In a previous blog we learned about the polymath and Christian mystic Ramon Llull (c.1232–c.1315/16) and his Book of the Order of Chivalry, which became a standard manual for chivalry in the 13th and 14th centuries. In chapter 5, Llull metaphorically links parts of the knight’s equipment with chivalrous virtues.
Here Llull equates the knight’s saddle with ‘confidence’:1
The saddle in which the knight sits when he rides, signifies confidence of courage, the charge and the great burden of Chivalry. For as by the saddle a knight is sure upon his horse, likewise confidence of courage makes a knight to be in the forefront of battle, by which confidence, good fortune becomes the friend of Chivalry. And by confidence much cowardly boasting and many vain semblances are scorned, which make men cowards instead of hardy and strong of courage…. And by the saddle is signified the charge of a knight, for the saddle, as we have said, holds the knight firm and sure upon his horse, so that he may not fall nor move lightly but as he will. And therefore the saddle, which is so great, signifies the charge of Chivalry, that the knight ought in no way move for trivial things.
Order of Chivalry: Confidence:2
All the virtues can be found here.
- Adapted from:
Llull, Ramon. Caxton, William (trans.). The Book of the Ordre of Chyvalry or Knyghthode. 1484, reprinted Walter J. Johnson, Inc., 1976. ISBN 9022107787. (No page numbers available.)
Here is a modern translation:
Llull, Ramon. Fallows, Noel (trans.). The Book of the Order of Chivalry. Boydell Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1843838494. Amazon. p.69.
- Recorded using this marvelous organ sample set and Hauptwerk. William also plays this piece live.