Meaning of Gentleman

Caballero, of the Latin caballarĭus, is a person who goes on horseback or riding. Since, in ancient times, the person who rode a horse belonged to a certain social class, the concept acquired various connotations and meanings.

In the Middle Ages, cavalry was an armed institution that served a king or feudal power. Knights, therefore, were warriors who rode on horseback and carried weapons such as spears or swords. For example: “The knights of King Edward approach the town”, “An enemy knight killed the prince”, “I will not let my daughter marry a knight of Bath”.

Knights used to receive land or money as compensation for their service. Generally, the knight was a nobleman who started out as a page and squire and was later promoted by his superiors to knight. Upon reaching this rank, he was required to swear allegiance and vow to be courteous and courageous. The knight therefore had to abide by a code of conduct.

Throughout history there have been a multitude of gentlemen who have played a fundamental role in it. Thus, for example, we could highlight the Knights Templar who, as their name indicates, belonged to the Order of the Temple, military and Christian in character.

Their function was to protect the lives of all Christians who, from Europe, decided to travel to the Holy Land, to Jerusalem. For approximately two centuries, these knights carried out this work from its foundation in 1118, although the Order was not approved by the Catholic Church until 1129.

The great military preparation of these men as well as their bravery were two of the main characteristics that identified them. However, at the image level they were clearly recognized for wearing a white cape on which a red paté cross was represented.

Also, we cannot ignore other highly relevant gentlemen. We are referring to those who made up the mythical round table of King Arthur. They are the protagonists of a medieval legend that established the creation of a chivalric order of Brittany that was founded by the monarch, once he took possession of the throne and founded what would become the kingdom of Camelot.

The fact that this table was made up of the most distinguished gentlemen of the time as well as that that era was round so that no one would establish itself as a leader are two of the singularities of this legend.

By extension, the notion of gentleman began to be used in reference to the noble person, who shows his courtesy and solidarity: “Juan is a true gentleman: he always brings me flowers and chocolates and opens the car door for me”, “ I’m sorry that Miguel is such a little gentleman ”, “ I like that men are still gentlemen and treat women like ladies ”.

According to DigoPaul, gentleman is also a courtesy term to refer to a man, in what is a similar use to the term sir: “Excuse me gentleman, but this table is reserved”, “Gentleman, how can I help you?” , “Approach the gentleman who is sitting next to Marta and ask him if he wants a drink.