One of the frequent criticisms I’ve received with my writing on chivalry is that I’m using the term incorrectly. The argument is that chivalry is merely a code of martial honor, and that the ideals of reverence of women, idolization of romantic love, etc. are something entirely separate (courtly love). While it is true that courtly love has been adopted as the academic term describing these specific aspects of what we call chivalry, it is a fundamental part of how we use the word chivalry today, and how we have used it for hundreds of years. As I’ve shared previously, the oldest and most prestigious order of chivalry in the world was founded in 1348 to commemorate the time when the King of England picked up a noblewoman’s dropped undergarment and gallantly declared:
“Honi soit qui mal y pense” (“Shame on him who thinks evil of it.”)
That moment of utmost chivalry was from the 1300s, and British passports to this day have a cover image which commemorates the time a lady dropped her garter and the King cautioned the court not to laugh.
This understanding of chivalry continued in the Anglosphere through the 20th century to our present day. Vox Day has a new post up with a fascinating quote from the Preface to “Heroes and Heroines of Chivalry” from Volume 4 of The Junior Classics (1918 edition). As Vox explains, the preface was removed from the anthology beginning in the 1958 edition:
The campaign for the 2020 edition of the Junior Classics continues to go from strength to strength. To explain why it is important, consider the following preface from Volume 4 of the 1918 edition, “Heroes and Heroines of Chivalry”, which was excised from the 1958 edition for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who is conversant with the concept of social justice convergence and the long-running cultural war against Christianity and the West. And it probably will not surprise you to know that all three of the stories referenced in this preface were also removed from the 1958 edition.
Note that Vox considers Christianity and chivalry to be intertwined. Nearly all Christians today would struggle greatly to separate the two in a meaningful way, especially when it comes to the proper roles of men & women and the morality of romantic love. This is true despite the fact that the ideas now accepted as “Christian” were created as a parody of Christianity. The Bible teaches Christians that wives should submit to their husbands in all things, with fear and reverence, and call their husband lord. Chivalry teaches Christians that a man should submit to his lady in all things, with fear and reverence. Chivalry, the mock religion that decadent medieval aristocrats contrived as a devious joke, is now mistaken by modern Christians for the real deal. This makes modern Christians helpless when trying to fight against feminism, because the temptation is to offer chivalry as the “way back” to Christianity.
Here is an excerpt from the preface (emphasis mine):
By the time a boy was fourteen he was ready to become an esquire. He was then taught to get on and off a horse with his heavy armor on, to wield the battle axe, and practise tilting with a spear. His service to the ladies had now reached the point where he picked out a lady to serve loyally. His endeavor was to please her in all things, in order that he might be known as her knight, and wear her glove or scarf as a badge or favor when he entered the lists of a joust or tournament.
To become a knight was almost as solemn an affair as it was to become a priest. Before the day of the ceremony he fasted, spent the night in prayer, confessed his sins, and received the Holy Sacrament. When morning came he went, clothed in white, to the church or hall, with a knight’s sword suspended from his neck. This the priest blessed and returned to him. Upon receiving back the sword he went and knelt before the presiding knight and took the oath of knighthood. The friends who accompanied him now came forward and handed him the spurs, the coat of mail, the armlet and gauntlet, and having put these on he girded on his sword. The presiding knight now bade him kneel, and, touching him three times on the shoulder with the flat of his sword, he pronounced the words that received him into the company of worthy knights: “In the name of God, of St. Michael, and St. George, I make thee a knight; be valiant, courteous, and loyal!” After this he received his helmet, his shield, and his spear, and the ceremony was completed.
The knight’s real work, and greatest joy, was fighting for some one who needed his help. Tournaments and jousts gave them chances to show off their skill in public. We must remember that there were no big open-air theatres in those days, such as the Greeks had, no public races or trials of strength such as the Greeks held in the stadiums, nor were there chariot races or fighting gladiators such as the Romans had at an earlier day. Tournaments or jousts were the big public entertainments, and you will find a famous description of one by Sir Walter Scott in Ivanhoe, in the volume “Stories that Never Grow Old,” the tournament of Ashby-de-la-Zouche. In it you will find a clear description of how the field of contest was laid out, of the magnificent pavilions decorated with flags, and the galleries spread with carpets and tapestries for the ladies.
The same qualities that made a manful fighter then, make one now: to speak the truth, to perform a promise to the utmost, to reverence all women, to be constant in love, to despise luxury, to be simple and modest and gentle in heart, to help the weak and take no unfair advantage of an inferior. This was the ideal of the age, and chivalry is the word that expresses that ideal.
Im triggered, shaking, dry heaving, also first !
And thats just from the shame my passport which says ““Honi soit qui mal y pense” (“Shame on him who thinks evil of it.”)”
How can “Chivalry” survive in the age of feminism ?
Vox Day is observably not chivalrous:
“To reverence all women” – yup, there it is. The Glasses show what’s real, every time.
How can “Chivalry” survive in the age of feminism ?
Why, we all just double down on the reverencing of women, natch.
Here’s a girl in Alabama who’s obviously used to being reverenced, someone should pay her bail.
No feminist can complain about anything except for the arrest.
@AR, well,that link just shows just prevalent the patricharcy is. That those men didnt get arrested for bystander rape, well just shows you everything
All this talk about chivalry is making me wonder, when was the phrase “chivalry is dead” first uttered? Shouldn’t it be dead by now?
I think some men wonder: Around what shall we create a martial tradition if we chuck chivalry? Fighting is a manly pursuit and needs to be honored among men, but since chivalry is Western Civilization’s telos for combat it is hard to imagine another way of thinking and doing. And if we do come up with another way that will be on its face a kind of capitulation that Western Civilization was wrong at least in this regard.
That is exactly what it says on British Passports: “Honi Soit qui mal y pense”. It also says “Dieu et mon Droit” which means ‘get out of my way I have a British Passport’ and just to prove that on the inside it says “Her Britannic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Empire affairs hereby requires and demands in the name of Her Majesty to allow the bearer to pass without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance as may be necessary”. This is backed up by the threat of force for on the front cover and on either side of the Honi Soit motto are respectively a Lion and a Unicorn. So pretty scary, I would say.
Some people (the French) however are failing to observe the due respect they owe their betters for now we have horrid burgundy coloured Euro passports. Mine however is enclosed within an imitation of an old deep Blue British Passport. The last tine I went through French customs I handed in my ‘blue’ covered passport at which the garlic-smelling frog-eating Passport Gendarme ripped off with undisguised disdain my blue cover throwing it down on the counter. Next time when we finally leave the accursed Union and I obtain my new Blue passport I will waive it in their face like the cheese-eating surrender monkeys they clearly are laughing at their continued servitude,
In 1348 we owned all of south west France but frankly they can keep it – it is full of French. Spit.
And if we do come up with another way that will be on its face a kind of capitulation that Western Civilization was wrong at least in this regard.
We can admire the strength and achievements of our ancestors while recognizing they also were flawed.
You’ll still need an ESTA to enter the US.
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I think some men wonder: Around what shall we create a martial tradition if we chuck chivalry?
This is not an answer but it is the first thing that came to mind.
Those 3 are sure to strike fear in the hearts of the Chinese.
As a genuine Christian man, I can say without reservation that chivalry is but a dung hill and I cock that stands on it to crow.
May I suggest, as a substitute telos of combat, some pollination of Augustinian “Just War theory” with an expansion upon the “Sheepdog” paradigm expressed in American Sniper? What I would emphasize (that Chris Kyle doesn’t, nor does the movie about him) includes the fact that a sheepdog is always far more like a wolf than like a sheep, but while wolves and feral dogs serve only themselves and their packs, a sheepdog serves the Shepherd.
USA – bald eagle
England – triple lions
Scotland – unicorn
Wales – dragon
Do you see the point of the lion and the unicorn
Guaranteed they slept around…alot!
Perhaps in California where it never rains or in Texas which as I know from every John Wayne movie is just dustbowl and more dust what I am about to relate is not familiar to every gender-binary school-boy and girl but in England we are early regaled with the story of Sir Walter Raleigh who on observing that the first Elizabeth aka Gloriana, circa 1580, the Virgin Queen was about to place her dainty little foot in a puddle (which I know you do not cannot have in either California or Texas I doubt it is even in Merriam-Webster) ripped off his cloak and threw it over the puddle. Is this not a perfect or even better example of no one thinks ill of it.
Sadly this puddle covering behaviour continues. A former colleague of mine on hearing the news that Margaret Thatcher, had been replaced (we don’t go in for tiresome stuff like impeachment) was in tears – a puddle of his own making. One would think that her Tory male replacement would have been equally acceptable. An acquaintance of mine always had a photograph of Mrs Thatcher on his mantelpiece.
Then there was the caterwauling on the untimely but convenient death of Diana Princess of Wails.
One thing no American knows about his country is this: when entering the United States – I mean legally – as an alien, one is handed a form on which there are a number of questions. One of those questions requires answer as to whether one is in any way guilty of “Moral Turpitude”. What an archaic expression! and of course every one lies as which of us are not at some time so guilty even assuming one understands the question, and so one is let in to be welcomed at Newark N.J. (in my case) by the smiling portrait of handsome Ronald Reagan – a nice and indeed reassuring touch.
When it states in my passport that I am to be tended such as assistance as I may require, what this means (in America) is that you should house and feed me at your own cost (which indeed most of you seem happy to do) and were I to have a sexual emergency to provide one or more of your daughters or if she is hot enough, your wife. That at least is all I can assume it means. Americans are so friendly anyway it always feels as if you know what is on the inside of my passport.
The picture of the Lion and The Unicorn surrounded by the old French Mottos is also seen in Court as a large coloured plaque behind where the Magistracy sit. There are no national flags in our courts (we know which country we are – perhaps) as I think is common enough in America. Your Judges dress like our Court Ushers. This might cause confusion for American visitors. Bowing is good, not every Judge is to be addressed as Your Honour – do try to get the terminology right. Stand when a man in purple or red enters the court, but the Court of Appeal are strangely more plainly dressed and always remind me of Quakers.
to reverence all women
Not sure where this is coming from, cuz nobody at the time was vomiting such tripe. A knight would have to be courteous and proper to ladies of equal or greater social stature. Milk maids, scullery wenches, shepherdesses and such like were all mere food for fucking among the “chivalrous” knights and the rest of the “decadent medieval aristocrats” of the Middle Ages.
Jesus was neither a “gentleman” nor chivalrous. He was a strong, manly man who had good manners — which He knew precisely when to drop to fight wickedness and evil.
In school 40 years ago, my soft-headed, New Age feminist addled leftist witch teachers got the vapors because Jesus called His mother, “woman.” Some of them practically shook with rage.
Anytime I see pics of our “woke” military, it makes my skin crawl.
I have a close female relative who spent a decade in the service. The entire time was behind a desk, accomplishing nothing–but she looks down on me and my service, much of which was spent in unpleasant hot spots, a bit of it (this was in the 90s, before endless wars) in an actual war zone.
I found the following poem written by a female troubadour (which was unusual) named the Contessa Beatriz de Día. I couldn’t find an English version, so here’s my translation from Spanish.
Medieval cuckoldry at its finest.
Dang… a trio of babes.
Why am I to “reverence all women”? Do these women reverence themselves?
They are not honorable, having lied and rationalised away the truth.
They are not hard-working, having gotten grades and work through manipulated quotas.
They are not chaste, having slept with a dozen partners.
They are not devout, as they make promises before God on their wedding days they do not keep.
They are not kind, for they divorce their sworn husbands out of boredom.
They are not compassionate, supporting liberalised abortion laws up to the child’s birth.
When women begin to reverence themselves, I will reverence SOME of them
And to think our military leaders only want moar…
Did Jesus reverence all women? Hardly.
Nor do we see him throwing down any cloaks, figuratively or otherwise. No, instead, we see him call out an adulterous Samaritan. A Canaanite woman he initially ignores before calling her a dog. No, the only thing that would move him to show them any favor is their faith in, and submission to, him.
Allow me to offer this template, from the last war that even a hint of the kind of fighting to which you reference.
Franz Stigler, escorting the barely flying bomber of 1LT Charlie Brown, pointing in the direction home and rendering his salute — who knows? Maybe to see each other in combat another day? Is the epitome of chivalrous fighting, and there are no chicks in the story.
And when I read the story, as a retire officer in a line of military fathers, I get choked up by every part of it. Especially when Stigler recalls his early flight instructor telling them that he would be ashamed of them for shooting a man falling to the ground in a parachute.
And there are no chicks in that part of the story either.
Yesterday, Mychael and I were at Hobby Lobby (and no, I was not following her around the store pushing the cart like a pack mule) and we happened across a shelf of books. One was the story of Tammy Jo Shultz, the navy F-18 fighter pilot who later landed a crippled commercial jet and saved the people on board.
Mychael looked at the book and made the raspberry sound with her mouth and gave it a big thumbs down. Hobby Lobby, as we all know is a “Christian” store. Because birth control or something.
The question that came up in my mind was the same as always. What does the end state look like for these people? And be these people, I mean pretty much everyone. Christians, feminists, all the way through the spectrum to angry basement dwelling extreme antifa social justice warrior.
Because it looks to me that the end state is total androgyny. Billions of asexual beings with no discernible characteristics. Kick ass women is just a step along that path, really. Because they are never “done.”
What the tiny group of internet malcontents like ourselves offer is the only alternative that doesn’t lead to the same exact place. The bottom line is, ours is such a small subset of the population that we will have to fight tooth and nail in our own private lives to keep that alternative viable, and probably long after we dead someone will look to it and give it a real try.
To the larger points addressed in this post. I am eternally grateful to Dalrock for never really letting up on this series. I find it mind numbing to read through 12th century prose in order to uncover the origins of our obsession with “chivalry”
I can guarantee that if I walk into a store and hold open the door for a woman over 40, I will hear something like
“Oh my, chivalry is alive and well!”
And that’s fine as far as it goes. No one is going to stop that woman in the middle of what either of you are doing to explain the knights code to her and try to tease apart rules of engagement from holding doors open.
“Game” actually converges with this topic like a garbage truck falling off the Empire State Building. Its so weird to me how long “chivalry” or “being a gentleman” or whatever has endured for so long, when a quick glance at reality is that behaving like that absolutely turns women off. (Caveat: unless she already thinks you are hot and wants to f%&$ you)
I have become convinced though, that no matter how much “masculine frame” you possess naturally (I have a modest amount) or how much of it you try to add with “game” (I look like a programmed monkey trying to put on a stupid fake show when I do this) the ingrained utterly integrated into the modern male psyche “white knight” will short circuit any attempt made to restore order to the universe. For each time a JohnMacArthur says “go home” the resounding, deafening chorus from the multitudes will be “boooo, shame! Meanie! My daughter can shoot good!”
Might as well crawl back to our caves and wait for the whole civilization to burn to the ground and then try to rebuild later.
It is considered “Christian to talk like that. To BE like that.
(I have listened to at least two podcasts about that story.)
Can it be the epitome if there are no women? I don’t think so. Here we see the problem: You relay a story about two men who embodied a form of multi-tiered honor and you call it a story about chivalry because in West. Civ. honor has been married to romantic (usually adulterous) love. What would we call it instead? There is nothing. That was the point of my comment. We can’t imagine (or re-imagine) another name for honorable combat; which is a complicated thing.
Chivalry is anyways distasteful to me probably because I am an American. American war is in the tradition of the Athenians, Israelites, and Anglo-Saxons. It is opposed to the Spartans, Normans, and Soviets. I do not say that Stigler should have shot down Brown. Only that we should recognize that a view of a bomber’s chivalry is horrific from the ground.
Only that we should recognize that a view of a bomber’s chivalry is horrific from the ground.
Agreed. However I think Stigler calculated that at that point, that particular battle was over and Brown and his crew were neutralized.
I do see the problem of coming up with a different name for it. Of this I have no original thought content, usually, I don’t.
Everything good and righteous and pure has already been thought of and shit on and ruined.
And to be honest, as a man with small children the last sentence of my previous comment causes me such overwhelming sorrow and anxiety that I almost can’t bear it.
But for a small group of cantankerous oppositional fighters I’ve met in places like this, I would be overcome by a feeling of being totally alone.
Came across a quote this week Scott:
Optimism is a substitute for hope. One may encounter optimism everywhere. . . . But hope must be won. One can only attain hope through truth, at the cost of great effort and long patience. To find hope, it is necessary to go beyond despair. When one comes to the end of the night, one meets another dawn. . . . Hope is a virtue, . . . strength, an heroic determination of the soul. The highest form of hope is despair overcome. [“France Before the World of Tomorrow,” in The Last Essays of Georges Bernanos, trans. Joan and Barry Ulanov (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1955), 4–5]
Haven’t read the source material on this.
I feel the way you do, the world is a broken and fallen place. But even though Everything good and righteous and pure has already been thought of and shit on and ruined we can still go on. Paul says hope that is seen is no hope at all.
@Gryunt Liogurdes, 7th level
Right. The early game of courtly love was only for nobility. According to De Amore (1184-86), a man who couldn’t help but fall for a peasant woman should use trickery and force to take her. But over the centuries the concept of chivalry has been modified. Some might mistakenly believe it has been “tamed”, but it has only been made more destructive. Now chivalry is thought to apply to all men towards all women. And instead of focusing on adultery, it focuses on marriage. But bringing poison into marriage is a disaster. Likewise spreading this kind of nonsense to every young boy and girl. At least the original aristocrats understood they were mocking Christianity.
“so one is let in to be welcomed at Newark N.J. (in my case) by the smiling portrait of handsome Ronald Reagan”
I see it’s been a while since you’ve been here. Things have changed since Ronnie was prez. You will need to apply for and receive an ESTA, which is basically an easy apply express tourist visa, which is good for a few years, before you can visit the US. I. on the other hand, need only show up in the UK with my US passport, no visa required. I know this because my UK relatives have complained about it.
And from my observation, US immigration agents in the US have become less friendly than in the past. I have witnessed them yell at foreigners complaining about not being fast tracked to enter at the airport.
Likewise spreading this kind of nonsense to every young boy and girl. At least the original aristocrats understood they were mocking Christianity.
Your concern is noted.
Chivalry isn’t something I plan to encourage at all with my kids, but the stories from the era are better than what’s out there today, and most of the project doesn’t involve chivalry. I would like to be a part of Vox’s efforts at preserving the history, at any rate.
You have to come in to the US illegally Frank to get a warm welcome!
It’s almost like the ruling class developed a system of obedience for their underlings, who were rewarded for their subservience.
A knight could be chivalrous, but royalty breeds with royalty.
Strictly speaking, the Garter is certainly not the oldest. There were much older orders in the Iberian peninsula alone, and not all of them religious. But it is true that they were military orders and not leisurely.
Wikipedia mentions some ways of classifing orders of chivalry:
I like the Sansovino system.
But maybe a new system is in order, that takes account of the phenomenon you describe and accompanying hypothesis – with which I agree.
Cane asked “I think some men wonder: Around what shall we create a martial tradition if we chuck chivalry? ”
For this first generation that must take back the West from the satanists, I suggest:
Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.
Agreed. Let us pray for all the congregation of the saints to be purged of this disease as part of our sanctification.
In the end it is god who is capable of completely purging us of this anti-christian “chivalry” like other worldly anti-god tendencies and ideas.
A corruption that wears the Christian skin but is not of Christ.
Reverence = fear. Honor = value. If your wife is a Christian, you are to *value* her as a fellow heir (son) of God. Do not abuse her, just as a parent or master should not abuse those belonging to him, because God is watching. Fear God. Do not reverence your wife or any other woman.
Constantine Roland,, Godfrey of Boullion, and Beowulf provide good sources of actually manly virtue for combat.
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Feminists will loudly denounce chivalry, but they don’t actually know what it is, so it will carry on without its name.
They will never oppose the ideas of chivalry that are consistent with feminism – such as the “Courts of Love”, where the judges are all women, and a man is judged guilty for the slightest transgression – such as a moment’s hesitation.
I like that remark