But the strength of the kingdom lay less perhaps in the army than in the magnificent fortresses which the nobility, and especially the two orders, had built; and the most visible relic of the crusades to-day is the towering ruins of a fortress like Krak (Kerak) des Chevaliers, the fortress of the Knights of St John in the principality of Tripoli.
Des chevaliers romains, ii.
Belot, Histoire des chevaliers romains, i.
Belot, Histoire des chevaliers romains (1866-1873); H.
The Merveille (1203-1264) consists of two continuous buildings of three storeys, that on the east containing, one above the other, the hospitium (aumonerie), refectory and dormitory, that on the west the cellar, knights' hall (salle des chevaliers) and cloister.
But those whom the English called knights the Normans called chevaliers, by which term the nature of their services was defined, while their social status was left out of consideration.
Hence Du Cange divides the medieval nobility of France and Spain into three classes: first, barons or ricos hombres; secondly, chevaliers or caballeros; and thirdly, ecuyers or infanzons; and to the first, who with their several special titles constituted the greater nobility of either country, he limits the designation of banneret and the right of leading their followers to war under a banner, otherwise a " drapeau quarre " or square flag.
Montrachet, Les Chevaliers-Montrachet, Le Batard Montrachet.
The connexion of the lesser lay abbots with the abbeys, especially in the south of France, lasted longer; and certain feudal families retained the title of abbes chevaliers (abbates milites) for centuries, together with certain rights over the abbey lands or revenues.
It was no longer upon religion or morality, it was upon imperial and Roman rights that these chevaliers s lois based the princes omnipotence; and nothing more clearly marks the new tradition which was being elaborated than the fact that all the great events of Philip the Fairs reign were lawsuits.