What It Was Like to be a Knight During Medieval Times

[MUSIC PLAYING] When we think of knights
during the medieval times, we think of valiant
men who chose to defend their honor
in feats of jousting, chivalry, and dragon slaying. But that’s not exactly how it
was for the actual knights. Jousting wasn’t always a part of
the culture of being a knight. Chivalry was less of
how to be a gentleman and more of a list
of what not to do. And dragons weren’t
real, no matter how much we wish they were. Today, we’re exploring what
it was actually like to be a knight during medieval times. Before we get started,
be sure to subscribe to the Weird History Channel. Oh, and while you’re
there, leave a comment and let us know what topics
you would like to hear about. So gather ye at thy round
table, and together-ith, we shall commence. There weren’t a lot of
options for other religions, so almost everyone that lived
in medieval Europe was Catholic, or at least they claimed to be. Everyone from kings and queens
to the lowly peasants and serfs were expected to take part
in their religious duties, be it yearly or daily. Knights were certainly
included in this, and they were known to start
their days with a morning mass at their local church. Nowadays, we would
say that breakfast is the most important
meal of the day. But back then, feeding
the Christian soul was considered more important. That was part of
their moral code. Just like the other code, a
sort of antiquated man code, the code of chivalry was
also one that was adhered to. Most of us think
chivalry is something that can be found in a
Nicholas Sparks novel. But the code for
knights was less reminding them to hold
doors open for the ladies and more to keep
belligerent knights in line. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] Just keep him in here. Until you or anyone else– No, not anyone else. Just me. Just you. Get back. Get back. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Though there were
rules of things to do, like live for
honor, protect the weak, and respect the
virtues of women, there were far more
rules of what not to do. Things knights were
not allowed to do as declared by the
code of chivalry included beating up priests,
taking someone’s cattle or other livestock,
hurting women, setting fire to homes, or
robbing, kidnapping, killing, or doing any
sort of general harm to random innocent people. These are rules that
we can all generally agree meet the bare
minimum of what would fall under the umbrella of chivalry. Nowadays, everyone is always
trying a new diet fad, but medieval diets did not
include Keto, Paleo, or Atkins, and they most certainly
never had a Meatless Monday. They never had a
meatless any day, since meat was the primary
ingredient in most meals. While most meals consisted
of meat and bread because it tasted
good, it also was because they thought most
vegetables were poisonous. It’s a classic saying that one
bad apple can spoil the barrel, but it sounds like
back then, someone ate the wrong kind of
mushroom or put some poison ivy on their salad. So all vegetables
were out of fashion. Beware of green
salads and raw fruits, for they will make
your master sick, was a common saying at the time. Meat wasn’t cheap
in medieval times. And since there was
no Oscar Meyer baloney to eat in a pinch, the lowest
on the economic scale ate pork. That’ll do, pig,
that pig will do. However, since knights held
an elevated social status, they had access to
higher quality food than the average
serf or peasant did. Beef and sheep were often served
to knights along with cheese. Since food needed to be kept
safe to eat, a lot of it was pickled or
had been preserved with salt, which would certainly
make someone thirsty, which is why– If they didn’t have
a Kroger handy, you had better believe
they didn’t have Evian. So without unlimited
access to clean water, the people of medieval
times mostly drank alcohol because they knew it
wouldn’t be contaminated. While we don’t have
the same excuse today, the medieval knights
drank like frat boys, and that often led
to worse behavior. All these men drinking
beer all the time. They most certainly weren’t
playing beer pong or flip cup, and this rowdy behavior
could sometimes get violent and
rather ungentlemanly. Of course, they couldn’t
drink too much mead, which would fatten them up. Because contrary
to what you might think of the traditional manly
stereotype a knight conjures in your imagination– That’s right. Image was everything. And since no one was getting
likes on their Instagram pages, they had to settle for
likes the old fashioned way, compliments and adoration. But fashion wasn’t as
straightforward as it is now. There were laws
placing restrictions on what people could wear. Under sumptuary
law, ordinary people were forbidden from spending
a lot on their fashion. This cap was instituted
to stop peasants and serfs from dressing better
than noble people, like knights, so
that everyone could be identifiable by their
outward appearance. So knights had to
wear nice clothes to distinguish themselves
from the lower class. They did this by wearing more
elaborate designs and nicer materials, as well as
emphasizing their crotches with large codpieces. Yeah, that’s right. With no sports
cars to compensate, size mattered back then. No matter how they dressed, the
knights still had a job to do. But what was that job, exactly? Well, part of their
responsibilities included serving in their
lord’s private military. In some places like
England, knights exclusively protected the king, which
effectively made them the national military. Other places like France
allowed the nobles of the community to recruit
knights to protect them, making them more
like bodyguards. Regardless of who
they served, knights were expected to fight
for and carry out the orders of whomever
they swore an oath to. Just like Brienne of Tarth,
only with a slightly bigger codpiece. Sure, being a knight
was a profession, but they generally only
worked roughly 40 days a year. Like a lot of modern jobs,
there was a certain hurry up and wait attitude. Being a knight essentially
meant being on call. Being ready to go into battle
or escort their lord on journeys were expected, but in
reality, these duties were painless and over quickly. Knights had to be
on top of their game when they went to
battle, but they also had to make sure they
were always ready to go. And that came from
participating in tournaments. This started as them competing
in melees, mock battles where they would fight for prizes. Eventually, those evolved
into jousting matches. This later turned into
glorified equestrian pageants called carousels, which
you will recognize from your years of not wanting
to ride it at amusement parks in carnivals as a child. Someone has an issue
with carousels. Tournaments weren’t
open to just anyone. They were exclusively
for men of nobility. It was a great honor
to participate in them, so no one ever left
their invites unread. This was something that
they chose to do if asked. Since they had plenty
of time being on call, knights have lots
of opportunities to compete in tournaments and
to earn a little extra dough. They also had more time
to court the ladies. Over time, the supply
of knights shrank because not every night could
emerge victorious in battle. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] Look, you stupid bastard,
you’ve got no arms left. Yes, I have. Look. It’s just a flesh wound. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Tony Stark had nothing
on medieval knights. With their imposing armor, a
knight looked impenetrable, and it was for arrows that
were fired in their direction. But the life of a
knight in battle wasn’t all arrow dodging. For the rest of their
duties, the full body armor weighing roughly 60 to 110
pounds was not very practical. Because they may as well have
been carrying an entire Fran Drescher on their back. This armor slowing
down the knights is part of the reason
many historians believe that some armies in the
14th and 15th centuries could have won several major
battles had they been wearing less bulky protection. They would have been more agile,
more energetic, and generally faster than the other armies
buried under similarly burdensome armor. Eventually, the
lesson was learned, and in the 16th century
found the soldiers trading in their stacks of
armor for attire that allowed them
to be more mobile. If you’ve been struggling with
what to do with your life, take comfort in the fact
that modern medicine allows you to live over triple
the life expectancy of people in medieval times. With less time, they
had to decide quickly on what their
life’s purpose was, because most people made it to
about the ripe old age of 30. Training to be a knight
could start as early as seven years old. So that meant they
could spend the next 14 years of their lives training. During those years,
they worked at being strong and impressive warriors. These years were
spent on horseback, learning archery, and
mastering the sword until they were proficient. A lot of training
montages later and they would be ready to achieve
knighthood at the age of 21. At this time, they would go
through a dubbing ceremony, where they would pledge their
loyalty to a particular lord. Bonus points if they decided
to write their lords’ names on their new notebooks
with hearts drawn next to it. Since this was the age
way before Apple TV, the nights were spent communally
as knights and noblemen found ways to entertain themselves. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] Drink. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Generally, the after
dinner entertainment came from a minstrel, a
servant first employed as a castle or court musician. Some were known as
bards, although we don’t know if any
knights were lucky enough to be regaled by that bard. You know which one. But the knights
were often treated to ballads or long poems
based on myths or legends. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] (SINGING) Brave
Sir Robin ran away. No. (SINGING) Bravely
ran away, away. I didn’t. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] The Knights would spent
a lot of the nights entertaining each
other because– Knights didn’t exactly
get a good night’s sleep by our standards. Instead, they would
sleep in shifts. Some might get to sleep for
half the night and then wake up and pray, right? Or if they were really
lucky, have sex. But someone had to
stay up and keep watch. Most of us these
days would prefer to sleep for the whole night. But it appears that their
interrupted sleep schedules weren’t dangerous for them. Unless this was affecting
their 30 years life expectancy, who is to say? The life of a knight
wasn’t all battles and it wasn’t all pageantry, but
it was great work at the time if you could commit
to it at an early age. So what do you think? Would you have liked
to be a knight? Let us know in the
comments below. And while you’re at it, check
out some of these other videos from our Weird History.

Comments 100

  • I feel like basketball shorts are the modern equivalent of medieval cod pieces. However, guys nowadays are definitely not chivalrous.

  • They thought vegetables were bad so they ate tons of pork instead 🤣

  • well the beer at that time didnt have as much alcohol as today it had just 0,5 % or less

  • ok never mind armor was not impractical infact it was very mobile i dont know look at some videos from today how mobile you are in armor and they can run climb stand up from falling down and could even roll on the floor so armor was not impractibale and saved your life a sword cant cut through mettal this video is very poor reasearched and is mostley reasearched on old myths of the mediveal time sorry for my poor english but i hate when people spreed false knolege
    so im a bit pissed 😀

  • just watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hlIUrd7d1Q

  • LOL at the javascript joke

  • actually it depends what part of the medieval ages were talking here for relgion for knights you were catholic or orthodox or one of the many heresies

  • there was never a meatless day lol you obviously arent catholic or have researched this Catholics in medieval Europe abstained meat every Wednesday and Friday and various religious days

  • Think about the bad breath of medieval ties. ahahahahahhahahaaa

  • medieval knight = 1st Gen. D-bag

  • As long as I get to retake the holy land yes I would be a knight

  • What a BS You are missinforming people.

  • Keep light and safe , too heavy

  • This channel is full of bullshit!

  • So they are smart enough to drink alcohol instead of water and pickle their food. But nobody figured out for years that the green stuff doesnt kill you..?

  • N.B.: Most persons during medieval times did NOT die at ~thirty years of age.

  • Yeah almost everything in this video that isn't common knowledge is just a modern myth, historical misconception or just straight up made up

  • Jesus, I'd hate to be working at Medieval Times. I didn't know it cut your life expectancy that much.

  • medieval times seemed like a dangerous time to live, i mean some people, mainly nobles and lords that never had to fight and had the money to pay for protection seemed to live an alright life, put peasants had things like the plague and being broke AF

  • If you guys want a serious in depth look at medieval knight stuff, check out Modern History TV. it's a channel by one of the founders of thr company that did the sniper elite games. It's cool, informed stuff

  • The armor did not encumber the knights, contrary to popular belief knights could easily run and roll in plate mail, also they were not impenetrable to arrows, a bodkin headed arrow could pierce a knights armor.

  • 6:48 I used to be an adventurer, until I took an arrow in the ass

  • I bet after dark there camp must’ve turned into a Knight Klub after all those women came in

  • How to First opium war

  • How to Two opium war

  • what's the name of the painting at 8:00 ?

  • Just something to mention here; there was never actually any standardized code of chivalry. It was more along the lines of what ever a particular Lord feels that his knights should and shouldn't do

  • Plate armor could weigh as little as 20 pounds. The super heavy armor was for jousting.

    Trust me, I have practiced and spared in recreations of plate armor, and it does not feel heavy or restrictive.

    Plate armor evolved over hundreds of years, if it were not useful it would have been discarded.

    The fact is, armor that good is like cheating. There are many advantages, and almost no disadvantages.

  • Are you sure about the dragons???😒😒😒

  • Lots of cunts…

  • How about the life of a billionaire

  • There was no code of chivalry.

  • For those who want to see some action in armour…

  • Hey kids: at 2:36 that is NOT poison Ivey. It looks more like the plant that root beer comes from (sassafras) the root beer comes from the roots.

  • What's with this guy and that transatlantic accent lmao

    I guess it makes your narration stand out, but it's so weird to hear in 2019

  • Drank constantly hmm sounds like a day in a life of an 11b or to outsiders an infantryman

  • Minnesota


  • when we think of knights….

    when i think of knights: TAkE THe HOLY LAND!

  • 3:13 Yeah sure. No ever way to get water clean.

  • Dragons were usually killed by Nords who yelled at them until they died and them absorb their souls.

  • Meh, armor wasn't that heavy. It certainly didn't hinder knights in battle. The reason heavy armor was traded in for lighter chainmail and padding aemors was because of the inventions of rifles; black powders; and musket balls.

  • It's impressive that you can fit so many falsehoods into nine and a half minutes.

  • Glorious that's what.

  • Maybe they knew what poison ivy actually looked like 😂

  • The comment section should make the next video, they seem to know more.

  • 7:39. Complete misunderstanding of what "average life expectancy" means

  • The Holy Grail bits destroyed me with nostalgia. I miss my dad 😰

  • There was no ONE chivalric code there were many that differed from each other depending on the region or culture. Did not eat vegetables because thay we're poisonous, NO, IT WAS PASENTS FOOD! Seriously do you think people would grow crops for eating if they thought they would die from eating it?
    This was one of the worst researched videos I have seen in a long time.


    Early plate-armoured knights had very good mobility in their armour. There's even a video about it on YouTube. It was when jousting was introduced that heavier armour became widespread as to not fall of the horse easily They traded their fullplate armour because of blackpowder weapons. It was too costly and did little in stopping bullets.

  • They are so wrong about armor that I don't trust them about other facts. The site looked interesting at first they don't do basic fact checking.

  • Huuuggge tracks of land

  • Wtf. Veggies were one of the common people’s main foodstuffs. You seriously think peasants ate meat every day? How do you think so many vegetables were produced from one species? Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc all came from human cultivation before and during medieval times.

  • Saying that knights or people in general back then didn't have "a meat-free any day" could not be further from the truth. People back then took religion super seriously and fasted regularly. Most people didn't eat meat on fridays and wednesdays, and others fasted much more. The church would also often randomly declare a fast day for whatever reason and the majority of the people would observe it, so saying that people didn't have any "meat-free" days back then couldn't be more false, and that included knights. They would often make a show of whom could fast the longest to demonstrate their piety. I think you should do a little more research before releasing videos with erroneous and misleading information.

  • look good to play good :), just my style

  • I want to know what it was like being a Ninja in Japan in real life…

  • Make one on the life of a samurai

  • WOW! I wonder how long it would take for me to correct EVERY single inaccuracy. Well, it's job to do your own fact checking. I wonder how accurate are the installments that you have put out of subjects I am not so well versed in.

  • Honestly it sounds awesome

  • In medeavil time howe meny knits fight in usa!!!.. ⚔⚔⚔😉!!.. miss usa (why theyr is allways brainless) many my sister sayed she sayed??.. wondering how stupid they are!!.. but KNITS RULES!!!!⚔⚔⚔🇫🇮

  • One paintin or fey masonic symbol⚔👁☠🦌???..

  • You seem to think all your brand references/puns are international or something… they're not.

  • You do realise back then, and now half of europe was and is orthodox. There are other coutries(and religions) in Europe besides France, Germany and England.

  • In 1842 sir Richard Owen coined the term "dinosaur" and all known previous and future text was amended from Dragon. Dragons for sure existed because dinosaurs for sure co existed with humans up until the last millennium or so. There is way to much evidence to refute anymore.

  • dragons where real yea moron.

  • Umm people knew back then if you boiled water it made it safe to drink, they didnt just get wasted all day, plus the alcohol content of ale back then was very low so you could drink and not be completely drunk.

  • Everytime i see GOT i cry i little inside , DAM YOU D&D…….

  • This is a fiction channel masquerading as a history channel.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzTwBQniLSc&t=79s

  • The armour "fact" he said is false. Do more research, knights were very flexible in their metal plate armour.

  • Not the greatest living by todays standards, but compared to any alternatives of the time being a knight was probably the best bet at having a decent life. Unless you were lucky enough to be born into royalty.

  • 5:14

  • I love it when these videos on the internet talk about history, and they really are spreading misinformation.

    Knights, or in my very former German family culture would call them Ritter… were professional warriors hired by a King or lord, they were equipped with what would be considered high tech military equipment for the day, steel plate armor, a side arm typically a sword, and a pole arm typically a pole ax or war hammer.

    First off a Knights diet may vary depending on where they are from, England, The holy roman empire (Germany), France, Italy… What food they had or what they could afford is what they ate, it can be very much debated whether or not vegetables were always thought of as poison, because a lot of people back in the day weren't wealthy enough to pick and choose much what they ate.

    Steel plate did not weigh 110LB, most steel plate weighed around 40LB, at most 60LB, and there was a difference between armor worn in combat, and ceremony armor that was decorative, real combat armor was typically made of high carbon tempered steel, and was very well supported by the body, it was built to protect the fighting mans body from injury for cutting and blunt force trauma, in some ways… yes… it did hinder the Knights movement, but not as much as this video likes to claim. And the style of armor may have also varied dependent on the country or culture, for example, in Medieval early Renaissance Germany German Gothic steel plate was popular.

    Knights yes… were servants whose profession was a warrior, but depending how liked you were by your lord, or how well you were at your job as a Knight, decided how busy you may have been, if you were really good at your job, you may be called to duty more frequently… because you just get the job done.

    Water was more plentiful to a Knight than this video likes to make you believe, so they weren't drunk idiots all the time.

    The idea of Chivalry… wasn't a written code at all, it could be interpreted loosely, ultimately you do what your lord or king who hires you says, or suffer consequences, if he says perform a duty, do it… if he or she expects you to behave in a specific manner, do it, it's really that simple. You can follow your own code of honor, but you really do what you are told as a servant.

  • I’m addicted to weird history

  • The decline in plate armor is due to the implementation of firearms. Not a change of tactics.

  • Meh'Ladieh

  • It’s crazy how you gained like 8k subs in 2 days

  • "They only drank mead" is just a blatant lie.
    Get your facts straight, "Weird history"… more like wrong history.

  • Get your sources right. Medieval plate armor was almost impenetrable to swords, arrows and other contemporary weapons; this made it a massive boon in battles. Yes, it was heavy, but that weight was spread around your body and tied up well and tightly. In addition, the joints of the armor were well made and they didn't hinder movement much if at all. A knight donning full, late Gothic armor would have been nearly immortal on a battlefield. The misconception that plate armor was heavy, bulky and made knights slow is simply wrong (however, full plate armor did limit your senses: especially hearing and vision were impaired quite badly). Also, they didn't trade plate armor for lighter types of armor because of the supposed bulkiness of plate. Rather, plate armor was useless against gunpowder, and evolution in other ranged weapons meant that melee combat was declining. There was no need for a heavy suit of armor, and soldiers preferred cheaper and lighter options. The whole idea of plate armor being cumbersome has been created by video game devs trying to make their games more balanced.

  • What was it like to be maharaja ranjeet

  • What we would call dinosaurs is what they called dragons

  • Somebody doesn't know how average life expectancy works. If the average life expectancy is 32 that doesn't mean most people get to die in their 30s. It's probably way older than that. Even past 50. High infant mortality, which was pretty much a given at that time seriously skews the average thus given the impression and misunderstanding most people would be dying in their 30s.

  • Knights tamplar aye

  • No pyromania!?!?!



  • Don’t kill LAMO but most importantly NEVER EVER steel a cow 😂

  • Damn so many of you were knights in a past life.

  • https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/72470576_2776943362318728_5080414602806689792_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_oc=AQl73PiAJpfKB4E2_drto_QS6bKI63hwRVRxuIpsk-1yj6VyzLl8tsla4aIrg_RqLx4&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=3fe1bd03621767fb5a6a3f0ca633c16d&oe=5E2C4087 Medieval Myths Bingo, the alcohol myth, always fun!

  • Wow this video is full of inaccuracies and myths. Like the death at 30, life expectancy statistics are heavily skewed because of high infant mortality.

  • The reason why armor was less and less used in late medieval time is the introduction of gun powder weapons. You do not get a much use out of your armor if you get hit by a bullet.

  • Hot knight sex. Oh,yeah.

  • in a knights training it was included to CLIMB with ARMOR ON so dont say they lost all the mobility..

  • can you put sources in the description? this sounds like you asked a fourth grader who was suspiciously interested in knights

  • Usually they don’t eat meat on Friday because they were Catholic

  • All we have now are a bunch of white knights

  • Wait just a darn minute! If the knights were mostly Catholic, wouldn't they have fish on Fridays? Or was that a way to boost sales of fish in Britain in the 1800's? (I think I read a thing about that).
    Speaking of the Church, perhaps you might do a day in the life of a medieval monk, like a Friar Tuck sort of fellow. Perhaps a day in the life of a serf? A trip across the Atlantic in steerage on the Titanic or the RMS Olympic (Titanic's sister ship that DIDN'T sink, but you know that, weird historian that you are).
    A day in the life of a closeted movie star in 1930-60's Hollywood? No, just make it the 30's-50's…
    Wouldn't it be great for us women today if chivalry was to return? Letting men hang their junk out in ladies' bathrooms and competing as women with women while still being men? Of course fair maidens didn't usually compete with knights in jousting as they were kept on pedestals, but I never could get why I was taught that a man holding the door open for you was an insult. I think we should all appreciate common courtesy, and especially on a date (!).

  • 1:13 …JavaScript????

  • Lots of misinformation in this video.

    Alcohol dehydrates the body, there's no way that's all they drank. Vegetables were eaten all the time, thats what pottage (which was the staple medieval dish) was made of. Armor was generally not a hindrance. It was well made not to limit movement and distribute the weight evenly throughout the body, there are plenty of examples of how easily you can move in armor on youtube, and it wasn't phased out because people wised up to how cumbersome it was, it was phased out because it was ineffective against firearms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *