I have come across a reference in a German guide book on Iran that suggests the roots of knightly culture in European Middle Ages may be found in the Sassanian Empire (224 to 651 AD; translation courtesy of Google Translate with one correction):

One element of the Sassanian Empire found its way into Europe through Mauritania centuries later: knightly culture. The Sassanids already maintained [courtly love], tournaments and a code of honor - everything that was also part of knighthood according to European understanding.

Assuming that this is an accepted view among historians, how did the transfer occur (in more detail) and which historian (or school of historians) first pointed out this link? Presumably some traces must also exist in Muslim culture for it must have served as "vector" via Mauritania and presumably Spain, so what would such evidence be?

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    You are asking about the Aswaran (I believe). I thought I could answer this (quickly) but the long list of end-notes is not enticing! Not for me anyways. But you might like it. – J Asia Jan 1 at 11:32
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    "Sasanian cavalry tactics were adopted by the Romans, Arabs, and Turks." (wiki), so a few possibilities. Other relevant info here perhaps. I think "through Mauritania" is meant literally, ie the road they travelled passed though Mauretania. – Tomas By Jan 1 at 11:45
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    Let's keep it civil..... – Mark C. Wallace Jan 1 at 13:15
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    A certain code of honor for society elite and the elite warriors was pretty common in every ancient and medieval society, often deeply rooted in the relevant religious values. Tournaments, etc was also pretty common in many places. While I do not deny that different cultures may have borrowed specific practices from others or inspired shifts in value systems (admiring the enemy), I think stating one would be root to the other is a massive overstatement. – Greg Jan 1 at 14:29
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    (note-to-self: 3 rapid close votes on a question like this; current comments and answers just shot-from-the-hip speculations or pointers into Wikipedia; history SE apparently has seen better days; I'll abstain from downvoting myself, will instead vote with my feet -- sadly and again :) – Drux Jan 1 at 17:18

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