Social status during the middle ages consisted of Royalty, Nobility, Hereditary Nobility and then Non-Hereditary Nobility. Knights were considered under the Non-Hereditary Nobility status. This was a high status that could be given from any knight to any ordinary man but it was generally more honorable to be knighted by royalty. During the Middle Ages, knights had a very high social status, but could only achieve this status due to their acts of violence during war. The more evildoers killed and wars fought, the more honor bestowed upon him. Knights were originally armored men on horseback and were meant to serve in battle for their lord. It was a mixture of men who were dedicated to serving their people and had nothing to do with wealth but was classified with status. With time, knights became a staple of both social status and wealth combined.
Knighthood had always been an act of honor, but soon became more about money since knights needed to equip themselves with their own weapons and armor. This made it harder for poorer men to become knights. Also being a knight came with civic duties and a code of conduct that they had to abide by. Many uncivilized men at the time probably weren’t able to convey this manor. This is where the hierarchy of being a knight strayed from not just honor and the will to fight, but in wealth and status. Later, when the church saw knighthood as bloodthirsty and violent, fighting in the war for honor turned into social jousting tournaments and broadsword battles solely for entertainment. Knights were men that were generally looked up to and had enough power that civilians had to follow orders if given to them.
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