History of Medieval and of Modern Civilization to the End of the Seventeenth Century

By Charles Seignobos; James Alton James | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
THE END OF THE MIDDLE AGES

THE TRANSFORMATION OF CHIVALRY

The New Knighthood. --The knights of the feudal period made war against each other. In the fourteenth century the king, having become powerful, began to forbid them to fight. Gradually this kind of war ceased. At the same time a great change took place in their armor; the coat of mail was no longer stout enough, the arrow of the crossbows penetrated it, the knights replaced it with pieces of smooth iron, the cuirass, the armlets, the cuisse or cuissart, the helmet with a visor.1 This kind of armor was used from the fourteenth century to the end of the sixteenth. The nobles continued to lead the life of a knight. The greater number remained in the country at their manors, passing the time in doing nothing or in hunting. Hunting became an art with very complicated rules; it was divided into "venerie" (hunting with dogs), and "falconrie" (hunting with falcons). A falcon was let loose against birds, dogs were required for hunting the stag, fox, or wolf. The nobles and the ladies on horseback followed the hunt. The poorest, ordinarily the younger sons of the family, served

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This was called "being fully accoutred."

-192-

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