Each of Malory’s three basic types [of knighthood] has obvious affinities with one or more of the ideal types previously portrayed in medieval epic and romance. In fact, one could argue that his Morte Darthur offers a kind of summa of medieval chivalry. For it incorporates exemplars of every conceivable type of knightly excellence to be found in the literature of the previous five hundred years, compares them to one another in a lengthy series of knightly adventures and in this way creates a three-tiered typology of knightly types based on the relative ethical, social and political value of each by contemporary standards.