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paladin_knightKnight: The word deriving from the Anglo-Saxon Cniht, that described the office arising out of the warrior of the 11th century into a class of the lower nobility charged with fighting for the liege lord and maintaining lordship over the demense, managing it and defending the people in exchange for scutage from the property that supported him. Originally a purely martial description from the Latin miles, the definition of what it meant to be a knight changed as the influences of an increasingly formal court and activist church added expectations to the behavior of real knights. Throughout the medieval period, the role of the knight was changing, stretched between the conflicting demands of lady, court, church and battlefield. But the ideal of chivalry, the virtues to which a knight was to aspire, remain a powerful evocation of the best of Western culture, and this power remains today.