By Kateřina Šimarová
Bachelor’s Thesis, Masaryk University, 2010
Introduction: The author of this thesis has decided to compare the chivalry knightly virtues with the values of the present–day army, because she has always been interested in the stories about knights fighting against the Saracens, and has always admired some of the knightly virtues such as courage, honesty, loyalty or mercy.
When the author was introduced, thank to very kind help of SSgt. Rob Jones from British Army Career Centre in Salisbury, to the information about the army values and standards, she come to realise that many of the values she had admired, transformed to present-day armed forces values in some form. The author was interested in similarities between the medieval knight and the present-day soldier, as she sees them both as heroes.
The ideal of medieval knight and his virtues, as shown in the medieval romance, and a modern soldier’s values and standards has been valid and honoured ever since. She believes that there are many similarities between nowadays heroes’ standards and values in the military, as there were centuries ago in the medieval times, and this thesis is going to prove it. We can find connections between medieval chivalry romance and nowadays modernised face of the armed forces through the values and standards that all service man are obliged to, although the Medieval Crusader conception of the war and the conception of the army training is not the same.
In the medieval time the training was not focused on protecting life and survival so much, because the eternal afterlife was guaranteed by the right side of the Holly Father after the death. In contrast to this, present-day army training is focused on survival and protecting one’s life and the concept Christendom is shifted into the civilisation, and endures in army virtues, which each serviceman is made familiar with.
The word Christendom includes not only Christian, but also European society, so it can be concluded that by protecting the Christian society the European one is protected also. If the element of threat is felt, then the ideal of modern professional army has many common features with the medieval Crusader tradition, and that is so, mainly because of persistent factors of knightly and army virtues.