Seminars meet each weekday morning, 09.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city.
The beginnings of chivalry and knighthood – how chivalry evolved from earlier fighting traditions. Knighthood in theory – the theories, social, moral and religious that evolved about the roles and duties of the knight over the course of the Middle Ages. Other interpretations as to why chivalry evolved.
Knighthood and chivalry in practice. The true nature of the joust and tournament and their function as an aspect of a knight’s training. The life of William Marshal (1146-1219), one of the greatest examples of knighthood of his time. How typical was he of his age and how does his life compare with other knights?
Knighthood and chivalry in literature. We will focus on Chretien’s Knight of the Cart looking at how it relates to theory and practice, and the role of Courtly Love in knighthood. We will then look at other treatments of knighthood in medieval literature.
Day trip to the great fortification of Chepstow Castle, once governed by William Marshall, and to the remains of the small but perfect Goodrich Castle, also once held by William. This will give us a chance to consider life in the medieval castle in context.
The decline of chivalry and knighthood. Should we see the 15th century as a period of decline or change? We will use the life of ‘The Good Knight’ Jacques de Lalaing as an example. What happened to ideas and the practice of chivalry and knighthood after the Middle Ages?
Destination: Chepstow Castle, & Goodrich Castle
Excursion Rating: Moderate
Up to two hours' walk on even ground or up to an hour's walk on rough and/or steep ground or up lots of stairs and steps.