Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss chivalry, the moral code observed by knights of the Middle Ages. Chivalry originated in the military practices of aristocratic French and German soldiers, but developed into an elaborate system governing many different aspects of knightly behaviour. It influenced the conduct of medieval military campaigns and also had important religious and literary dimensions. It gave rise to the phenomenon of courtly love, the subject of much romance literature, as well as to the practice of heraldry. The remnants of the chivalric tradition linger in European culture even today.

Miri Rubin
Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History and Head of the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London

Matthew Strickland
Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow

Laura Ashe
Associate Professor in English at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Worcester College

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

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43 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Feb 2014 21:30

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Miri Rubin at Queen Mary, University of London


Matthew Strickland at the University of Glasgow


Laura Ashe at the University of Oxford


Chivalry - Wikipedia





R. Barber, The Knight and Chivalry (Boydell & Brewer, 1995)


R. Barber and J. Barker, Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages (Boydell Press, 2013)


Geoffroi de Charny (eds. R.W. Kaeuper and E. Kennedy), The Book of Chivalry of Geoffroi de Charny: Text, Context and Translation (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996)


Geoffroi de Charny (trans. R.W. Kaeuper and E. Kennedy), A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry: Geoffroi de Charny (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005)


D. Crouch, William Marshal: Knighthood, War and Chivalry, 1147–1219 (Routledge, 2002)


D. Crouch, The English Aristocracy 1070-1272: A Social Transformation (Yale University Press, 2011)


Jean Froissart (trans. G. Brereton), Chronicles (Penguin, 1978)


J. Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (Benediction Books, 2010)


S. Jaeger, The Origins of Courtliness: Civilizing Trends and the Formation of Courtly Ideals, 939-1210 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000)


R. Kaeuper, Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe (Oxford University Press, 2001)


R. Kaeuper, Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009)


M. Keen, Chivalry (Yale University Press, 2012)


N. Saul, For Honour and Fame: Chivalry in England, 1066-1500 (Pimlico, 2012)


Chrétien de Troyes (trans. W. Kibler), Arthurian Romances (Penguin, 1991)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestMiri Rubin
Interviewed GuestMatthew Strickland
Interviewed GuestLaura Ashe
ProducerThomas Morris

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