Back in the day, knights were highly respected and considered heroes. The concept of knighthood developed in the Western world: it originated in France and then spread to Germany. The knights’ main principles were discipline and moderation in all aspects of life. Because knights were closely connected with court life, the idea of courtly love developed. Minnesongs and the knights’ love poems still tells us about the knight’s perspective and ideas today. Knights were obligated to follow their feudal lords’ orders at all times and had to protect widows, orphans and persecutees. The majority of knights lived very Christian lives. Their tasks included strenuous training with weapons and other war-related challenges.
Knights were members of lower nobility. In the late Middle Ages, chivalry had developed to such a degree that only those individuals were knighted who were able to prove that their ancestors had been knights as well. If they had sufficient evidence, they were knighted by a noble and well-respected ruler. This is still somewhat true for England today. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sir Elton John on 24 February 1998 as Knight Bachelor. In Germany, there are two remaining knight’s orders from medieval times: the Roman-Catholic Order of Malta and the Order of St. John. But there is one more order in Germany: the Order of Minerva.
The Order of Minerva
The Order of Minerva got its name from the goddess Minerva: in the Roman Empire, she was considered the protector of crafts and commerce. In later years, she was equated with the Greek goddess Athena, who protected poets and scholars. This is how Minerva became the goddess of wisdom and the arts and protector of knowledge. The Order of Minerva is a non-religious community whose members seek wisdom and knowledge. One particularly neat aspect of this order, which is called Ordo Minerva in Latin, is the fact that male members can be awarded the title «Knight». Women, on the other hand, receive the title «Lady» instead. If you become a knight in the Order of Minerva, you will receive an official monastic name that you can use in public. The monastic name can, for example, be included on business cards, letterheads, and on your mailbox. Additionally, you can use this name when signing contracts or at any type of occasion.
You can also request to have your knightly name included on your ID card. You have a lot of freedom when choosing your new monastic name. One option is to simply add the word «Sir» to your name such as «Sir John Smith». Another option is to create your own name such as «Sir John Laffeylot». Let your creativity flow! The options are endless!/p>
By the way, if you decide to join the Order of Minerva as a knight, there is no need to worry about any obligations in the order. You simply receive a high-quality certificate of appointment confirming your knighthood (or the title of «Lady» for women). You will love the noble and historic look of this certificate!