10 Interesting Things You Should Know About The Medieval Knight


2) Barbarian origins? 

By the later part of the disintegrating Roman Empire (a process which took place over centuries), the perceived ‘barbarians’ like Franks and Goths were given the responsibilities of military affairs, while the detached ‘Romans’ only played their crucial roles in administrative and financial institutions. However by the 7th century AD, the Western Roman Empire had already dissolved, and the ‘barbarians’ now found themselves at the helm of ‘ready to grab’ lands and pastures. As a reactionary measure for both political and military control, these newly found kingdoms initiated social reforms (or at least adaptations) that put the landholding class at the fore of military campaigns. In essence, this pushed forward their perceived superior social status within the realm, while also making them crucial for military gains – thus creating an interrelated system where the warrior became attached to the revenues generated from the land.

It should be noted that even by later stages of the Roman Empire, the military organization had largely separated from the state, with provincial governors, aristocrats and commanders recruiting their own chosen bodyguards. This trend continued and rather evolved by the early middle ages, with more potential recruits being available from the newly formed landowners and free men. The pueri (young men who were given military equipment and became warrior apprentices within elite households) and scarae (a Frankish term denoting extremely well-equipped and battle hardened warriors) were derived from such recruitment policies, thus paving the way for the emergence of a later knightly class.