Welcome back John! I hope all is well! This has been a very enjoyable discussion, and it is my pleasure to add to it in some way.
JOHN THURSTON wrote:Robert the Bruce-Not much chivalry was shown his family [...]
Another thought is that the "chivalric Code" does not seem to have been written in a uniform matter, as I understand Bushido may have been.[...]
I have no recollections "the Code of Chivalry" ever being wriiten in any uniform fashion, but was, perhaps, governed by Custom.[...]
Howver the so called 'chivalric period" covered a great deal ot time, arguably from the 10th to the 16th century, and it is hard to pin matters down.
Of the time in Europe, H.G. Wells said, as feuadalism was mostly concurrent with the Chivalric period, "it was a time in which public law became private obligation". He particularly characterizes Norman feudalism as "iron Handed" and this does not seem to equate well with our notions of "chivalry".
Three really good points here: First, the written or assumed code of chilvalry didn't always match the reality. Second, the written form of the Chilvalric Code, and finally, the time period covered is large (and as I've mentioned the area covered was large as well).
Going back to the earlier discussion of courtly love, there is the idealized version of how things "should be" and the reality of how things are/were. To futher complicate that, our version of chilvalry and the medieval period has suffered a bit of idealized romanticism as well (let's blame the Victorians for much of that, but that's not entirely accurate either).
I believe that the code of Chilvalry and Bushido both arose out of a need to impose some order in an otherwise chaotic and changeable time. The core part of the Arthurian mythos, that I have always thought had a good ring of truth, was that the Knights of the roundtable were created to foster justice and order. If every little feudal idiot with some land could rule as he wanted, there would be a lot of confusion and trouble. I think the Code of Chilvalry (and Bushido) helped to set an even field for all...of course, you always have those who ignore the rules or consider them...suggestions.
That said, I am aware of there being several books/treatises on chilvalry, but I cannot say I have personally read any of them in full. I know that they often varied in their point of view, so I would view them as personal treatises/opinions, not the generally accepted or "official" code of all. From what I've read I think there were generally accepted concepts, but no formalized CODE. If you are interested in looking further, I remember seeing something, somewhere on a French writer...Gautier?, but I'm sure there were others. Sorry I can't be more specific. I'll have to pull out my medieval books and see if I can track down more specifics.
As for the time and regions covered, I think that complicates things. Europe during that 1000 years or so was very diverse with many pockets of cultural difference. I can't speak to whether Bushido developed in such a widely diverse culture, as I look at Oriental culture as more homogeanous...I would love clarication on that point!
Shana, I like your logo, can you tell us something of it?
Thank you! It's a Celtic Tree of Life. It was a common heraldic and illumination tool in the 12th-14th century to do a lot of celtic knotwork that often involved plants and animals. I find this particular symbol to have many layers of meaning, personally.
I believe the style is very medieval; although I cannot confirm 100% that this particular pattern is historical. The Book of Kells does have abstract knotwork of vines and leaves., but I'm not certain the twists of branches/roots in this circular pattern are historical. I beleive it's a more modern interpretation. Most recent interpretations show the tree shown here, which is taken from a pendant I wear, and then the familiar Book of Kells border of leaves/vines around it. This border usually starts from a cauldron or urn, representing the cradle of life, and the twisting vines/leaves representing growth, cycles, and twists/turns, etc.