Religion united its influence with those of loyalty and love, and the order of knighthood, endowed with all the sanctity and religious awe that attended the priesthood, became an object of ambition to the greatest sovereigns.
The word knight, which originally meant boy or servant, was particularly applied to a young man after he was admitted to the privilege of bearing arms.
Mail armor continued in general use till about the year 1300, when it was gradually supplanted by plate armor, or suits consisting of pieces or plates of solid iron, adapted to the different parts of the body.
The preparatory education of candidates for knighthood was long and arduous.
Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegant literature of our own language cannot be understood and appreciated.
It was not till toward the end of the thirteenth century that the prose romances began to appear.
The earliest form in which romances appear is that of a rude kind of verse.
For Mythology is the handmaid of literature; and literature is one of the best allies of virtue and promoters of happiness.
We thus see that the Greeks of the early ages knew little of any real people except those to the east and south of their own country, or near the coast of the Mediterranean.