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The Book of the Order of Chivalry

The Book of the Order of Chivalry

Ramon Llull
Translated by Noel Fallows
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 120
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt16173f8
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  • Book Info
    The Book of the Order of Chivalry
    Book Description:

    Ramon Llull (1232-1316) composed The Book of the Order of Chivalry between 1274 and 1276 as both an instrument of reform and an agent for change. His aim was to create and codify the rules for a unilateral Order of Chivalry. Loyalty to the Order, coupled with common sense, religious faith, education, and martial prowess, were in his view the keys to victory in the Holy Land and the Reconquista. The book was an immediate success and widely disseminated across Europe, eventually reaching a medieval English audience, though through a fanciful translation of a translation by William Caxton, in which most of the stylistic nuances of the Catalan original were lost. This new translation is directly from the original Catalan, so capturing for the first time in English the concise, austere style that characterises Llull's prose; it is presented with introduction and notes. It will be essential reading for all scholars and enthusiasts of medieval chivalric culture. Noel Fallows is Associate Dean and Professor of Spanish at the University of Georgia, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-550-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-30)

    Ramon llull (1232–1316) is best described as the personification of paradox. As a young man he led the life of a carefree knight, seneschal and courtier at the courts of James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon (1208–76; ruled 1213–76) and James’ second son, the future King James II of Majorca (1243–1311; King of Majorca and Lord of Montpellier 1276–1311). In the year 1263 at the royal court on the island of Majorca, while Llull was composing a troubadourcanso, or love song, he experienced a series of visions of Christ that precipitated a transcendent...

  5. Plates
    (pp. None)
  6. A Note on the Translation
    (pp. 31-34)
  7. THE BOOK OF THE ORDER OF CHIVALRY

    • THE PROLOGUE BEGINS
      (pp. 35-39)

      Like the seven planets, which are the celestial bodies that govern the terrestrial bodies and put them in order, we are dividing thisBook of Chivalryinto seven parts to demonstrate that knights have honour and seigneury over the people so as to put them in order and defend them. The first part is about the beginning of Chivalry; the second is about the office¹ of knighthood; the third is about the examination that the squire must be given when he wishes to join the Order of Chivalry; the fourth is about the way in which he must be made...

    • [I] ON THE BEGINNING OF CHIVALRY
      (pp. 40-43)

      There once was no charity, loyalty, justice or truth in the world. Enmity, disloyalty, injustice and falsehood came into being, and because of this there was error and confusion amongst the people of God, who were created so that God be loved, known, honoured, served and feared by man.

      In the beginning, when contempt for justice had come into the world because of the diminution of charity, justice sought to recover its honour by means of fear. And thus the entire populace was divided into groups of a thousand, and one man – more kind, wise, loyal and strong, and with...

    • [II] ON THE OFFICE THAT PERTAINS TO THE KNIGHT
      (pp. 44-55)

      The office of the knight is the aim and purpose for which the Order of Chivalry was begun; thus, if the knight does not practise the office of knighthood he is contrary to his Order and to the aforesaid beginnings of Chivalry, and because of this contradiction he is not a true knight even though he may be called a knight, and such a knight is baser than the weaver or the trumpeter who does practise his office.

      It is the office of the knight to uphold and defend the Holy Catholic Faith, for which God the Father sent his...

    • [III] ON EXAMINING THE SQUIRE WHO WISHES TO JOIN THE ORDER OF CHIVALRY
      (pp. 56-61)

      In order to examine the squire the examiner must be a knight who loves the Order of Chivalry, for there are some knights who have greater love for a large number of knights rather than that they be good, and since Chivalry does not protect a multitude in number and loves nobility of courage and good manners, therefore, if the examiner loves a multitude of knights more than the nobility of Chivalry he is unsuited to be an examiner and it should be necessary that he be examined and reproved for the wrong that he is doing to the high...

    • [IV] ON THE WAY IN WHICH THE SQUIRE SHALL RECEIVE KNIGHTHOOD
      (pp. 62-65)

      In the beginning, before the squire joins the Order of Chivalry, it behoves him to confess to the wrongs that he has committed against God, whom he wishes to serve in the Order of Chivalry, and if he is without sin he shall receive the body of Jesus Christ accordingly.

      The knight must be invested on one of the honoured feast days of the year, for the honour of the feast will cause many men to gather that day in that place in which the squire shall be made a knight, and they will all pray to God for the...

    • [V] ON THE MEANING OF THE KNIGHT’S ARMS
      (pp. 66-70)

      Everything that the priest wears in order to sing mass has some meaning appropriate to his office, and since the office of the cleric and the office of the knight belong together, the Order of Chivalry therefore requires that everything of which the knight has need in order to practise his office has some meaning through which the nobility of the Order of Chivalry is signified.

      Unto the knight is given a sword which is made in the shape of a cross to signify that just as our Lord Jesus Christ vanquished on the Cross the death into which we...

    • [VI] ON THE HABITS THAT PERTAIN TO THE KNIGHT
      (pp. 71-79)

      Since nobility of courage has chosen the knight over those who are beneath him in servitude, nobility of habits and good manners befit the knight, for nobility of courage could not achieve the high honour of Chivalry without appropriate virtues and good habits. This being the case, it follows that the knight must necessarily be suited to good habits and good manners.

      Every knight must know the seven virtues that are the root and beginning of all good habits and the pathways and roads to heavenly glory everlasting. Of those seven virtues, three are theological and four cardinal. The theological...

    • [VII] ON THE HONOUR THAT MUST BE PAID TO THE KNIGHT
      (pp. 80-82)

      God has honoured the knight, and the populace has honoured the knight as has been recounted in this book. And knighthood is an honourable office and is absolutely necessary for the government of the world. And therefore the knight must be honoured by the people for all these reasons and many more.

      Since the king, the prince and the lord of the land must be knights – for if they do not have the honour that pertains to a knight they do not deserve to be princes or lords of the land – then the knights must be honoured by kings and...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 83-92)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 93-98)
  10. Index
    (pp. 99-102)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 103-103)