Chivalry, Courtly Love, Civility, etc.

In general, I like the ideas covered by chivalry and courtly love. Of course, as older concepts, not all of their concepts may be highly relevant today. However, I think they do provide some good suggestions on being respectful. Hopefully the information here will be helpful, or at least interesting.

Quick Links: Code of Chivalry, Rules of Courtly Love, Rules of Civility, Additional Information.

The Code of Chivalry

I wanted to put these here because I think that there are some good ideals within the code of chivalry. Plus it's interesting to see how our ideas about chivalry and/or honor have changed with time. Sure, some of this is obviously outdated and probably not very useful, but some of it is still good advice; I'm sure you'll recognize which points are useful even today.

The Ten Commandments of the Code of Chivalry

From Chivalry by Leon Gautier

  1. Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions.
  2. Thou shalt defend the Church.
  3. Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
  4. Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born.
  5. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
  6. Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy.
  7. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
  8. Thou shalt never lie, and shall remain faithful to thy pledged word.
  9. Thou shalt be generous, and give largess to everyone.
  10. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

The Code of Chivalry

From the Rifts: England Supplement

I'm pretty sure I got this list somewhere else, but I haven't found out where. Still, some reference is better than none, so thanks to Jeremy Treanor for giving me this one.

Rules of Courtly Love

I wanted to put these here because I think that there are some good ideas in these sets of rules. It's also interesting to see how our ideas about love have changed with time (OK, so we don't exactly have the idea of courtly love around anymore, but still). Some of this is certainly outdated and probably not very useful, but some of it is still good advice; I'm sure you'll recognize which points are useful even today. Both lists apparently come from the same source, The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus. Thanks to Mark Lipsman for pointing out an error (now corrected) in point 2 of the second list below.

The Twelve Chief Rules in Love

From The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus

  1. Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
  2. Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
  3. Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
  4. Thou shalt not chose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
  5. Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
  6. Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
  7. Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of Love.
  8. In giving and receiving love's solaces let modesty be ever present.
  9. Thou shalt speak no evil.
  10. Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
  11. Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
  12. In practising the solaces of love thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.

The Art of Courtly Love

From The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus

  1. Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
  2. He who is not jealous cannot love.
  3. No one can be bound by a double love.
  4. It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
  5. That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish.
  6. Boys do not love until they reach the age of maturity.
  7. When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
  8. No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
  9. No one can love unless he is propelled by the persuasion of love.
  10. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
  11. It is not proper to love any woman whom one would be ashamed to seek to marry.
  12. A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
  13. When made public love rarely endures.
  14. The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
  15. Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
  16. When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
  17. A new love puts an old one to flight.
  18. Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
  19. If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
  20. A man in love is always apprehensive.
  21. Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
  22. Jealousy increases when one suspects his beloved.
  23. He whom the thought of love vexes eats and sleeps very little.
  24. Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
  25. A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
  26. Love can deny nothing to love.
  27. A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
  28. A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
  29. A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
  30. A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
  31. Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women.

The 25 Rules of Civility

I attended a talk given by Dr. P.M. Forni on the topic of civility. His book Choosing Civility [Amazon link] discusses in more detail each of the 25 rules he listed in the handout I received, copied below. While this is a somewhat different subject than chivalry and courtly love, I think it's related and thus an appropriate addition to this page.

  1. Pay attention
  2. Acknowledge others
  3. Think the best
  4. Listen
  5. Be inclusive
  6. Speak kindly
  7. Don't speak ill
  8. Accept and give praise
  9. Respect even a subtle "no"
  10. Respect other's opinions
  11. Mind your body
  12. Be agreeable
  13. Keep it down (and rediscover silence)
  14. Respect other people's time
  15. Respect other people's space
  16. Apologize earnestly
  17. Assert yourself
  18. Avoid personal questions
  19. Care for your guests
  20. Be a considerate guest
  21. Think twice before asking for favors
  22. Refrain from idle complaints
  23. Accept and give constructive criticism
  24. Respect the environment and be gentle to animals
  25. Don't shift responsibility and blame

Additional Information

Chivalry Links

I used to have more, but it looks like many sites disappeared over time, so this list has gotten smaller.

Related Material

The Art of Manliness

This site has some interesting articles (in their words) "helping men be better husbands, better fathers, and better men." I don't think that means there's nothing there for women, but men are clearly the target audience. Here's a sample of some of the articles I noticed at this site that looked interesting, including a few that are on chivalry or similar topics. These are in no particular order, so the order might change now and then.

While these may seem a little old-fashioned (and perhaps they are), there are many articles in a variety of areas, and from what I've seen, it's probably worth a look if you're interested in topics like chivalry.

From other sources, I thought I'd also include a link to Lifehacker's guide to hat etiquette to supplement the hat-related links above.

Note regarding Coats of Arms for a family surname: if you go by the usual rules, only the direct male descendants of a man who bore Arms are allowed to use those Arms (and some rules are even more strict than that). The family arms that are relatively easily found are just Arms that belonged to someone with the same surname as you in the past. This also why you can find different Arms for the same family name. There is no genealogical link implied by family arms and so technically you can't use those Arms as your own and have them recognized by the heraldry world as yours. I have found three different Arms for the Marshall name so far; here are pictures for the interested: coat 1 version 1, coat 1 version 2, coat 2, and coat 3. Thanks to Greg Marshall for pointing out that the first coat is English and not Irish like I thought (but see The Marshall Clan, which has coat 1 and mentions Irish Marshalls), the second belongs to Marshall Sellaby, County Durham, and Chelsea, Middlesex, and the third is that of a gentleman or esquire as indicated by the helm. If I can't find an ancestor with Arms to claim for my own, which will probably be the case, then I may look into having Arms created and registered for my use, most likely by the American College of Heraldry. If I do that at some point, I will try to make sure I get an image of those Arms up here.

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