Ten Commandments of Chivalry


Leon Gautier was a French literary historian who lived from 1832 to 1897.

Gautier’s Ten Commandments were written in the 19th century even though the various codes of conduct he wrote about were created between 1170 and 1220.


The Chivalry code was intended to guide the behaviour of knights during the Middle Ages.

It was applied to men of noble standing or ancestry who were capable of equipping themselves with a war horse and a cavalry of supporting riders.

The world ‘chivalry’ means ‘horsemanship’ in Old French. The Italian word is ‘cavalry’.

Chess fans will note that the ‘knight’ or armoured cavalry is typically represented as a horse’s head and neck.

Photo by Andriy Boechko on Unsplash


Gautier’s Ten Commandments of chivalry are:

  1. Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and thou shalt observe all its directions.
  2. Thou shalt defend the Church.
  3. Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
  4. Thou shalt love the country in which thou wast born.
  5. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy
  6. Thou shalt make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.
  7. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
  8. Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
  9. Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone
  10. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

Note: The use of old English – not quite how we speak or spell words today.






The most interesting thing with regard to this manifesto is the gap between the living of the Chivalry code in the Medieval period and the six hundred plus years before it was written down and published by a historian.

Given the tight knit and elite community of knights in the medieval period, an oral manifesto clearly was effective.

In contrast, in our current social media world, the balance has swung in the opposite direction – if it is not published online then it effectively doesn’t exist.

It is perhaps no surprise that it is written in the classic Bible style of the Ten Commandments given its strong religious tone.

This connection between knights and their ‘war horses’ reminds us of the strong influence that religion had on the politics of the time.


The Bible: Ten Commandments

The Eight Virtues of Bushido

Miyamoto Musahi – 21 Rules to Live Your Life

The Ten Commandments

Holy Bible - Christianity and Judaism

Creator: Published in the Bible and said to be spoken by God to the people of Israel.
Purpose: A moral foundation and guide for living in Judaism and Christianity.


The Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish (Talmudic), Anglican and Orthodox Christians have slightly different versions of the Ten Commandments. This a combination of these versions.

  1. I am the Lord your God
  2. You shall have no other gods before me / You shall not make for yourself an idol
  3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
  5. Honour your father and mother
  6. You shall not kill / murder
  7. You shall not commit adultery
  8. You shall not steal
  9. You shall not bear witness against your neighbour
  10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife / You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour



Genesis: The Bible Creation Story

Holy Bible - Christianity and Judaism

Creator: The work of many people over many centuries.
Purpose: A manifesto that explains the way the world was created and the role of man and woman in that world. It becomes a framework for living for followers of Judaism or Christianity.


The Creation Story Summary:

The seven steps in which God created with world…

  • Day 1 – God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light “day” and darkness “night.”
  • Day 2 – God created an expanse to separate the waters and called it “sky.”
  • Day 3 – God created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters “seas.” On day three, God also created vegetation (plants and trees).
  • Day 4 – God created the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night. These would also serve as signs to mark seasons, days, and years.
  • Day 5 – God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird, blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life.
  • Day 6 – God created the animals to fill the earth. On day six, God also created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in his own image to commune with him. He blessed them and gave them every creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate.
  • Day 7 – God had finished his work of creation and so he rested on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy.


Transcript: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/creationstory.htm

General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_according_to_Genesis

Scripture Reference: Genesis 1:1-2:3

The Christian and Judaism Bible

Holy Bible - Christianity and Judaism

Creator: The work of many people over many centuries.
Purpose: The Bible contains a collection of stories and lessons for living for followers of Judaism or Christianity.


The Bible

The Bible is a collection of sacred scripture of the various branches of Judaism and Christianity. The following are various stories or lessons that are commonly included in a range of Bible versions.

  • Genesis: The Creation of the World
  • Noah Ark and the Flood
  • The Birth of Jesus
  • The Tower of Babel
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Battle of Jericho
  • Samson and Delilah
  • David and Goliath
  • Jesus Walks on Water
  • The Bread and the Fish
  • The Last Supper
  • The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
  • The Resurrection of Jesus Christ


General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible
Who Wrote the Bible?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorship_of_the_Bible
Stories Within the Bible: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/tp/biblestorysummaries.htm