When did "knights in shining armor" exist?

When during the middle ages did all that medieval fantasy stuff occur? Things like knights, castles, nobles, Robin Hood, bandits, dungeons, but NO gunpowder. What year? Ty. Something before the Renaissance..I think.. I don’t want it too fancy pants.
I used that phrase to just give people an Idea. I just want to know when knights existed before the use of gunpowder. Like Lord of The Rings, minus the fairytale aspects. Just the grungy caste siege type stuff.
Wasn’t gunpowser being used during the Renaissance?

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5 Responses to “When did "knights in shining armor" exist?”

  1. Svartalf Says:

    Actually, never… Until the 1300s, "armor" was chainmail, that did not have enough flat surfaces to get shining, and by the time armor that could shine was available, the middle ages were going to their end and knights were more the stuff of romances than a social reality.

  2. Randal Says:

    A knight in shining armour
    A person, usually a man, who comes to the aid of another, usually a woman, in a gallant and courteous manner.

    The present-day use of this phrase is, of course, figurative and refers back to the notion of gallant knights saving fair maidens in distress. The reality behind that imagery is dubious and no doubt owes much to the work of those Victorian novelists and painters who were captivated by the chivalrous ideal of an imagined court of Camelot. Nevertheless, knights did wear armour, and that worn by royalty and the high nobility was highly polished and did in fact gleam and shine.

    The earliest reference that I’ve found to the phrase in print date from the late 18th century – in The British journal The Monthly Review, 1790, in a poem called Amusement: A Poetical Essay, by Henry Pye:

    No more the knight, in shining amour dress’d
    Opposes to the pointed lance his breast

    Many of these 19th century citations describe imaginary knights who ride to the rescue of swooning maidens. That’s almost, but not quite, the figurative use we have now. Present day ‘knights in shining armour’ may dress as they please. The earliest uses that I’ve found that summon up the ‘shining armour’ image in other contexts come from the USA. It’s ‘armor’ there, of course. For example, this piece from The Kenosha Times, September 1857:

    "The ticket nominated is composed of able, earnest, honest men – of men by their reputation for personal worth and integrity protected from assaults as by a shining armor."


    I hope this is helpful.

  3. El Nahual Justiciero Says:

    Around the late XIII Century and the whole XIV Century, that’s when the Castles became bigger and better built, armors improved too and may actually become shiny; Bandits and dungeons had always existed but torture methods became more fearsome.

  4. 123anonymous Says:

    Full body armour didn’t exist until the late Middle Ages, but knights have existed even longer.

  5. Flawed_logic Says:

    There were "knights" in use all the way up to the first world war in some countries. The start of knights dates back to the fall of the roman empire and the start of feudalism in 473.

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