The Knights of the Round Table were characters in the legends about King Arthur. They were the best knights in King Arthur's kingdom, and lived in King Arthur's castle, Camelot. They were called the Knights of the Round Table because of a special table that was in Camelot, that was round instead of rectangular. This meant that everyone who sat around it was seen as equal.
In order to become a Knight of the Round Table, a knight had to prove he was chivalrous (polite) enough. In the legend, the knights swore a Code of Chivalry, which is much like an oath is today. This meant that they promised to uphold the rules given to them once they became a Knight of the Round Table.
The Code of Chivalry includes the following:
- To never do outrage nor murder (not to assault or murder anybody).
- Always to flee treason (do not commit treason, a crime against your country or king).
- To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy (Do not be mean. Grant mercy to those who ask, even in combat.)
- To always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succor ('succor' is an old word for help; this means that the knight must promise to help women if they need it. Note that this does not necessarily include peasantry.)
- To never force ladies, gentlewomen or widows (never 'harm' women. Note that this does not necessarily include peasantry.)
- Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods (do not even join in fights over anything less than God or country.)