Knights were warriors who rode on horseback and fought with swords and spears. They were always men. Knights lived in the Middle Ages between 1000 - 1500 AD. Most knights came from noble families. Some were rich and powerful, and some lived in lovely castles. But, most were poor.
Knights were also Kings and princes. At the end of the Middle Ages, some knights became professional soldiers, fighting for anyone who would pay them.
It was a knight's duty to fight bravely whenever the king or lord needed his help. Knights did have other duties, too. They were expected to be courteous to their enemies, treating prisoners humanely, and not attacking civilians.
Knights were meant to be chivalrous (respectful and loving - to women). It was their duty to protect the Church.
Knights wore armor made of metal, padded cloth and leather. They covered their head with metal helmets. By 1400, armor was made of steel plates riveted together. It was hot, and heavy, but very strong.
Knights relied on craftsman who were very skilled at their trade. Blacksmiths made harness fittings and iron shoes for warhorses. Swordsmiths and cutlers made swords and sharp blades. Armorers made all kinds of metal weapons and armor, plus helmets and metal hats, called sallets, for soldiers.
Warhorses were specially bred to be strong enough to carry a knight in armor, and try to be brave and obedient. They would also have horses for tournaments, lighter and faster horses for hunting, slow moving "palfreys" for long journeys and packhorses to carry heavy loads.
Knights setting off to fight an enemy had to take lots of stuff. They took weapons, armor, tents, bedding, medicines, spare horses, axes to cut wood for campfires, clean clothes, and food for the long journey. It's almost like when we go on a trip with our family.
When they ran out of food some of the armies would loot enemy villages or towns as they passed by. Looting was against the rules of war, but yes, it did happen.
Knights fought on horseback and on foot. On horseback, they would ride side by side, charging toward the enemy. They hoped to spear them with their long, sharp lances or knock them to the ground.
Knights had to fight on foot when their wasn't any room to ride side by side.
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