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High King Harald

The Norman Code of Chivalry

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The Norman Code of Chivalry

Norman Chivalry is a moral, religious and social code of knightly and courtly conduct, which is deeply permeated in the laws and customs of the Duchy of Normandie, as well as the result of those laws and customs in action. The code varies, but it often emphasizes honour, courage and service. The Norman Code of Chivalry is derived from similar codes from ancient Christian countries of old such as Franciana, Ibelin, and Baudrix but is, due to Normandie having been created by warriors from Valtia, also been influenced by Vanic Law.

 

The three principal factors of the Norman Code of Chivalry are faith, war, and love, and its merits and faults are a result of these factors. The whole duty of a gentle(wo)man was included in the idea of Chivalry, which regulated zir life from zir early childhood.

The principle of service to the Divine, zir liege, and your sönggyðjurnar - which roughly means something like "muse" or "lover" in the Valtian language- underlay everything. The knight's rule of service was governed by the Norman Code of Chivalry with its three main elements: religion, military duty, and love. These elements intimately connected with pride of birth will generate that frame of character which is expressed by honor and loyalty. The aforesaid ancient code of chivalry is commonly reduced into ten "Commandments".

The Ten Commandments of the Norman Code of Chivalry are:

  • Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions;
  • Thou shalt defend the Church;
  • Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them;
  • Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born;
  • Thou shalt not recoil before the enemy;
  • Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy;
  • Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of the Divine;
  • Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word;
  • Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone;
  • Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

The most important and the most sacred of them is the first Commandment. The thought of, and interactions with, the Divine filled knights’ hearts, and the main part of the Norman knight’s service was due to the Church. He was brought up in the use of her sacraments, and in obedience to her precepts and reverence for her ministers. The Crusader, the Templar, and the Hospitaller were champions of the Church against the infidel.

 

The knight’s consecration to Chivalry was after the form of a sacrament, and to defend the Holy Church was part of zir vow of initiation. War and zir mimicry were to be zir business, honour and faith the sanction of zir actions. Ever since the Treaty of Fyrisvellir, the peace treaty that ended the War of the Hands of Hallvarður between Valtia and the Kingdom of Franciana and which made the Ancient Ways of Valtia co-equal in status with the established faith of the Kingdom of Franciana, the term "Church" also includes the Vanic Church.

 

Due to the Vanic Church becoming established in the the Kingdom of Franciana, of which Normandie was a fief, the doctrine of love gradually became an essential part of the Norman Code of Chivalry, expressed in social life, and literature. Knighthood, from being a matter of war and feudal dependence, gained more dignity by becoming romantic. In the lives of all knights, the tournament bore a principal part, and the laws and customs of the tournament were inseparable from the love of sönggyðjurnar. A lot of the knight’s leisure time was spent in hunting, but also in music, and exercising the “science” of gallantry and poetry. The chivalric literature, whether its note was that of love or of deeds of arms, shows that the laws of gallantry were more imperious than even those of military honour.

The science of heraldry, and the distinction of ranks on which it was founded, taught the knight to show reverence to his superiors in rank, and gentleness to his inferiors. Connected to heraldry and ceremony were the laws and usages of the feudal system, and the symbolical consecration of these by solemn forms, the tenure of land by knight service, and the consequent personal loyalty to zir liege.

The point of culmination of the perfect knight, devoted to the perfect Norman Code of Chivalry may be placed between 1250 and 1350. It was the time of the knights errant and troubadours, welcomed everywhere over Reikistjarna, and speaking “lingua franca”, common to the courts of Alexandria, Galatia, and Anglia. The romances, fabliaux, chansons de geste, and ballads of southern and central Gascony were recited and sung in the Providence Plantations. The Celtic literature of Avalon, Gwent, and Airgíalla, as well as the Teutonic legends of Dietrich the Great and of the Niblungs found their way to Verenea, Alexandria. And the presence of Houses of Templars and Hospitallers in many a country worked in the same direction of establishing an "international" Chivalry throughout Micras.

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Her Holiness the Lady Oracle of Thingeyri wishes to convey to His Imperial and Royal Majesty the High King of Stormark that this article on the Norman Code of Chivalryis an exuberantly sweet read!

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