During Medieval times, the Christian faith ruled much of the public culture. As a result of that, many medieval symbols reflect aspects of religious life. However, these were also brutal times, which saw a great deal of illness, violent death, and war. There are many medieval artistic designs that reflect back those times of war and violence. Medieval tattoo designs usually reflect the elements of darkness and lightness, which is part of the reason for their mass appeal. Even though daily life has been much different during those times, their symbols are still resonating with many people nowadays. One such tattoo is the knight tattoo designs.
- Knights in Medieval times – who were they?
Knights were men granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or another political or religious leader. Knights were granted this title because of the service to the monarch or a Christian church, particularly in a military capacity.
Historically, particularly in Europe, knighthood has been conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, people considered this title a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, they associated this rank with the ideals of chivalry, a specific code of conduct for an excellent courtly Christian warrior.
Usually, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard, or a mercenary for a lord. Knights had payments in the form of landholdings. The lords trusted their knights as they were skilled in battle on horseback. Knighthood in the Middle Ages had a close connection with horsemanship. This was from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion in the 15th century.
The etymology of cavalier, chivalry and other related terms reflect this linkage.
During the late medieval period, new methods of warfare started rendering classical knights in armor obsolete. However, the titles remained in a man of the nations. The ideals of chivalry were popular in medieval literature, especially the literary cycles called Matter of France.
Nowadays, a number of orders of knighthood keep on existing in Christian Churches, and several historically Christian countries. It exists even in former territories like the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta.
Other orders are the Protestant Order of Saint John, the English Order of the Garter, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, etc. Each order has its own criteria for eligibility, but the head of state or monarchs usually grants the knighthood.
- Knight tattoos, meaning, and symbolism.
Knighthood is the title of honor that is still famous among several individuals for various reasons. Knights were initially professional cavalry soldiers in the European Middle Ages.
Tattoos of knight range from the fantastic, where they mount on unicorns, to more firmly-rooted in history like St. George. Over time, particularly during the Crusades, knights were the symbol of chivalry, loyalty, courage, and even a code of personal honor.
There are many different reasons why a person would choose this for a tattoo. If you are into symbolic and meaningful tattoos, the knight’s positive symbolism may be what you are looking for.
Knight tattoos may represent pride for your homeland or may have historical importance too.
These are some of the most possible meanings behind the knight tattoos:
- War ready;
- Prosperity, etc.
Knight tattoos are very authentic and popular for a long time ago. Mainly, they portray the knights from the medieval era, and the related eras as well. These tattoo designs are more common among men and very rare among females.
- Knight tattoo designs and variations.
There are many different variations in this type of design. The “Angel Knight” is a great example of this. Usually, this tattoo design contains a knight with angel wings and a sword, taking on a fantasy element.
You might even portray your knight as some dark character in black with skulls or other dark associations. Some even portray it as if he is in a storm, probably with dark clouds or with lightning too. That kind of design may symbolize misery, evil, or even death.
You can even include symbols such as the lion and the rose. They are usually portrayed in shields. You can see several designs with a lion, and you can also include some other weapons. Such weapons may be a dagger or an ax.
There are many different ways in which you may make your tattoo a unique expression of you. You can use symbols and colors which means something important. You can choose the location of the knight, such as going into battle or in front of a castle. You can think about some things which are knight-related like pieces of armor, flags, shields, as well as weapons.
All these things, together with the meaning and symbolism of the knight, will make your tattoo more beautiful and symbolic.