The Nine Worthies
were nine historical figures meant to be the embodiment of the ideal of chivalry
. They were first written of in the early fourteenth century
, by Jean de Longuyon in his Voeux du Paon
. Neatly divided into triads, these were the champions of chivalry for the Pagan Law
, Old Law
, and new Christian Law
. His choices rapidly became a common theme in the literature and art of the Middle Ages and stayed in the popular mind as a fixed image.
The Worthies were:
- From Pagan times:
- From the Old Testament:
- From Christian times:
As a group, the nine represent all facets of the perfect warrior. All, with the exception of Hector, are conquering heroes. Most came from royal families. All brought glory and honor to their nations and were noted for their personal prowess in arms. As individuals, each displayed some outstanding quality of chivalry, which, in combination with their historical context, made them exemplars of knighthood.