What was the role of knights in medieval europe

- A European knight order that was sworn to defend the Cross and fight the enemies of Christianity. It was founded by the King of Hungary in 1408 and was found primarily in Germany and Italy. Its members were known as Draconists and the order is claimed to be an inspiration to Bram Stoker in his writing of Dracula.

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and knights were integral to armies throughout Europe.

I arrived in Ciechanów just before the first battle of the weekend was to take place in the Castle of the Dukes of Mazovia. I was in town fwas there for the third Polish Knights Tournament. The weather had been scorching hot for weeks and looking at the knights in full armour around me, I couldn't help but wonder how they could stand this. “It’s not that bad, the staging of the Battle of Grunwald last month was much harder. The thermometer under the armour reached 70 Celsius," said one of them.

Suddenly, one of the judges shouted "START!" and weirdness was unleashed. Two of the knights got to chasing each other around with swords while the audience cheered and applauded. It could have been funny except with every hit, blades broke on the armours and shields of the fighters. These guys weren’t joking after all.

The tournament had officially started – there was even a tent camp set up around the castle, in which Middle Ages enthusiasts were eating, drinking and shooting with bows and arrows. This is where I met Thomas Duda, governor of the Banner of Knights of Ciechanów and representative of the Polish Association of Medieval Combat. I asked him what it's like to be a Polish knight in the 21st century.

VICE: Could you tell me a little about why there even is such a thing as medieval combat in Poland?
Thomas Duda: The first Polish knights tournaments took place in the 1990s, but the whole thing was more like theatre back then. The fights were arranged and had nothing to do with sports, but that gradually changed as more and more people wanted to do this for real.

1998 was a breakthrough year – it was when we staged the first re-enaction of The Battle of Grunwald. The event grew more popular as time passed and attracted many tourists from Russia and Ukraine.

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What happened next?
Eventually we all agreed that in order to turn our hobby into a real sport, we had to form a union. In 2011, the Polish Association of Medieval Combat was launched. We want medieval combat to become the flagship European martial art – like tae kwon do and karate for Asia.

Besides the Polish Association of Medieval Combat, there is also the Polish League of Knight Fight. That was established two years ago and their main goal is to find knights who would represent Poland in a World Championship. Poland is one of the founder states of IMCF [International Medieval Combat Federation]. So we are essentially determining the direction and the quality of this sport.

So what does one have to do in order to become a member of the Polish Association of Medieval Combat?
Any person who wants to join has to enter the novitiate for a couple of months to learn to focus, fight and to make a medieval costume. The next step is deciding whether he or she wants to become a knight for real.

Medieval Knights, Within the King Arthur legends, the knights were predominantly good
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What is the Battle of Nations?
It’s the Medieval Combat World Championship. The first event took place in Ukraine in 2010, inside the walls of Chocim Fortress. Two years later Poland was the host – the competition was located in Bem's Fort in Warsaw.

Who have you managed to defeat so far?
France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Croatia. In the individual classification we've won two gold medals and in the general classification Poland is the runner-up.

Who is the champion?
The United States! I know it's weird as they have no history of knighthood. Every time this topic comes up we say that the US is a nation of immigrants who came from Europe. So we think Americans have deep knight roots and full rights to promote this sport in the United States, and we are happy that they do.

Sep 19, 2014 · Soldiers of Christ: the Knights Hospitaller & the Knights Templar in Medieval Ireland. Glenstal Abbey, Limerick, 19 - 21 Sept. 2014

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There are many famous medieval knights. Here I give you a look at some of them. Some of them you will have heard of and others are less well known yet rather famous at least in their time. I have also expanded this to take a look at some very famous knights that never actually existed! Yes, there are a few knights that are famous but are only characters in books or stories. Some of these figures in history went on to become kings.

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For nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar was the most powerful order in the medieval world. Today the group's legacy is played out in an array of Hollywood blockbusters and numerous works of popular literature.

Despite the Knights' long reign of power, the order experienced a sudden collapse in the early fourteenth century when certain members stood accused of unspeakable crimes and were subsequently tortured and killed. This insightful program interviews some of the world's leading biblical scholars and visits historic sites throughout Europe and the Near East to probe the past of this mysterious order. Did the Knights, as many believe, guard the Holy Grail? Or was the object of their attentions buried a thousand years before the birth of Christ?

The Templar Code is an in-depth examination into the remarkable rise and rapid descent of the powerful and obscure Knights Templar.