14 Medieval Quotes About Love, Death, Honor & War

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List of Medieval Quotes on Chivalry, Love, War, Honor & War

The medieval world was in many ways far different from the one we know today. Harvests, holidays, and wars made up the rhythm of life for people across classes. 

Society was highly stratified with royalty and nobles receiving wealth from landholdings and education from top scholars. Merchants and tradesmen lived and worked in expanding cities like London, Paris, and Milan. 

The poorest of society worked the land as peasants and had little time for leisure or education. 

Despite the differences between the Middle Ages and the present day, medieval people and ourselves share much in common. The following quotes illuminate perspectives held during the Middle Ages about topics like love, honor, and the brutal realities of conflict. 

Although hundreds of years old, these quotes still ring with truth to this day. Hopefully they can inspire you and teach you a little more about the medieval mindset. 

Medieval Love Quotes

medieval love quotes
Master of the Codex Manesse, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing higher, nothing stronger, nothing larger, nothing more joyful, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth.Thomas à Kempis

Inflict not on an enemy every injury in your power, for he may afterwards become your friend.Saadi

Quotes on Chivalry, Honor, and Knighthood

knight chivalry quotes

Every knight remembers his dubbing as the finest day of his existence.George Duby

More than a code of manners in war and love, chivalry was a moral system, governing the whole of noble life.Barbara W. Tuchman

…He must keep honor with all, so that he cannot be held to blame. No cowardice should be found in his doings. Above all, he should uphold the weak, thus should a knight rule himself.Eustace Deschamps

 Pride defeats its own end by bringing the man who seeks esteem and reverence into contempt.Henry IV

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.William Wallace

It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.Petrarch

Evil to him who thinks evil.Edward II

I am not afraid, I was born to do this.Joan of Arc

Medieval Quotes on War & Death

knight quotes on war
Unknown – Ms 6 f.243 Battle of Agincourt, 1415, English with Flemish illuminations, from the ‘St. Alban’s Chronicle’ by Thomas Walsingham (vellum), English School, (15th century), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If they wish to fight today, let them come like men.Bohemond I of Antioch

There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.Michel de Montaigne

May the lightning of your glory be seen and the thunders of your onset heard from east and west and be ye the avengers of noble blood.William the Conqueror

Wars begin when you will but they do not end when you please.Niccolo Machiavelli

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