The Order of Chivalry: Humility

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 helmet with ‘humility’:1
The helmet is given to the knight to signify humility, for a knight without humility cannot be obedient to the Order of Chivalry. And just as humility makes a man humble and causes him to cast down his gaze to the ground, so the helmet protects him from high things and makes him look to the ground, and it is the middle point between things high and low, for it covers the head which is the most high and principal member of a man’s body.

And humility defends the Knight, who has the most noble office and most high next to the office of a cleric, that he neither incline nor bow to villainous and horrible fates, and that the nobility of his courage never abandon him, nor give him to malfeasance, wickedness, nor any evil habit.

The Order of Chivalry: Humility:2


All the virtues can be found here.

  1. 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.)

    For a modern translation, see:

    Llull, Ramon. Fallows, Noel (trans.). The Book of the Order of Chivalry. Boydell Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1843838494. Amazon. p.69.

  2. Recorded using this marvelous organ sample set and Hauptwerk. William also plays this piece live.

Leave a Reply