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Chivalry was a code of rules governing the behavior of an aristocratic class of warriors known as knights. First appearing in the 12th century, the rules of chivalry governed not only the knights' behavior in battle, but in their personal lives as well. The chief chivalric virtues of piety, honor, valor, courtesy, chastity, and loyalty represented a fusion of Chistian and military morality. A similar code of behavior known as "Bushido" or "the way of the warrior" governed the behavior of the samurai warriors of ancient Japan. Although the strict practice of chivalry had all but disappeared by the 15th century, the ideals of chivalric behavior became the basis for what is now considered to be gentlemanly conduct.

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