warriors, and heretics playing the role of deserters. However, military duty in the name of Christ was understood as the opposite of the fight entrusted to the laity and, in connection with that fact, "Christ's knights" were mainly those forming the clergy, in particular the monks, but also apostles, missionaries, hermits and, from the fifth century, martyrs whose death for the faith was treated as a "triumph." (3) In fact, in a broader sense, all Christians could initially appear as God's knights, and the only types of weapons they used to overcome the devilish rank and file were spiritual ones. As a consequence, one might already perceive the principal opposition of the concepts militia Christi and militia saecularis (the latter denoting the lay fight). (4) In this paper, the rapprochement of these two terms will take place in a few stages.

Around the fifth century the church began to acknowledge the participation of Christians in battle, though this acknowledgement was subjected to a principal condition that such fighting could not be undertaken in order to conquer or acquire fame but only to convert the infidels and propagate the glory of Christ. The sanctioning of such an attitude is sometimes associated with Pope Gregory I (the Great). (5) The time of Charlemagne, which is associated, among other things, with the origins of knights as a social group, also heralded another step in this process. In the course of his campaign against the Saxons, Charlemagne's Christian warriors prayed during masses before battles, surrounded by relics. (6) However, there is no doubt that this was still a fight for the faith, in the defence of the church and in the name of the propagation of the Christian religion. A radical change leading to a compromise and reduction of the distance between the militia Christi and militia saecularis appeared in the eleventh century with a great reform of the church. (7) The activities of church authorities prepared the ground for these transformations earlier, with the intense activity related to the Pax Dei and Treuga Dei movements. On the one hand, these initiatives were aimed at the observance of peace and, on the other hand, at the takeover of control of all military action by church authorities. In effect, the interest of the church in the ethics and morals of noblemen and aristocrats intensified, portraits and biographies of devout oligarchs serving as examples to other representatives of that group.

The pontificate of Leo IX (1049-1054) may be considered a breakthrough period, leading directly to the idea that crusades were the highest embodiment of the miles Christi concept. As Ernst Robert Curtius recognised, it was in this period that the reformed papacy adopted this new ideal. (8) Christian Normans, who negotiated an alliance with the papacy, obtained the assurance that those who died in the fight against the enemies of the church would enter paradise in the company of martyr saints. (9) Here we observe the closure of a certain process of ideological transformation, with politics playing an increasing role. The "taming" of the lay knighthood, the restraint of its wild instincts, and its instrumental inclusion in church activities created all the prerequisites for the implementation of the idea of "holy war." Here, we stand on the verge of the era of crusades.

This new situation required theoretical justification and propaganda. Liber de vita christiana, written by Bonizo of Sutri in the last decade of the eleventh century, contains a collection of prayers for a Christian knight. In this text we find a synthesis of early Christian morality, old Roman military discipline, and the idea of a German team. (10) It stresses that milites cannot act against the Christian faith and, at the same time, brings the duties of a vassal to his lord into prominence. It declares that a knight should subject himself to his lord, should not hunt for booty, if necessary should sacrifice his life for his lord, should fight to the death for the common good, should subdue the schismatics and heretics, protect the poor, widows, and orphans, should not foreswear himself, and should be faithful to his lord. (11) The key duties of a "knight of Christ" that appear in the text are repeated many times elsewhere, in particular the protection of the poor, widows, and orphans, as well as the unyielding fight to be fought with the opponents of the true faith. John of Salisbury and Etienne de Fougeres impose a similar set of duties on knights in the twelfth century. The former's Policraticus contains the following passage: "What is the vocation of the knighthood? To be support for the Church, to fight the infidelity, to worship the clergy, to care for the poor, to sustain peace, to shed one's blood and, if necessary, give one's life for one's neighbour." (12) According to this approach, knights area key ally of the church. Yet, each of these tasks can be completed in one's home country; there is no explicit mention of the need to go on a crusade here. In turn, Etienne de Fougeres, a cleric in the court of the English king, Henry II, and, later bishop of Rennes, in his Livre de manieres, also stresses the attachment of knights to the church. (13) In his opinion, knights are established by God over the working people and are to be sustained by them. A knight's sword is given to him by God in order to defend the weak and just, and the three basic tenets to which a miles Christi subscribes are bravery, loyalty, and subordination to the church. (14)

Crusades became the best field of action to test both the military prowess and moral qualifications of a "knight of Christ." (15) And while the three authors mentioned above did not explicitly exhort knights to take part in "holy war," Bernard of Clairvaux did. The Order of Templars or the "new knighthood," whose rule was developed by St Bernard, combined the duties of monks and knights in order to carry out not only the bodily but also the spiritual fight. (16) Bernard placed particular emphasis on the asceticism of Templars, a ban on all secular luxuries and pastimes (such as hunting, playing dice or chess) being typical. Only this Spartan life was supposed to make the attainment of ambitious goals possible. At the same time, Bernard of Clairvaux devoted much space to the justification of the need to shed blood; battle against and murder of dissenters now obtained the full sanction of the church. Let us remind ourselves of his words:

   Yes, when a Christian knight [a Templar] kills a malefactor, he
   is not a criminal but--as I have already said--he persecutes
   evil. Hence, it is right to respect him as an avenger of Christ
   and defender of his followers. A Christian takes pride in the
   killing of a heathen because, in this way, he admires Christ ...

And further, he says:

   To kill an enemy for Christ is to win him for Christ; to die for
   Christ is to win Christ for oneself. This is because Christ in
   his kindness accepts the death of his enemy as a satisfaction
   and, with an even greater kindness, gives himself to his soldier
   in consolation. A soldier of Christ, I say to you, kills with a
   calm heart and dies with an even calmer one. If he dies he
   benefits himself; if he kills Christ benefits. (17)

Giving religious sanction to a knight's fighting was to bestow a completely new value on it. Throughout medieval literature there is eager use of the dichotomy: militia/malitia (warfare/wickedness) as a play on words, (18) with the latter being used to refer to the actions of knights in the "pre-church" period. Bernard of Clairvaux stated that malitia was the former activity of knights characterised by a primitive trend to mutual murder, ruin, and destruction. However, a miles Christi was a completely different person; a brave knight and experienced warrior should fight without fear because victory will bring him fame while death will bring glory of a different kind. (19)

As stated above, the gradual reduction in distance between the militia Christi and militia saecularis was radically promoted by crusade propaganda. However, a dichotomy was also functioning in the central and late Middle Ages, which presented two levels of fighting for a Christian knight: earthly and heavenly. Medieval Czech literature provides an instructive collection of examples of this. An author of religious papers in the fourteenth century, Tomas Stitny was a nobleman writing in prose--a rare thing for those times. He does not spare advice for the knights, censuring them for many things. (20) He says that knights are given their honour and physical strength by God, and that they should offer them to serve God according to their social status and not use them for the benefit of the lay life, such as women and other amusements. The work of a knight is service to God and work for the common good. Accordingly, their participation in earthly battles frequently draws their attention from the fight that should constitute their main interest: the spiritual fight. (21)

Preachers repeatedly direct attention to this opposition between the two levels of a knight's activity. Konrad Waldhausen, an Austrian who preached in Prague in the second half of the fourteenth century, stated that apostles and evangelists were the true "spiritual warriors." (22) However, he left a gate open for earthly knights who could also reach the higher level of knighthood as "God's words--words of our King ... create heavenly knights." For him, it is God's word that helps to cross the border between the two worlds: the earthly and the heavenly. However, he also believed that additional effort was required of the knights; they should honestly complete their knightly duties on earth and curb all bodily cravings in order to attain eternal victory. Elsewhere, Konrad Waldhausen indicates who is to be the guide on the path to the better world: "our Lord and leader of knights, the heavenly king who is the king almighty, wants to teach us what warriors we should be in order to overcome our enemies." According to the preacher, the principal axis of the conflict existed deep in the human soul; there, within any human being, the true war was fought, a war with bodily weaknesses and lust, a fight with demons who assaulted a knight's soul day and night. (23)

The dichotomy indicated here encouraged Jan Huss to indicate the differing tools used in each struggle and the influences they had "as the sword pierces the body, God's word penetrates the heart." (24) Again, this dichotomy is seen in the works of Jakoubek ze Stribra, one of the "fathers" of the Hussite revolution. He writes:

   Let everybody learn of the two ways and methods of fighting
   in godly matters. The first one is what our leader Jesus and his
   apostles and martyrs imitating him, and subsequent saints
   following in his footsteps chose. This very method of fighting
   of Christ and his followers does not resemble the human
   method of fighting in any way. (25)

However, despite the divine nature of this kind of fighting, Jakoubek states that any Christian striving for perfection can become a "Christian knight." (26) In this, everything depends not on physical strength but on the strength of the spirit and, accordingly, there is also room for women in such strife.

Rules that were intended to be binding for the "knights of Christ" can be seen in the attitude of the church to wars and in the settlement of conflicts through armed intervention. In harnessing the knighthood to serve the church, it was necessary to clear it of undesirable elements, of which there were many. Moralists and preachers had a lot to say about censurable lifestyle, excessive inclination to amusements, thoughtless cruelty and so on. We will limit these remarks to one characteristic rebuke, though, regarding the attitude of the church to tournaments. (27) This custom has undergone a long evolution from a purely military exercise to performance. It also came within the field of observation of the official church hierarchy. As early as 1130, at the synods in Reims and Clermont, the pope severely criticised "the regrettable meetings ... in which knights are used to take part." (28) Conciliar documents use the term torneamentum for the first time in the decisions of the third Lateran Council of 1179, stating, "If any of them [knights] dies on these occasions, although forgiveness (penance) is not to be denied him when he requests it, he is to be deprived of a church burial." (29)

In years 1130-1314, the church issued nine general bans on the organisation of tournaments and many regional bans, because it saw a threat to the health and life of the participants in a tournament, and saw them as a source of waste, extravagance, and immorality. (30) The latter objection surely referred to the later, court phase in the development of tournaments when women appeared more and more frequently in the audience. However, subsequent bans were ineffective and many were still willing to take part in tournaments despite the calls urging them not to disperse the strength necessary to participate in crusades. Bernard of Clairvaux was among those who perceived the danger in this. Having returned from the second crusade, in a letter of 1149 to Suger, abbot of St. Denis, Bernard encouraged him to "get armed with a sword of spirit in order not to allow the revival of the devilish custom that threatens again. As soon as they returned from the crusade, Prince Henry, son of the duke of Champaigne and Robert, the king's brother, furious with each other, convened after the Easter holiday one of those cursed and abominable fairs where they propose to fight to the death." (31) Tournaments were considered a symptom of devilish activity and the renowned Cistercian author, Cesarius of Heisterbach, had no doubt that their participants would go to hell. The appeal of such events truly must have been considerable if Pope Honorius III banned the clergy from participation in "military games" in 1227.

Yet, these papal restrictions met with strong polemics in Pierre Dubois' treatise De torneamentis et iustis, written in 1313 for Philip IV le Bel. In particular, Dubois questioned the argument put forward by the church that tournaments disperse the strength of the knights and did not allow them to prepare for crusading sufficiently. He stated that, in fact, there was no better form of military exercise. Shortly afterwards, Pope Clement V revoked the bans on tournaments, recognising their complete ineffectiveness. (32)

The custom of blessing weapons is another indication of the growing links between the knights and the church. In particular, swords were subjected to this rite. In the tenth-century text, "Benedictio ensis noviter succincti," contained in the Roman-German Pontifical, a bishop prays:

   Lord, listen to our prayers and with the hand of your majesty
   bless this sword that your servant would like to gird on in
   order to defend and protect churches, widows, orphans and
   every God's servant from the cruelty of the heathens and to
   become a terror upon all those who set traps on him. (33)

In practice, this early text already contains the majority of constructive components in the miles Christi model. This is only one of many of such surviving instances involving the blessing of weapons; they usually refer to a sword but we can also observe the blessing of banners. For example, the text of "Benedictio Super Vexilli," contained in the twelfth-century Krakow Pontifical stresses the importance of victory over an enemy. In this text, a bishop calls upon Christ and other heavenly powers to listen to prayers and, after that, to bless and consecrate the banner, which is to lead the defenders of the church to war with its implacable enemies. The passion of Christ is also referenced as it is thanks to its power that the faithful and the defenders of God's people will be victorious. (34) Miraculous powers were frequently attributed to banners; the banners of various saints were said to have them. Papal banners played the same role; for example, the Pisans received the banner of St Peter from the pope in order to free Sardinia from Arab rule, and the pope similarly gave it to Roger Guiscard for support in the assault of Sardinia held by the Arabs. (35)

The influence of the church can also be observed increasingly in the knighting ceremony. Georges Duby declared that the liturgy "floods" this custom in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, (36) though of course, the sanctification of weapons originated in pre-Christian times. There was, for example, an oath for the "sanctified weapon" in Langobard law. (37) However, it was later that the church introduced measures that transformed the old custom of the transmission of weapons into another "sacrament." Etienne de Fougeres--already known to us--believed that the knighthood constituted an order joined by way of a religious ceremony. Unworthy knights should relinquish their swords and spurs, laying them on the altar at which they were knighted. (38) John of Salisbury says in his Policraticus that, according to a new custom, a candidate for knighthood attends church on his knighting day, laying his sword on the altar, and then removing it, indicates that he offers his person and sword to God's service. The process of knighting itself also had to take place in front of the altar. Furthermore, John of Salisbury introduced a religious exam for those wishing to join the knighthood; this involved a night watch consisting of a prayer, a mass, and a special sermon. (39) Slightly later, Raimond Lullus stressed the need for spiritual preparation for the "sacrament" of knighting. He believed that it should involve an act of penance for committed sins, confession, and a night watch with prayers and meditation. Lullus observes with disgust that many squires, instead of praying, listen to music and frivolous songs on that night. (40) The pontifical of William Durand also notes that the act of knighting was preceded by a watch with prayers and a ritual bath. The priest conducting the celebration blessed the knight's weapon, gave him a sword and, subsequently, girded him with a baldric. He then gave a kiss of peace and a light slap on the face to awaken the knight from his previous state. At the same time, the celebrant said prayers and gave numerous guidelines to the candidate. (41) However, it seems that these practices, such as the armed watch or a purifying bath on the eve of knighting, never spread very widely. Nevertheless, the influence of the church was significant; it sometimes happened--although rarely--that the act of knighting was itself performed by a cleric; it was probably so in the case of the sons of William the Conqueror, who were introduced to the circle of knights by the archbishop of Canterbury, Lanfranc. (42)

As the attainment of victory with one's own, limited powers was not always easy, a pantheon of knightly saints emerged with time to patronise the "international" crusading warriors. Let us mention only George, Michael, Demetrius, Maurice, Sebastian, Theodore, and Serge, as well as "domestic" saints such as Vaclav in Bohemia, as it was to him especially that medieval authors ascribed the function of protector of the Czech lands. Vaclav was a saint whose personal interventions were frequently decisive in the results of battles. (43)

The pantheon of saints, as well as the earthly knights, had a specified hierarchy. It is known that a monarch was an exemplary personification of knightly values but, as a "knight of Christ," he was also given first place. Miles Christi was the description given to the deceased by the archbishop of Prague, Jan Ocko of Vlasimi, on the death of Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg. (44)

The knights generated a certain type of religiousity manifesting itself in various ways, including in the founding of churches and monasteries, depositing of weapons and military symbols in shrines after a battle, and imitation of certain monastic practices. Let us remember the portrait of the marshal, Jean le Meingre (Boucicaut), written in his lifetime by an anonymous enthusiast of a Christian knightly ideal:

   [Jean] wakes up early and spends about three hours praying.
   Every day, he listens to two masses on his knees no matter
   how much he might be in a hurry and no matter how busy he
   might be. He dresses in black on Fridays, goes on pilgrimages
   on foot on Sundays and holidays or orders the reading of
   saints' lives or "stories of former heroes or Romans, or
   others" or, finally, engages in serious conversations with
   others. He is moderate and modest, talks little and most
   frequently about God, about saints, about virtue or chivalry.
   He also trained all his servants to be decent and devout, and
   cured them of cursing. (45)

Modesty, devoutness and asceticism constitute important components of a "knight of Christ," but there was also the other side to this coin. Count Gaston Febus, a fourteenth-century feudal lord from the south of France, wrote:

   I asked You, God, to give me military glory and You gave it
   to me in plenty so that, thanks to Your grace, my name is
   known to the Saracens, Jews, Christians, in Spain, in France,
   in England, in Germany, and in Lombardy, on this and on the
   other side of the sea. I was victorious in all the places I visited
   and You gave all the enemies to me thanks to which I got to
   know you very well. (46)

Hence, God's patronage could also be useful for purely layc purposes; earthly pride and greed for fame.

If we consider the medieval ideal of knighthood as a kind of an amalgam of sacrum and profanum we will see that it was the subject of a symptomatic evolution over time, with the religious element gaining an increasing importance.

Wojciech Iwanczak

Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce

(1) Jana Dlugosza, Roczniki czyli Kroniki sbawnego Krolestwa Polskiego, books 1-2 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 1961), 262.

(2) A. Harnack, Militia Christi. Die christliche Religion und der Soldatenstand in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (Tubingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1905). About forming and developing the notion of miles Christi see R.R. Bolgar, "Hero or Anti-Hero? The Genesis and Development of the Miles Christianus," in Concepts of the Hero in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. N.T. Burns and C.J. Reagan (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975) 120-146; and V. Vanicek, "Spiritualizace etosu slechty: Miles Christianus, militia. Dei," (K strukturalni typologii ranych elit) in Svetci a jejich kult ve stredoveku, ed. Petr Kubin (Prague: Tomas Halama, 2006), 83-107.

(3) V. Buchheit, "'Militia Christi' und Triumph des Martyrers," Kontinuitat und Wandel. Lateinische Poesie von Naevius bis Baudelaire. Franco Munari zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. UJ. Stache, W. Maaz and F. Wagner (Hildesheim: Weidmann, 1986), 273-289.

(4) Cf. J. Bumke, Hofische Kultur. Literatur und Geselllschaft im hohen Mittelalter, 2 (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986), 399.

(5) R. Barber, Rycerze i rycerskosc (Warsaw: Bellona, 2000), 267-269.; and M. Keen, Chivalry (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1984), 45-47.

(6) Barber, Rycerze i rycerskosc, 268. For the beginning of the idea of miles Christi in the epoch of Charlemagne see G. Duby, "La noblesse dans la France medievale. Une enquete a poursuivre," Revue historique 226 (1961), 1-22, at 14.

(7) C. Erdmann, Die Entstehung des Kreuygugsgedankens, Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Geistesgeschichte, vol. 6 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1935), 66-68.

(8) E.R. Curtius, Literatura europejska i laanskie sredniowiecye (Krakow: Universitas, 1997), 568.

(9) J. Flori, Rycerstwo w sredniowiecynej Francji (Warsaw: Volumen, 1999), 97-98.

(10) Erdmann, "Die Entstehung," 233; F.W. Wentzlaff, Eggebert, Kreuyyugsdichtung des Mittelalters. Studien yu ihrer geschichtlichen und dichterischen Wirklichkeit (Berlin: publisher, 1960), 3; and Curtius, Literatura europejska, 568-569.

(11) Bonizo von Sutri, Liber de vita Christiana (E. Perels [ed.], Boniyo Liber de vita christiana, Texte zur Geschichte des romischen und kanonischen Rechts im Mittelatler, vol. 1 [Berlin: Weidmann, 1930], 248-249): "His proprium est dominis deferre, prede non iniare, pro vita dominorum suorum tuenda sue vite non parcere et pro statu rei publice usque ad mortem decertare, scismaticos et hereticos debellare, pauperes quoque et viduas et orphanos defensare, fidem promissam non violare nec omnino dominis suis periurare."

(12) John of Salisbury, Policraticus (C.J. Webb [ed.], John of Salisbury, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909], 23): "usus militiae ordinatae ... Tueri Ecclesiam, perfidiam impugnare, sacerdotium venerari, pauperum propulsare iniurias, pacare provinciam, pro fratribus/ut sacramenti docet conceptio/fundere sanguinem et, si opus est, animam ponere." Regarding the vocation of chivalry according to John of Salisbury see J. Flori, "La chevalerie selon Jean de Salisbury: nature, function, ideologie," Revue d'histoire ecclesiastique 77 (1982), 35-77.

(13) Etienne de Fougeres, Le livre des manieres (J. Kremer [ed.], Etienne de Fougeres. Le livre des manieres, Ausgaben und Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiete der Romanischen Philologie, vol. 39 (Marburg: N.G. Elwert, 1887).

(14) G. Duby, "Situation de la noblesse en France au debut du XlIIe siecle," in Hommes et structures du moyen age, ed. G. Duby (Paris: Mouton, 1973), 343-352, at 347; and R.A. Lodge, "The Literary Interest of the Livre des manieres of Etienne de Fougeres," Romania 93 (1972), 479-497.

(15) About the genesis of the crusades see the still valuable Erdmann, "Die Entstehung."

(16) Bernard of Clairvaux, Liber ad milites Templi de laude novae militiae (J. Leclercq and H.M. Rochais [eds], X Bernardi Opera, vol. 3 (Rome: Editiones Cistercienses, 1963), 205-239.

(17) Cited after G. Minois, Koscioi i wojna. Od cyasow Biblii do ery atomowej (Warsaw: Volumen, 1998), 143. Regarding the argumentation of Bernard in favour of crusades see J. Fleckenstein, "Die Rechtfertigung der geistlichen Ritterorden nach der Schrift De laude novae militiae Bernhards von Clairvaux," in Die geistlichen Ritterorden Europas, ed. J. Fleckenstein and M. Hellmann, Vortage und Forschungen, vol. 26 (Sigmaringen: Manfred Hellman, 1980), 9-22; H.D. Kahl, "Die Kreuzzugseschatologie Bernhards von Clairvaux und ihre missionsgeschichtliche Auswirkung," in Bernhard von Clairvaux und der Beginn der Moderne, ed. D.R. Bauer and G. Fuchs (Innsbruck and Vienna: Tyrolia-Verlag, 1996), 262-315; and, in popular manner, A. Zielinski, Opat krzyyowcow: Swicty Bernard (Warsaw: Bellona, 2005).

(18) Flori, Rycerstwo w sredniowiecynej Francji, 100.

(19) Bernard of Clairvaux, Ep. 363 (J. Leclercq and H.M.Rochais [eds], S. Bernardi Opera, vol. 8 [Rome: Editiones Cistercienses, 1977], 315): "Cesset pristina illa non militia, sed plane malitia, qua soletis invicem sternere, invicem perdere, ut ab invicem consumamini ... Habes nunc, fortis miles, habes, vir bellicose, ubi dimices absque periculo, ubi et vincere gloria, et mori lucrum."

(20) About Stitny see: J. Gebauer, O zivote a spisich Tomase ze Stitneho (Prague: Ceska akademie ved a umeni, 1923); J. Jancik, Tomas ze Stitneho ucitel spivota (Brno: Edice Akord, 1940); P. Spunar, Repertorium auctorum bohemorum provectum idearum post Universitatem Pragensem conditam illustrans, vol.1 (Warsaw: IHN PAN, 1985) 192-210; W. Iwanczak, "Tomas Stitny. Esquisse pour un portrait de la sociologie medievale," Revue Historique 113, no.282 (1989), 3-28; and W. Iwanczak, "Obraz wsi w tworczosci Tomasza Stitnego," in Korzenie srodkowoeuropejskiej i gornoslqskiej kulturygospodarczej, ed. A. Barciak (Katowice: Instytut Gornoslaski, 2003), 303-314.

(21) Tomas ze Stitneho, Knizky o hre sachove a jine, ed. F. Simek (Prague: SNKLHU, 1956), 382.

(22) F. Loskot, Konrad Waldhauser, reholni kanovnik sv. Augustina, predchudce Mistra Jana Husa (Prague: Volna myslenka, 1909); S. Bylina, Wpiywy Konrada Waldhausena na yiemiach polskich w drugiej poiowie XIV i pierwszej poiowie XV wieku (Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1966); and P.C.A. Moree, Preaching in Fourteenth-Century Bohemia: The Life and Ideas of Milicius de Chremsir ([dagger] 1374) and his Significance in the Historiography of Bohemia (Herspice: EMAN, 1999).

(23) Staroceske zpracovani Postily studentu svate University Prazske Konrada Waldhausera, ed. F. Simek (Prague: Ceska akademie ved a umeni, 1947), 62.

(24) "Magistri Johannes Hus Postilla adumbrata," in Magistri Johannis Hus Opera Omnia, vol.XIII, ed. B. Ryba (Prague: Ceska akademie ved a umeni, 1975), 593-594: "quia sicut gladius penetrat corpus, sic verbum Dei penetrat cor."

(25) Jakoubek ze Stribra, "Noverint universi," in A History of the Hussite Revolution, ed. H. Kaminsky (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967), 525: "Noverint universi modum et via bellandi in causa dei duplice. Prima est quam habuit noster dux belli dominus Ihesus et sui apostoli atque martires in hoc sum dominum imitantes, ceterique sancti ipsum sequentes. Qui modus bellandi Cristi et suorum nequaquam est sicut modus humanus preliandi."

(26) Ibid., 526. There are a lot of publications regarding Jakoubek ze Stribra. See: Jakoubek ze Stribra, Texty a jejich pusobeni, ed. O. Halama and P. Soukup (Prague: Ceska akademie ved a umeni, 2006).

(27) Regarding tournaments see for example, J. Fleckenstein (ed.), Das ritterliche Turnier im Mittelalter. Beitrage yu einer vergleichenden Formen und Verhaltensgeschichte des Rittertums (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1985); W. Iwanczak, "Le tournoi chevaleresque dans le royaume de Boheme," Studi Medievali 28 (1987), 751-773; R. Barber and J. Barker, Tournaments, Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1989); and W. Iwanczak, "Turnieje rycerskie w sredniowiecznej Europie," Mowiq Wieki 506 (2002), 6-10, and 507(2002), 13-17. About tournaments in Poland see S.K. Kuczynski, "Turnieje rycerskie w sredniowiecznej Polsce," in Biedni i bogaci. Studia ydyiejow spolecyenstwa kultury ofiarowane Bronislawowi Geremkowi w syescdyiesiqtq rocynice urodyin, ed. M. Aymard et al. (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 1992), 295-306; J. Szymczak, "Knightly Tournaments in Medieval Poland," Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae, Fasciculus VIII, ed. T. Poklewski-Koziell (Lodz: Ossolineum, 1995), 9-28; and B.W. Brzustowicz, Turniej rycerski w Krolestwie Polskim wpoynym sredniowiecyu i renesansie na tle europejskim (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, 2003).

(28) ChJ. Hefele and J. Leclercq, Histoire des conciles d'apres les documents originaux vol. 5, part 1 (Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1917), 729: "Detestabiles autem illas nundinas vel ferias, in quibus milites ex condicto convenire solent."

(29) Kuczynski, "Turnieje rycerskie," 297.

(30) For analysis of church bans on the organisation of tournaments see F. Merzbacher, "Das kirchliche Turnier und Stierkampfverbot," in Im Dienste des Rechtes in Kirche und Staat. Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von F. Arnold, ed. W.M. Plochl and I. Gampl (Vienna: Herder, 1963), 261-268; S. Kruger, "Das kirchliche Turnierverbot im Mittelalter," in Das rtterliche Turnier im Mittelalter, 401-424.

(31) G. Duby, Bitwa pod Bouvines, niedziela 27 lipca 1214 (Warsaw: Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1988), 112.

(32) Kruger, "Das kirchliche Turnierverbot," 401.

(33) Le Pontifical romano--germanique du Xe siecle, ed. C. Vogel and R. Elze (Citta del Vaticano, 1963), 379: "Exaudi, quesumus, domine, preces nostras, et hunc ensem, quo hic famulus tuus N. se circumcingi desiderat, maiestatis tue dextera benedicere dignare, quatinus defensio atque protectio possit esse aecclesiarum, viduarum, orphanorum omniumque Deo servientium contra sevitiam paganorum, aliisque insidiantibus sit pavor, terror et formido."

(34) W. Abraham, Pontificale biskupow krakowskich z XII w. (Krakow: Polska Akademie Umiejctnosci, 1927); O. Lawrynowicz, Tresci ideowe broni rycerskiej w Polsce wiekow srednich (Lodz: Lodzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe, 2005), 35.

(35) About polysemic role of banner see J. Banaszkiewicz, "Wtocznia i choragiew. O rycie otwierania bitwy w zwiazku z cudem kampanii nakielskiej Boleslawa Krzywoustego (Kadlubek, III, 14)," Kwartalnik Historyczny 44, no.3 (1987), 2-24; J. Ptak, Choragiew w komunikacji spoiecznej w Polsce piastowskiej i jagiellonskiej (Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2002).

(36) Duby, "Situation de la noblesse en France au debut du XIII s," 346. Cf. W. Iwanczak, "Pasowanie rycerskie na ziemiach czeskich--ceremonia symboliczna i instrument polityki," Kwartalnik Historyczny 91 (1984), 255-277.

(37) M. Bloch, Spoieczenstwo feudalne (Warsaw: Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1981), 475.

(38) S. Painter, "The Ideas of Chivalry," in Feudalism and Liberty, Articles and Addresses, ed. F.A. Cazel Jnr (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961), 90-104.

(39) John of Salisbury, Policraticus 2.23.

(40) Flori, Rycerstwo w sredniowiecynej Francji, 121-122.

(41) Ibid., 114.

(42) Bloch, Spoieczenstwo feudalne, 475.

(43) For the problem of the aid of the saint during the battle see F. Graus, "Der Heilige als Schlachtenhelfer--zur Nationalisierung einer Wundererzahlung in der mittelalterlichen Chronistik," in Festschrift fur H. Beumann, ed K.U. Jaschke and R. Wenskus (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1977), 330-348.

(44) Fontes rerum Bohemicarum, vol.3, ed. J. Jirecek (Prague: Nakladem Musea Kralovstvi Ceskeho, 1878), 425: " qui cum pre universis mortalibus obtinuisset gloriam et supereminenciam milicie secularis, tandem in abieccione secularium et humilitate penitencie factus est et defunctus est miles Christi."

(45) J. Huizinga, Jesien sredniomecza, vol.1 (Warsaw: Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1967), 141-142.

(46) Ph. Contamine, Wojna w sredniowieczu (Warsaw: Bellona, 1999), 312.

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
Iwanczak, Wojciech. "Miles Christi: the medieval ideal of knighthood." Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association, vol. 8, 2012, p. 77+. Gale Power Search, http%3A%2F%2Flink.galegroup.com%2Fapps%2Fdoc%2FA454359740%2FGPS%3Fu%3Dwikipedia%26sid%3DGPS%26xid%3D14109019. Accessed 19 Nov. 2018.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A454359740