« Prev The Military Orders Next »

§ 60. The Military Orders.


Literature.—The sources are the Rules of the orders and the scattered notices of contemporary chroniclers. No attempt is made to give an exhaustive list of the literature.—P. H. Helyot: Histoire des ordres monastiques, religieux et militaires, 8 vols. Paris, 1719.—Perrot. Coll. Hist. des ordres de chivalrie, etc., 4 vols. Paris, 1819. Supplementary vol. by Fayolle, 1846.—Bielenfeld: Gesch. und Verfassung aller geistlichen und weltlichen Ritterorden, 2 vols. Weimar, 1841.—F. C. Woodhouse: The Military Religious Orders of the Middle Ages, London, 1879.—G. Uhlhorn: Die christliche Liebesthätigkeit im Mittelalter, Stuttgart, 1884.—Hurter: Life of Innocent III., vol. IV. 313 sqq.—The general Histories of the Crusades.—Stubbs: Const. Hist. of England.

For the Knights of St. John: Abbe Vertot: Hist. des chevaliers hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem, etc., 4 vols. Paris, 1726, and since.—Taafe: History of the Knights of Malta, 4 vols. London, 1852.—L. B. Larking: The Knights Hospitallers in England, London, 1857.—A. Winterfeld: Gesch. des Ordens St. Johannis vom Spital zu Jerusalem, Berlin, 1859.—H. Von Ortenburg: Der Ritterorden des hl. Johannis zu Jerusalem, 2 vols. Regensb. 1866.—Genl. Porter: Hist. of the Knights of Malta of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, London, 1883.—Von Finck: Uebersicht über die Gesch. des ritterlichen Ordens St. Johannis, Berlin, 1890.—G. Hönnicke: Studien zur Gesch. des Hospitalordens, 1099–1162, 1897.—*J. D. Le Roulx: De prima origine Hospitaliorum Hierosol., Paris, 1885; Cartulaire général de l’Ordre des Hospitaliers St. Jean de Jérusalem, 3 vols., Paris, 1894; Les Hospitaliers en Terre Sainte et à Chypre, 1100–1310, Paris, 1904, pp. 440.—J. Von Pflugk-Harttung: Die Anfänge des Johanniterordens in Deutschland, Berlin, 1899, and Der Johanniter und der Deutsche Orden im Kampfe Ludwigs des Baiern mit der Kirche, Leipzig, 1900. Knöpfler: Johanniter in Weltzer-Welte, VI. 1719–1803. For other Lit. see Le Roulx: Les Hospitaliers, pp. v-xiii.

For the Knights Templars: The literature is very abundant. Bernard Of Clairvaux: De laude novae militiae, ad milites templi, Migne, 182, pp. 921–940.—Dupuy: Hist. des Templiers, Paris, 1650.—F. Wilcke: Gesch. des Tempelherren Ordens, 2 vols. Leipzig, 1827, 2d ed. Halle, 1860.—*C. H. Maillard De Chambure: Règle et Statuts secrets des Templiers, Paris, 1840 (from three old French MSS.).—W. Havemann: Gesch. des Ausgangs des Tempelherren Ordens, Stuttgart, 1846. Michelet: Procès des Templiers, 2 vols. Paris, 1841–1851.—Boutaric: Clement V. Philippe le Bel et les Templiers, Paris, 1874, and Documents inédites de Philippe le Bel, Paris, 1861.—*Henri de Curzon: La Règle du Temple, Paris, 1886.—*H. Prutz: Geheimlehre und Geheimstatuten des Tempelherren Ordens, Berlin, 1879, Entwicklung und Untergang des Tempelherrenordens, Berlin, 1888.—K. Schottmüller: D. Untergang des Templer-Ordens, 2 vols. Berlin, 1887.—W. Cunningham: Growth of English Industry, London, 1890.—J. Gmelin: Schuld oder Unschuld des Templerordens, Stuttgart, 1893.—*Döllinger: Der Untergang des Tempelordens in his "Akadem. Vorträge," Munich, 1891, III. 245–274, the last public address the author delivered before the Academy of Sciences of Munich.—A. Grange: Fall of the Knights Templars, "Dublin Review," 1895, pp. 329 sqq.—G. Schnürer: D. ursprüngliche Templerregel, Freib. 1903.—Mansi, XXI. 359–372, also gives the Rule of the Templars as set forth at the Synod of Troyes, 1128.—J. A. Froude: The Knights Templars in Short Essays.—Hefele-Knöpfler, VI.—*Funk: Templer in Wetzer-Welte, XI. pp. 1311–1345.—H. C. Lea: Hist. of the Inquisition, III. and Absolution Formula of the Templars, Amer. Soc. of Ch. Hist. Papers, V. 37–58.

For the Teutonic Knights: Strehlke: Tabulae ordinis teutonicae.—Hennes: Codex diplomaticus ordinis S. Mariae Theutonicorum, 2 vols. Mainz, 1845–1861.—E. Hennig: Die Statuten des deutschen Ordens, Würzburg, 1866.—M. Perlbach: Die Statuten des Deutschordens, Halle, 1890.—Joh. Voigt: Geschichte des Deutschen Ritter-Ordens, 2 vols. Berlin, 1857–1859.—H. Prutz: Die Besitzungen des deutschen Ordens im heiligen Lande, Leipzig, 1877.—C. Herrlich: Die Balley Brandenburg, etc., Berlin, 1886.—C. Lempens: Geschichte d. Deutschen Ordens u. sr. Ordensländer Preussen u. Livland, 1904.—Ranke: Univ. Hist., VIII. 455–480.—Uhlhorn: Deutschorden, in Herzog, IV.


"And by the Holy Sepulchre

I’ve pledged my knightly sword

To Christ, His blessed church, and her,

The mother of our Lord."

Whittier, Knights of St. John.


A product of the Crusades and their most important adjunct were the three great Military Orders, the Knights of St. John, the Knight Templars, and the Teutonic Knights. They combined monastic vows with the profession of arms. Their members were fighting monks and armed almoners. They constituted a standing army of Crusaders and were the vigilant guardians of Latin institutions in Palestine for nearly two centuries. The Templars and the Knights of St. John did valiant service on many a battle-field in Palestine and Asia Minor.495495    At the battle of Gaza with the Chorasmians, 1244, of two hundred and sixteen Knights of St. John who entered the battle, two hundred remained dead on the field.496496    After the battle of Tiberias, the Knights of St. John, for a few years, made their strong fortress, Margat, the base of their operations., the three orders retired to Europe, holding the Turks in check for two centuries longer in the South and extending civilization to the provinces on the Baltic in the North. They combined the element of romance, corresponding to the chivalric spirit of the age, with the element of philanthropy corresponding to its religious spirit.

These orders speedily attained to great popularity, wealth, and power. Kings did them honor. Pope after pope extended their authority and privileges. Their grand masters were recognized as among the chief personages of Christendom. But with wealth and popularity came pride and decay. The strength of the Knights of St. John and the Templars was also reduced by their rivalry which became the scandal of Europe, and broke out into open feuds and pitched battles as before Acre, 1241 to 1243 and in 1259.497497    See M. Paris, an. 1259. The famous antithesis of Gibbon (chap. LVIII.) pleases the ear and contains some truth, but makes a wrong impression. "The Knights of the Temple and St. John neglected to live, but they prepared to die in the service of Christ."498498    The synod of Salzburg, 1292, decided in favor of the union. Teutonic Knights exclusively a German order. The Templars were oecumenical in their constituency.

I. The order of the Knights of St. John, or the Hospitallers,499499    Fratres hospitalis S. Johannis, Hospitalarii, Johannitae, milites hospitalis S. Johannis. From the fourteenth century they were also known as the Knights of Rhodes and from the sixteenth as the Knights of Malta. For a list of the houses of the female members of this order, Le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers, 300 sq.500500    The bull of Pascal, II. 1113, speaks of the hospital in Jerusalem adjoining the church of the Baptist, xenodochium ... juxta Beati Johannis Baptistae ecclesiam.own out of a hospital in the city erected for the care of sick and destitute pilgrims. As early as the time of Charlemagne a hospital existed there. Before the year 1000 a cloister seems to have been founded by the Normans close by the church of the Holy Sepulchre known as St. Maria de Latina, with accommodations for the sick.501501    William of Tyre, XVIII. 5; de Vitry, Hist. Jerus., 64. The Mary, whose name the convent bore, was Mary Magdalene.502502    Le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers, 33, connects the order with the hospital founded by Maurus,nous croyons pouvoir persister à penser que les Amalfitans furent les précurseurs des Hospitaliers seems to have come from Southern France.503503    William of Tyre, VII. 23, states that he was held in chains during the siege of Jerusalem.ed in 1120 and was succeeded by Raymund du Puy, who gave the order great fame and presided over it for forty years.504504    See Le Roulx, pp. 44 sqq. Gerard is called in an old chronicle "Guardian of the hospital of the poor in Jerusalem," guardianus hospitalis pauperum, etc., Hurter, IV. 315, note

The order increased with astonishing rapidity in numbers, influence, and wealth. Gifts were received from all parts of Europe, the givers being remembered in prayers offered up in Jerusalem. Raymund systematized the rules of the brotherhood and gave it a compact organization and in 1113 it gained papal sanction through Pascal II. At that time there were affiliated houses at St. Giles, Asti, Pisa, Otranto, and Tarentum.505505    Woodhouse, p. 20, gives a list of no less than fifty-four houses belonging to the Hospital in England.eive the joys of the heavenly. Bull followed bull, granting the order privileges. Innocent III. exempted the members from excommunication at the hand of bishops and made the order amenable solely to the pope. Anastasius IV., 1154, gave them the right to build churches, chapels, and graveyards in any locality.506506    The bull in Mansi, XXI. 780.

The military feature of the organization was developed after the philanthropic feature of nursing and caring for unfortunate pilgrims and it quickly became the dominant feature. Raymund du Puy makes a clear distinction in the order between cleric and lay brethren. Innocent II., 1130, speaks of its members as priests, knights, and lay brethren, the last taking no vows. In its perfected organization the order was divided into three classes, knights, chaplains, and serving brethren. The knights and chaplains were bound by the threefold pledge of charity, poverty, and obedience.507507    They were monks. The order had no priests until the time of Alexander III., who gave it the right to receive priests and clerics. Priests became necessary in order that the new custom might be followed which gave to priests alone the right of absolution. During the first century of their existence, the members of military orders made confession of their sins in the open chapters and were punished at the order of the Master by public scourging or otherwise. The strict church law of confession and of absolution by the priest was not defined till later by the Fourth Lateran Council, and Thomas Aquinas. See Lea, The Absolution Formula of the Templars.508508    Le Roulx, 290 sq.ork was not abandoned. In 1160 John of Wizburg states from personal observation that more than two thousand sick were cared for in the hospital of Jerusalem, and that in a single day forty deaths occurred. After the transfer of the order to Rhodes, the knights continued to carry on hospital work.

After Clement IV., 1267, the title of the chief official was "Grand master of the Hospital of Jerusalem and Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ." The distinctive dress of the order was, after 1259, a red mantle with a white Maltese cross worn on the left breast that "God through this emblem might give faith and obedience and protect us and all our Christian benefactors from the power of the devil." Its motto was pro fide, "for the faith."509509    For the formula of admission, see Le Roulx, 288 sq.ded about 1320 into seven langues or provinces, Provence, France, Auvergne, Italy, Germany, Aragon, England. Castile was added in 1464. Affiliated houses in Europe and the East sent two-thirds of their income to Jerusalem.510510    See Uhlhorn for the amount of linen and other goods expected from the various houses in Europe. There was a female branch of the order of which, however, very little is known. In 1188 Sancha, queen of Aragon, founded a rich convent for it at Sixena near Saragossa.f the order was that the knights always went two and two and carried their own light with them.

After the fall of Acre, the Hospitallers established themselves on the island of Cyprus and in 1310 removed to the island of Rhodes, where massive walls and foundations continue to attest the labor expended upon their fortifications and other buildings. From Rhodes, as a base, they did honorable service.

Under the grand master La Valette, the Knights bravely defended Malta against the fleet of Suleymon the Magnificent until Europe felt the thrill of relief caused by the memorable defeat of the Turkish fleet by Don John at Lepanto, 1571. From that time the order continued to decay.511511    On October 31, 1898, the emperor William II. of Germany, while on a visit to Jerusalem, dedicated the Protestant church of the Redeemer, built on the ancient site of the hospital of the Knights of St. John, opposite the church of the Holy Sepulchre.

II. The Knight Templars512512    Templarii, fratres militiae templi, equites templarii, pauperes commilitiones Christi templique Salamonis, are some of the titles by which they were known. There was not nearly as much resemblance between the Hospitallers and Templars as between the Templars and Teutonic knights. Curzon, p. xi.did fame than the Knights of St. John; but the order had a singularly tragic ending in 1312, and was dissolved under moral charges of the most serious nature. From the beginning they were a military body. The order owes its origin to Hugo de Payens (or Payns) and Godfrey St. Omer, who entered Jerusalem riding on one horse, 1119. They were joined by six others who united with them in making a vow to the patriarch of Jerusalem to defend by force of arms pilgrims on their way from the coast to Jerusalem.

Baldwin II. gave the brotherhood quarters in his palace on Mount Moriah, near the site of Solomon’s temple, whence the name Templars is derived. Hugo appeared at the council of Troyes in 1128,513513    William of Tyre. See Hefele, V. 401 sq., and Germany, that three hundred knights joined the order. St. Bernard wrote a famous tract in praise of the "new soldiery."514514    De laude novae militiae.rs allowed to go unpunished. They take no pleasure in the absurd pastime of hawking. Draughts and dice they abhor. Ribald songs and stage plays they eschew as insane follies. They cut their hair close; they are begrimed with dirt and swarthy from the weight of their armor and the heat of the sun. They never dress gayly, and wash seldom. They strive to secure swift and strong horses, but not garnished with ornaments or decked with trappings, thinking of battle and victory, not of pomp and show. Such has God chosen to vigilantly guard the Holy Sepulchre."515515    On St. Bernard’s services to the order, see the biographies by Morison, 141 sqq., and Storrs, 567-574.

The order spread with great rapidity.516516    In England they settled at the old Temple outside of Holborn, whence they removed to the new Temple on the Thames, 1185. The Temple church was completed in 1240. M. Paris gives an account of the dedication and the banquet which was provided by the Hospitallers. Stephen and his queen gave the Templars several places about 1150. Woodhouse, p. 260, gives a list of twenty-seven English houses.517517    An. 1244.nues have been estimated as high as 54,000,000 francs.518518    At the end of the thirteenth century. This is the estimate of de Chambure. Schottmüller estimates them at 40,000,000 francs. William of Tyre, XII. 7, speaks of their possessions as "immense." Their wealth and greed were proverbial.ngary, England, Upper and Lower Germany, Sicily, and perhaps a twelfth, Bohemia. Popes, beginning with Honorius II., heaped favors upon them. They were relieved from paying taxes of all sorts. They might hold services twice a year in churches where the interdict was in force. Their goods were placed under the special protection of the Holy See. In 1163 Alexander III. granted them permission to have their own priests.519519    Funk calls Alexander’s bull the Magna Charta of the order. Wetzer-Welte, XI. 1315.

Like the Hospitallers, the Templars took the triple vow and, in addition, the vow of military service and were divided into three classes: the knights who were of noble birth, the men at arms or serving brethren (fratres servientes, armigeri), and chaplains who were directly amenable to the pope. The dress of the knights was a white mantle with a red cross, of the serving brethren a dark habit with a red cross. The knights cropped their hair short and allowed their beards to grow. They were limited to three horses, except the grand master who was allowed four, and were forbidden to hunt except the lion, the symbol of the devil, who goes about seeking whom he may devour.520520    With reference to 1 Pet. 5:8, Curzon, 58.521521    Non nobis, Domine, non nobis sed tuo nomini da gloriam., and ate at a common table. If money was found in the effects of a deceased brother, his body was denied all prayer and funeral services and placed in unconsecrated ground like a slave.522522    Curzon, XXVII.s a widow, virgin, mother, sister, or any other female.523523    Fugiat feminae oscula Christi militia, Mansi, XXI. 72; also Schnürer, 153.524524    Schnürer, Rule XI. p. 138.

The head of the order was called Grand Master, was granted the rank of a prince, and included in the invitations to the oecumenical councils, as, for example, the Fourth Lateran and the second council of Lyons. The Master of the Temple in England was a baron with seat in Parliament.

The Templars took part in all the Crusades except the first and the crusade of Frederick II., from which they held aloof on account of the papal prohibition. Their discipline was conspicuous on the disastrous march of the French from Laodicea to Attalia and their valor at the battle of Hattim, before Gaza525525    M. Paris, Luard’s ed., IV. 337 sqq., gives the letters from the patriarch of Jerusalem and the vice-master of the Temple, 1244. This chronicler is very severe upon the Templars for their arrogant pride and their jealous rivalry of the Hospitallers. An example of this jealousy was their refusal to accompany King Amalric to Egypt because to the Hospitallers had been assigned first place. many other fields.526526    Among their fortresses was the castle Pilgrim near Acre, built 1218, whose great size and splendor are described by James de Vitry.527527    The houses of the order became important money centres in France and England in the thirteenth century, and furnished to kings, bishops, and nobles a safety-deposit for funds and treasures of plate, jewels, and important records. Henry III. and other English kingss borrowed from them, as did also French kings. The Templars also acted as disbursers for monies loaned by Italian bankers or as trustees for other monies, as, for example, the annual grant of one thousand marks promised by John to his sister-in-law, Berengaria. John frequently stopped at the house of the Templars in London. See Cunningham, Growth of English Industries and Commerce, 3d ed. Leopold Delisle, Les operationsfinancières des Templiers, Paris, 1889. Eleanor Ferris, Financial Relations of the Knights Templars to the English Crown, in "Am. Hist. Rev.," October, 1902.represent their real possessions.

A famous passage in the history of Richard of England set forth the reputation the Templars had for pride. When Fulke of Neuilly was preaching the Third Crusade, he told Richard he had three daughters and called upon him to provide for them in marriage. The king exclaimed, "Liar, I have no daughters." "Nay, thou hast three evil daughters, Pride, Lust, and Luxury," was the priest’s reply. Turning to his courtiers, Richard retorted, "He bids me marry my three daughters. Well, so be it. To the Templars, I give my first-born, Pride, to the Cistercians my second-born, Lust, and to the prelates the third, Luxury."528528   Charasson, quoting Richard de Hoveden, Vie de Foulques de Neuilly, 89 sq.

The order survived the fall of Acre less than twenty years. After finding a brief refuge in Cyprus the knights concentrated their strength in France, where the once famous organization was suppressed by the violent measures of Philip the Fair and Clement V. The story of the suppression belongs to the next period.

III. The order of the Teutonic Knights529529    Deutscher Orden, Ordo S. Mariae Theutonicorum.he prominence in Palestine of the two older orders. During the first century of its existence, its members devoted themselves to the maintenance and care of hospitals on the field of battle. They seldom appeared until the historic mission of the order opened in the provinces of what is now northeastern Germany which were reduced to subjection and to a degree of civilization by its arms and humanizing efforts.

The order dates from 1190, when a hospital was erected in a tent under the walls of Acre by pilgrims from Bremen and Lübeck. Frederick of Swabia commended it, and Clement III. sanctioned it, 1191.530530    Under the name domus hospitalis S. Mariae Theutonicorum in Jerusalem. A German hospital was dedicated in Jerusalem to St. Mary, 1128.531531    At the council of Constance, 1416, the king of Poland protested against their right to convert by the sword. and Templars. The order was made up almost exclusively of German elements.532532    In the conflict of Lewis the Bavarian with the papacy, the Teutonic order espoused the emperor’s cause and received from him important gifts and privileges.der in Europe was a convent at Palermo, the gift of Henry VI., 1197. Its first hospital in Germany was St. Kunigunde, at Halle. Subsequently its hospitals extended from Bremen and Lübeck to Nürnberg and further south. Its territory was divided into bailiwicks, balleyen, of which there were twelve in Germany. The chief officer, called Grand Master, had the dignity of a prince of the empire.

Under Hermann von Salza (1210–1239), the fourth grand master, the order grew with great rapidity. Von Salza was a trusted adviser of Frederick II., and received the privilege of using the black eagle in the order’s banner. Following the invitation of the monk Christian and of Konrad of Morovia, 1226, to come to their relief against the Prussians, he diverted the attention and activity of the order from the Orient to this new sphere. The order had the promise of Culmland and half of its conquests for its assistance.

After the fall of Acre, the headquarters were transferred to Venice and in 1309 to Marienburg on the Vistula, where a splendid castle was erected. Henceforth the knights were occupied with the wild territories along the Baltic and southwards, whose populations were still in a semi-barbaric state. In the hour when the Templars were being suppressed, this order was enjoying its greatest prosperity. In 1237 it absorbed the Brothers of the Sword.533533    Fratres militiae Christi, gladiferi, a military order founded in 1202.

At one time the possessions of the Teutonic knights included fifty cities such as Culm, Marienburg, Thorn, and Königsberg, and lands with a population of two million. Its missionary labors are recorded in another chapter. With the rise of Poland began the shrinkage of the order, and in the battle of Tannenberg, 1410, its power was greatly shaken. In 1466 it gave up large blocks of territory to Poland, including Marienburg, and the grand master swore fealty to the Polish king. The order continued to hold Prussia and Sameland as fiefs. But the discipline had become loose, as was indicated by the popular saying, "Dressing and undressing, eating and drinking, and going to bed are the work the German knights do."534534    Kleider aus, Kleider an, Essen, Trinken, Schlafengehen, ist die Arbeit so die Deutsche Herren han. laid the foundation of the greatness of the duchy of Prussia, which he made hereditary in his family, the Hohenzollern.535535    Luther in 1523 wrote a tract calling upon the Teutonic knights to abandon their false rule of celibacy and to practise the true chastity of marriage. Ermahnung an die Herren Deutschen Ordens falsche Keuschheit zu meiden und zur rechten ehelichen Keuschheit zu greifen. Albrecht introduced the Lutheran reformation into Brandenburg. He married the Danish princess Dorothea.536536    Several orders combining military and religious vows existed in Spain and Portugal and did service against the Moors. The order of Iago of Campostella received the papal sanction in 1175 and protected pilgrims to the shrine of Campostella. The order of Calatrava received papal approval 1164, and took an active part in the struggle against the Moors. The order of Alcantara was recognized by Lucius III., 1183. The headship of the last two bodies was transferred to the crown under Ferdinand the Catholic.




« Prev The Military Orders Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |