Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PTSD in Medieval Knights; A not so New Diagnosis

Much of Medieval literature includes some sort of war, In “The History of the Kings of Britain,” it is literally a book entirely about one king conquering another through battles, again, again, and again.

War has been apart of culture since the beginning of time, but the recognition of the trauma of war has not been recognized until just recently in modern times, or at least it has not been accepted as true illness. The trauma of war is a very real thing and has lasting consequences. The trauma of war is not something that was brought to light in literature of the Middle Ages, but war existed, therefore the trauma must have been there too.

It is a bazar concept thinking that medieval knights were probably experiencing post traumatic stress disorder since PTSD is such a newly accepted illness.

Even though the knights, like many of the characters in medieval literature, were sought to be greater than life, in reality, they were human too. Underneath all the metal armor and valor resides a man (or possibly woman, as proof is surfacing of Viking females fighting), no different than the humanitarian instincts of men of today. Knights are portrayed to have fought without fear for the greater good of their nation or king, much like how members of military regimes are seen in the same light, fearless and fighting for their country/beliefs. As there are residing similarities, it seems natural for both to experience PTSD.

The “Book of Chivalry” was written by the knight Geoffroi de Charny around 1350. Within this book is lies the basis behind the code of chivalry. The book, in a more academia like tone, explained that knights were not barbaric people senselessly fighting in wars. To deal with the aftermath a tragedy during battles, the code of chivalry was a way in which they could deal with the violence. The code emphasized on the knights must fight for a good cause and to protect others, never for their own selfish egos.

Researchers who have studied, “The Book of Chivalry,” feel that Geoffroi de Charny exhibited signs of PTSD in his writings. Discussing the constant fear of danger and flashbacks, not allowing the knights to function normally amongst society.

No comments:

Post a Comment