Constructing the Past


Historians have found the task of defining medieval chivalry to be an elusive task. Chivalry was at the intersection of warrior culture, aristocratic values and religious ideals. By analyzing twelfth-century historians William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, and Orderic Vitalis, I have found that contemporary historians were just as conflicted over these factors as modern historians. Twelfth-century commentators all ascribed different precedence to social and moral factors and the examination of their connections between these values brings the nature of chivalry as a system of interactions between social groups into the open.