(University of Pennsylvania Press) The author examines the paradoxical ideals in the medieval code of chivalry: Required to be devout Christians, knights were simultaneously expected to display fierce courage in battle and seek vengeance for strikes upon their honor. Examining a literary corpus from exempla and chansons de geste to romance, Kaeuper probes how clerics and lay military elites alike claimed God’s blessing for knighthood, attempting to avoid the contradictions in this fusion of chivalry and Christianity. Kaeuper is a professor of history at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe and coeditor of The Book of Chivalry of Geoffroi de Charny: Text, Context, and Translation .