A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
The Percheron is a breed of draft horse that originated in the Huisne river valley in western France, part of the former Perche province from which the breed takes its name. Gray or black in color, Percherons are well muscled, known for their intelligence and willingness to work. Although their exact origins are unknown, the ancestors of the breed were present in the valley by the 17th century, they were bred for use as war horses. Over time, they began to be used for pulling stagecoaches and for agriculture and hauling heavy goods. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Arabian blood was added to the breed. Exports of Percherons from France to the United States and other countries rose exponentially in the late 19th century, the first purely Percheron stud book was created in France in 1883. Before World War I, thousands of Percherons were shipped from France to the United States, but after the war began, an embargo stopped shipping; the breed was used extensively in Europe during the war, with some horses being shipped from the US back to France to help in the war effort.
Beginning in 1918, Percherons began to be bred in Great Britain, in 1918 the British Percheron Horse Society was formed. After a series of name and studbook ownership changes, the current US Percheron registry was created in 1934. In the 1930s, Percherons accounted for 70 percent of the draft horse population in the United States, but their numbers declined after World War II. However, the population began to recover and as of 2009, around 2,500 horses were registered annually in the United States alone; the breed is still used extensively for draft work, in France they are used for food. They have been crossed with several light horse breeds to produce horses for range work and competition. Purebred Percherons are used for forestry work and pulling carriages, as well as work under saddle, including competition in English riding disciplines such as show jumping; the size considered ideal for the Percheron varies between countries. In France, height ranges from weight from 1,100 to 2,600 pounds.
Percherons in the United States stand between 16.2 and 17.3 hands, with a range of 15–19 hands. American Percherons average 1,900 pounds, their top weight is around 2,600 pounds. In Great Britain, 16.2 hands is the shortest acceptable height for stallions and 16.1 hands for mares, while weights range from around 2,000–2,200 pounds for stallions and 1,800–2,000 pounds for mares. They are gray or black in coloring, although the American registry allows the registration of roan and chestnut horses. Only gray or black horses may be registered in Britain. Many horses have white markings on their heads and legs, but registries consider excessive white to be undesirable; the head has broad forehead, large eyes and small ears. The chest is deep and wide and the croup long and level; the feet and legs are clean and muscled. The overall impression of the Percheron is one of power and ruggedness. Enthusiasts describe the temperament as proud and alert, members of the breed are considered intelligent, willing workers with good dispositions.
They adapt well to many conditions and climates. In the 19th century, they were known to travel up to 60 kilometres a day at a trot. Horses in the French registry are branded on the neck with the intertwined letters "SP", the initials of the Société Hippique Percheronne; the Percheron breed originated in the Huisne river valley in France, which arises in Orne, part of the former Perche province, from which the breed gets its name. Several theories have been put forth as to the ancestry of the breed, though its exact origins are unknown. One source of foundation bloodstock may have been mares captured by Clovis I from the Bretons some time after 496 AD, another may have been Arabian stallions brought to the area by Muslim invaders in the 8th century. Other possibilities are captured Moorish cavalry horses from the Battle of Poitiers in 732 AD, some of which were taken by warriors from Perche. A final theory posits that the Percheron and the Boulonnais breed are related, that the Boulonnais influenced the Percheron when they were brought to Brittany as reinforcements for the legions of Caesar.
It is known that during the 8th century, Arabian stallions were crossed with mares native to the area, more Oriental horse blood was introduced by the Comte du Perche upon his return from the Crusades and expeditions into territory claimed by Spain. Blood from Spanish breeds was added. No matter the theory of origin, breed historians agree that the terrain and climate of the Perche area had the greatest influence on the development of the breed. A possible reference to the horse is made in the 13th-century romance Guillaume de Dole, in which the title character asks for "the Count of Perche's horse" to be made ready indicating the "'great horse,' which could accommodate an armored knight" and was bred in the geographical setting of the poem. During the 17th century, horses from Perche, the ancestors of the current Percheron, were smaller, standing between 15 and 16 hands high, more agile; these horses were uniformly gray. After the days of the armored knight, the emphasis in horse breeding was shifted so as to develop horses better able to pull heavy stage coaches at a fast trot.
Gray horses were preferred
A sport horse or sporthorse is a type of horse, rather than any particular breed. The term is applied to horses bred for the traditional Olympic equestrian sporting events of dressage, show jumping, combined driving, but the precise definition varies. In the United States, horses used in hunt seat and show hunter competition are classed as sport horses, whereas the British show hunter is classified as a "show horse." Horses used for western riding disciplines, Saddle seat, or any form of horse racing are not described as sport horses. Sport horses are bred for specific qualities in their conformation and temperament; the purpose and breeding of sport horses across the world varies little, but the exact definition of a "sport horse" differs from country to country. In the United Kingdom, the term "sport horse" refers to any horse suitable for dressage, eventing or show jumping. In the USA, the definition is broader, sometimes encompassing horses used in any of the hunt seat disciplines. Worldwide, the breeding of sport horses is overseen by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses.
The WBFSH acts as a connection between sport horse breeding organizations and the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Characteristics common to quality sport horses include the following: Conformation: most sport horses have similarities in their conformation; these include a sloping shoulder, "turned-over" neck, uphill build. Conformation has direct effects on the animal's jumping ability. Movement: although movement may vary between disciplines, most sport horses are bred for a long, athletic stride and movement that uses the whole body; the trot and canter should have good suspension, the horse reaches under his body with his hind legs. This movement makes it easier for the rider to teach the horse to engage and extend his stride, which are necessary qualities in all sport horse disciplines. Jumping ability: horses bred for the jumping disciplines possess good jumping form, with tight lower legs and good bascule, they are bred to have conformation that allows them to jump higher.
Temperament: because of the great deal of training needed to produce a successful sport horse, they are bred for trainability and willingness to work. Horses intended for Olympic-level may be bred a bit "hotter," which can be controlled by their experienced riders and used to his or her advantage, while those intended for amateur use are bred to be quieter and more forgiving. Many Warmblood breeds were developed for use as sport horses for use in dressage and show jumping. Thoroughbreds are commonly used as sport horses in eventing, some have been bred as sport horses, rather than as race horses; such Thoroughbreds tend to have a heavier sport horse build, rather than the leaner conformation of a race horse. However, there have been many instances of former race horses being retrained as successful sport horses. Thoroughbreds are crossed with warmbloods and draft horses to create sport horses, such crosses were the historic foundation of most warmblood breeds. One example is a cross between the Thoroughbred and Irish Draught breeds.
Additional breeds, such as the assorted Baroque horse breeds, American Quarter Horses, Arabian horses, several pony breeds, some gaited breeds such as the American Saddlebred are sometimes used as sport horses. Representatives of many different breeds have been successful at the highest levels, although in international competition, horses with warmblood or Thoroughbred ancestry are in the majority. Warmblood Equestrian at the Summer Olympics
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
A crossbreed is an organism with purebred parents of two different breeds, varieties, or populations. Crossbreeding, sometimes called "designer crossbreeding", is the process of breeding such an organism with the intention to create offspring that share the traits of both parent lineages, or producing an organism with hybrid vigor. While crossbreeding is used to maintain health and viability of organisms, irresponsible crossbreeding can produce organisms of inferior quality or dilute a purebred gene pool to the point of extinction of a given breed of organism. A domestic animal of unknown ancestry, where the breed status of only one parent or grandparent is known, may be called a crossbreed though the term "mixed breed" is technically more accurate. Outcrossing is a type of crossbreeding used within a purebred breed to increase the genetic diversity within the breed when there is a need to avoid inbreeding. In animal breeding, crossbreeds are crosses within a single species, while hybrids are crosses between different species.
In plant breeding terminology, the term crossbreed is uncommon, no universal term is used to distinguish hybridization or crossing within a population from those between populations, or those between species. The many newly developed and recognized breeds of domestic cat are crossbreeds between existing, well-established breeds, to either combine selected traits from the foundation stock, or propagate a rare mutation without excessive inbreeding. However, some nascent breeds such as the Aegean cat are developed from a local landrace population. Most experimental cat breeds are crossbreeds. In cattle, there are systems of crossbreeding. In many crossbreeds, one is larger than the other. One is used when the purebred females are adapted to a specific environment, are crossed with purebred bulls from another environment to produce a generation having traits of both parents; the large number of breeds of sheep, which vary creates an opportunity for crossbreeding to be used to tailor production of lambs to the goal of the individual stockman.
Results of crossbreeding classic and woolly breeds of llama are unpredictable. The resulting offspring displays physical characteristics of either parent, or a mix of characteristics from both, periodically producing a fleeced llama; the results are unpredictable when both parents are crossbreeds, with possibility of the offspring displaying characteristics of a grandparent, not obvious in either parent. A crossbred dog is a cross between two known breeds, is distinguished from a mixed-breed dog, which has ancestry from many sources, some of which may not be known. Crossbreeds are popular, due to the belief that they have increased vigor without loss of attractiveness of the dog. Certain planned crossbreeding between purebred dogs of different breeds are now known as "designer dogs" can produce puppies worth more than their purebred parents, due to a high demand. Crossbreeding in horses is done with the intent of creating a new breed of horse. One type of modern crossbreeding in horses is used to create many of the warmblood breeds.
Warmbloods are a type of horse used in the sport horse disciplines registered in an open stud book by a studbook selection procedure that evaluates conformation, pedigree and, in some animals, a training or performance standard. Most warmblood breeds began as a cross of draft horse breeds on Thoroughbreds, but have, in some cases, developed over the past century to the point where they are considered to be a true-breeding population and have a closed stud book. Other types of recognized crossbreeding include that within the American Quarter Horse, which will register horses with one Thoroughbred parent and one registered Quarter Horse parent in the "Appendix" registry, allow such animals full breed registration status as Quarter Horses if they meet a certain performance standard. Another well-known crossbred horse is the Anglo-Arabian, which may be produced by a purebred Arabian horse crossed on a Thoroughbred, or by various crosses of Anglo-Arabians with other Anglo-Arabians, as long as the ensuing animal never has more than 75% or less than 25% of each breed represented in its pedigree.
A hybrid animal is one with parentage of two separate species, differentiating it from crossbred animals, which have parentage of the same species. Hybrids are but not always, sterile. One of the most ancient types of hybrid animal is the mule, a cross between a female horse and a male donkey; the liger is a hybrid cross between female tiger. The yattle is a cross between a yak. Other crosses include the yakalo; the Incas recognized that hybrids of Lama glama and Lama pacos resulted in a hybrid with none of the advantages of either parent. At one time it was thought that dogs and wolves were separate species, the crosses between dogs and wolves were called wolf hybrids. Today wolves and dogs are both recognized as Canis lupus, but the old term "wolf hybrid" is still used. A mixed-breed animal is defined as having undocumented or unknown parentage, while a crossbreed has known purebred parents of two distinct breeds or varieties. A dog of unknown parentage is called a mixed-breed dog, "mutt" or "mongrel."
A cat of unknown parentage is referred to as domestic short-haired or domestic long-haired cat generically, in some dialects is called a "moggy". A horse of unknown bloodlines is a grade horse. Artificial selection Canid hybrid Heterosis Introgression Selective breeding
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate