The Code of
Chivalry & The Cult of Courtly Love
Basic Rules of the Cult of Love
- The lover looks on the beloved as one who is higher and can be approached only with
a suppressed awe and wonder.
- The lover's body is deeply disturbed with a malady like sickness.
- The lover becomes his beloved's servant. He proves his loyalty and patience by seeking
to obtain her nearly unobtainable affections.
- The lover always dwells inwardly on the beloved.
- Jealousy disturbs love, for a true lover is always loyal.
- Such a pursuit empowers the lovers prowess, courage, and obedience. He may
even be moved to greater piety and loyalty to his kingdom
Capellanus: The Art of Courtly Love, On the Rules of Love (btw.
- Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
- He who is not jealous cannot love.
- No one can be bound by a double love.
- It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
- That which a lover takes against his will of his beloved has
- Boys do not love until they arrive at the age of maturity.
- When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of
- No one should be deprived of love without the very best of
- No one can love unless he is impelled by the persuasion of
- Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
- It is not proper to love any woman whom one should be ashamed
to seek to marry.
- A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except
- When made public love rarely endures.
- The easy attainment of love makes it of little value;
difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
- Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his
- When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart
- A new love puts to flight an old one.
- Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
- If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
- A man in love is always apprehensive.
- Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
- Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects
- He whom the thought of love vexes, eats and sleeps very
- Every act of a lover ends with in the thought of his beloved.
- A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will
please his beloved.
- Love can deny nothing to love.
- A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
- A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
- A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
- A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed
by the thought of his beloved.
- Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by
Characteristics of the Code of Chivalry
||Never attack an unarmed foe
Exhibit self discipline
Administer justice and mercy
||Exhibit courage in word and
Avenge the wronged and defend the weak and innocent
Never abandon a friend, ally or noble cause
||Always keep one's word
Always maintain one's principles
Never betray a confidence or comrade
Practice the rules of decorum
Be respectful of host, authority and women
||Be faithful to God, sovereign,
kingdom and the code
Show respect for authority and the law
Be true to one's beloved
||Be generous as one is able
Show hospitality to strangers
Be able to support your rank
||Be well grounded in one's
Depend upon God, the saints, and Mary
Oppose the Infidel
Raymond Lull (1235-1315), Book
on the Order of Chivalry (ca. 1270).
A proper chivalric knight must be:
- of good lineage;
- have sufficient wealth to support his rank;
- wise (to judge his inferiors and supervise their labors; to advise his lord);
- generous within the limits of his means;
His ethical duties are
- to defend the Christian faith,
- to defend his lord,
- to protect the weak (women, children);
- to exercise constantly by hunting and jousting in tournaments;
- to judge the people and supervise their work;
- to pursue robbers and evil-doers.;
- to avoid pride, lechery, false oaths, and treachery.