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 his horse’s shaffron with ‘reason’:1
The shaffron is given to the horse to signify that a knight must not use arms without reason. For just as the horse’s head goes in front of the knight, likewise reason ought to go before all that a knight does. For all works without reason are vices to him. And as the shaffron protects the horse’s head, likewise reason keeps and defends a knight from blame and shame.
The Order of Chivalry: Reason: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.)
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.