Knights discuss medieval culture

Knights of Veritas Director Eric Slyter demonstrates swordsmanship with Duke Hutchinson at the Waterville Library April 2. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

A group of Waterville children and adults learned about medieval knights and culture during a visit by the Knights of Veritas to the Waterville Library on April 2.

The visit was during the power outage that occurred that morning, so the group was moved out to the library’s lobby area near the windows.

Knights Director Eric Slyter, dressed in accurate period clothing from 1375 A.D., explained elements of his clothing and demonstrated medieval sword fighting techniques. He introduced some of the symbols that can be found on clothing and on weapons and showed how these were often designs made up of three or four components, or of multiples of these.

Slyter told the audience that in medieval European culture the numbers three and four were very important, probably because many aspects of nature come in threes or fours, such as three- or four-leaf clovers, the four seasons and the four directions.

Throughout the presentation, Slyter incorporated some math concepts. He had the group figure out how many years had passed since 1375 and had them find multiples of three and four.

He introduced the geometry of fighting and with the help of audience member Duke Hutchinson, he showed how important the physics concept of leverage was to medieval fighting technique.

Slyter explained the medieval Code of Chivalry and gave each audience member who was interested a copy of a Code of Chivalry. In it are expounded values of courage, courtesy, prowess, humility, justice, faith, loyalty, generosity and honor.

Toward the end of the presentation, Slyter put on his full armor in front of the audience. Audience members then had the chance to come forward to try on the helmet and to hold the sword.

The presentation was sponsored by the North Central Regional Library system.