was first used in 1611 and is French, from Occitan acolada
. This, in turn, came from the Latin ad
("to") + collum
("neck") and in Occitan originally meant "embrace".
is akin to "dubbing" or "to dub
since the tap on the shoulder with the knighting sword
is accepted to be the point at which the title is awarded.
The accolade is a ceremony to confer knighthood. It may take many forms, including the tapping of the flat side of a knighting sword
on the shoulders
of a candidate (who is himself sometimes referred to as an accolade during the ceremony)
or an embrace about the neck.
In the first example, the "knight-elect" kneels in front of the monarch
on a knighting-stool
An example of a knighting-stool can be seen on the photo "George VI knighting General Leese Jul 1944" further down. First, the monarch lays the side of the sword's blade
onto the accolade's right shoulder.
The monarch then raises the sword just up over the apprentice's head, flips it counterclockwise so that the same side of the blade will come in contact with the knight's body, and places it on his left shoulder.
The new knight then stands up, and the king or queen presents him with the insignia of his new order
. Contrary to popular belief, the phrase "Arise, Sir ..." is not used.
There is some disagreement among historians on the actual ceremony and in what time period certain methods could have been used. It could have been an embrace or a slight blow on the neck or cheek. Gregory of Tours
wrote that the early kings of France, in conferring the gilt shoulder-belt
, kissed the knights on the left cheek. In knighting his son Henry
with the ceremony of the accolade,
history records that William the Conqueror
used the blow.
The blow, or colée, when first utilized was given with a bare fist, a stout box on the ear. This was later substituted for by a gentle stroke with the flat part of the sword against the side of the neck. This then developed into the custom of tapping on either the right or left shoulder, or both, which is still the tradition in the United Kingdom today.
An early Germanic coming-of-age ceremony, of presenting a youth with a weapon that was buckled on him, was elaborated in the 10th and 11th centuries as a sign that the minor
had come of age
. Initially this was a simple rite often performed on the battlefield, where writers of Romance enjoyed placing it. A panel in the Bayeux Tapestry
shows the knighting of Harold
by William of Normandy
, but the specific gesture is not clearly represented. Another military knight (commander of an army), sufficiently impressed by a warrior's loyalty
, would tap a fighting soldier on his back and shoulder with the flat of his sword and announce that he was now an official knight.
Some words that might be spoken at that moment were Advances Chevalier au nom de Dieu
In medieval France, early ceremonies of the adoubement
were purely secular and indicated a young noble coming of age. Around 1200, these ceremonies began to include elements of Christian ritual (such as a night spent in prayers, prior to the rite ).
The process of becoming a knight generally included these stages:
- Page – A child started training at the age of 7, he will begin learning about obedience, manners, and other important skills.
- Squire – At the age of 14, the young man would observe and help other knights. Occupying a position comparable to an apprenticeship, he managed equipment and weapons such as arrows. He learned the use of weapons while hunting with the knights. He went into recruit training to learn how to become a military fighter. At the age of 21, if judged worthy, he was bestowed the accolade of knighthood. Squires, and even soldiers, could also be conferred direct knighthood early if they showed valor and efficiency for their service; such acts may include deploying for an important quest or mission, or protecting a high diplomat or a royal relative in battle.
- Knight – A special kind of trained soldier, often cavalry, serving a lord (nobleman or royalty). Knights had particular status in feudal society.
Accolade in the 21st century
Newly inducted military Knights of the Legion of Honour
are struck on both shoulders with a sword (Army and Navy) or a dirk
(Air Force), if the ceremony is presided over by a military authority.
Civilian members and all members of lesser orders (Merit
, Arts and Letters
...) are not dubbed with a bladed weapon. They receive only the accolade
, which has kept in French its ancient meaning of "embrace".
In the Netherlands, the knights in the exclusive Military Order of William
(the Dutch "Victoria Cross") are struck on the left shoulder with the palm of the hand, first by the Dutch monarch (if present) then by the other knights. The new knight does not kneel.
receiving a knighthood are not dubbed. The use of a sword in this kind of a ceremony is believed to be inappropriate.
Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
, an Order of chivalry under the protection of the Holy See, are dubbed in the head and on both shoulders during the investiture ceremony. The accolade is given during Holy Mass, by the officiating Prelate.
The accolade is also performed today with the Habsburg Order of St. George
during the investiture with a sword on both shoulders. The ceremony including the oath is performed by Karl von Habsburg
or Georg von Habsburg. The knights kneel and the sword touches both shoulders.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i "Royal insights". Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ^ "Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournament -Glossary of Terms (letter "A")". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ^ "Knighthood, Chivalry & Tournament -Glossary of Terms (letter "K")". Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Accolade" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 121.
- ^ a b c d e "Castle Life - The International History Project". Archived from the original on 22 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ^ "Knighthood and the Knightly Orders". Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- ^ "Page, Squire, and Knight". Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- ^ a b c d "Dictionary online reference". Archived from the original on 19 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ^ a b "Accolade etymology". Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- ^ Dobson, Richard Barrie (2000). Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. ISBN 978-1-57958-282-1. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- ^ "Queen and Honours: Knighthoods". The British Monarchy. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- ^ Dominique Barthélemy, L'Ordre seigneurial: XIe - XIIe siècle, Collection: Nouvelle histoire de la France moderne, vol. 3, Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1990, p.190. ISBN 2-02-011554-9
- ^ Ackerman, Robert W. "The Knighting Ceremonies in the Middle English Romances." Speculum 19(3): July 1944, 285-313, compared the abbreviated historical accounts with the sometimes fancifully elaborated episodes in the romances.
- ^ (in French) Art. 56, Code de la Légion d'honneur
- ^ Moed en Trouw door J. Van Zelm van Eldik
- ^ St.-Georgs-Orden feierte im Dom
- ^ Investitur des St. Georgs-Ordens mit Karl Habsburg
- Bloch, Marc: Feudal Society, tr. Manyon. London: Routledge, Keagn Paul (1965)
- Boulton, D'Arcy Jonathan Dacre. The Knights of the Crown: the Monarchical Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe, 1325-1520. 2d revised ed. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2000.
- Keen, Maurice; Chivalry, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-300-03150-5
- Robards, Brooks; The Medieval Knight at War, UK: Tiger Books, 1997, ISBN 1-85501-919-1
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Last edited on 11 May 2021, at 07:53
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