Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournaments
Resource Library

The institutions of knighthood and chivalry, and the question of "feudalism."

Unclear what "feudalism" means?   So are a lot of scholars!

Feudalism is a modern term that has been used to describe an economic system, a method of raising armies, a style of decentralized government, or some combination of them all.    Paul Halsall's Internet Medieval Sourcebook includes a section on "feudalism" and whether the term is useful.

Here are some individual documents about the legal and social status of lords and knights.

Some of the earliest references to knights are church enactments that attempted to keep unruly "horsemen" under control:

Peace of God - Synod of Charroux, 989 (Internet Medieval Sourcebook).
Truce of God, 1063(Internet Medieval Sourcebook).