Knights in Medieval Europe
Knights were the most advanced fighting unit of the Middle Ages. Developed mainly by Charles Martel, they were horsemen, armored and carrying swords. By definition, a Knight was a mounted warrior in the service of his liege-lord (Snell, "Defining the Knight", Knight Life, Internet). He they would generally receive a fief in exchange for their services. But Knights also became important as a symbol of honor, nobility (in the moral sense of the word), and loyalty towards the sovereign.
Who could become a Knight? They were often sons of nobles, but could also be mercenaries. The traditional Knights, those who fought for their Lord and for pride and King and Country etc. often despised the mercenary knights (MacDonald, 7), who would easily switch allegiances to whoever would pay the most.
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