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  • Theodor Meinhardt

From Pagen to knight

To be a knight was an honorable title. This title could be awarded for years of service on the farm or for bravery in battle. But being a knight was not just an honor, it was a valued profession. You had to go through years of training to become a real knight. However, a knight didn't just need a bunch of muscles, he needed a lot more. Being physically fit was of course still the number one requirement, but regular chess play to improve both concentration and strategic thinking was common A boy had to leave his family at the age of seven in order to begin years of training to become a knight. A knight who had not yet completed his training called himself a squire. But hardly a squire survived the hard training, they often died in tournaments, feuds or after their knight godfather. They were often injured so badly that they could no longer become knights, and most of the time they became monks in a monastery as a result. If a page did well, he could become a squire at the age of 14, then even more intensive training followed and it was no longer just fought with the sword, but also with lances and battles with the battle axe. There were also unknightly weapons like the morning star. The squires accompanied their knight in almost everything they helped him when he was horseback riding in tournaments and stood by him even in the most dangerous battles, but this was not exactly clever because while the trained knight was heavily armored, the squires had neither armor nor shield and fought with nothing but the sword. If the pages had been diligently cleaning weapons and serving at table for 7 years, they were made squires, further hard years of training and many dangerous battles and one could be made a knight. The goal for which one had fought all one's life was hereby achieved. Many think knights only want war - and yes they loved war passionately - but in their training they also learned good manners towards women and much more.

The age of the knights ended with the fall of the Middle Ages and never returned. But what is known for sure is that many knights were venerable men, even if they almost never fought for a purpose and more for festivals and entertainment and even sometimes lost their lives.

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