The Medieval Military Orders : 1120-1314 book cover
1st Edition

The Medieval Military Orders

ISBN 9781408249581
Published November 22, 2012 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

This new addition to the popular Seminar Studies series looks at the origins, development and organisation of the Military Orders during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, showing how they functioned as a form of religious life and concentrating on their role in the Crusades and in the government and defence of the Christian kingdoms in the Holy Land. Dr Nicholas Morton offers coverage of the Templars, Hospitalers and Teutonic Knights, as well as various smaller orders.

Perfect for undergraduate students studying the Crusades, and for anyone with an interest in this popular topic, this concise and useful history contains numerous primary source materials as well as features to aid understanding.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations. 5

Introduction. 6

Chapter 1: The idea of the military orders and the rise of the Templars. 14

Introduction. 14

The legacy of the First Crusade. 15

The development of the Latin East and the origins of the Templars. 16

Secular and Religious Knighthood. 19

Reactions to the New Knighthood (contemporary attitudes 1)20

Chapter 2: The Defence of the Holy Land, 1130-1187. 25

The Origins and Militarisation of the Hospitallers. 25

Templar and Hospitaller resources in the west (finances 1)28

Castles and fortifications (military activities 1)33

The Holy Land 1144-1170. 36

The military orders at the time of William of Tyre (contemporary attitudes 2)38

The fall of Jerusalem.. 41

Further Reading. 45

Chronology. 47

Chapter 3: Iberia. 48

The introduction of the military orders into the Iberian Peninsula. 48

The Spanish military orders and the reconquest, 1157-1195. 50

Frontier revenue: Iberia and the Holy Land (finances 2)54

The struggle for Spain 1195-1232. 57

Secular rulers and the military orders (patrons 1)60

Expansion and the appeal of the Holy Land, 1233-1300. 63

Further Reading. 67

Chronology. 69

Chapter 4: The defence of the Holy Land 1188-1291. 71

1188-1228: The struggle for the Eastern Mediterranean. 71

Conflicts of interests (patrons 2)75

Competition between military orders. 78

1230-1260. 80

The economics of defeat (finances 3)83

Decline and fall 1260-1291. 85

Further Reading. 89

Chronology. 91

Chapter 5: Eastern Europe and the Baltic. 92

Background. 92

Eastern frontlines. 93

Relations with the papacy (patrons 3)99

The Teutonic Knights and the Eastern frontier102

Dividing resources (finances 4)108

Further Reading. 112

Chronology. 113

Chapter 6: Internal Structure and Identity. 115

The Military Orders as a form of monasticism.. 115

Central Control118

Careers and life-cycle. 121

Daily Life. 126

Piety and Identity. 130

The military orders in the field (military activities 2)133

Medical roles. 136

Women and the military orders. 139

Further Reading. 141

Chapter 7: Away from the frontier, the military orders in Western Christendom.. 144

The military orders in a changing world. 144

Politics, regional concerns and local elites (patrons 4)145

Crusaders and Pilgrims. 149

Heresy, mendicants and political crusading. 154

Attitudes to the military orders in the Holy Land before 1291 (contemporary attitudes 3)157

Further reading. 161

Chapter 8: The military orders at the time of the Trial of the Templars. 164

The Eastern Mediterranean following the fall of Acre. 164

The Trial of the Templars (Patrons 5)166

The other military orders at the time of the Trial173

Further Reading. 178

The sources for the military orders. 180

Translated Documents. 185

1.   Bernard of Clairvaux’s treatise for the Templars entitled, In Praise of the New Knighthood (1130s)185

2.   The foundation of the order of Calatrava. 186

3.   Prince Bohemond III of Antioch offers properties to the order of Santiago in return for their assistance (September 1180)187

4.   Pope Innocent III confirms the treaty between the Swordbrethren and the bishop of Riga  190

5.   Hermann von Salza’s letter to Pope Gregory IX concerning his actions on crusade (late March 1229)191

6.   Pope Gregory IX encourages the faithful to support the Teutonic Knights in their construction of Montfort (10 July 1230)194

7.   Matthew Paris describes the public reaction to an appeal for help sent by the Templars in July 1244  196

8.   Eberhard of Sayn, visitor of the Teutonic Knights, outlines the arrangements for the organisation of the order in Prussia and its responsibilities to master and chapter in the Holy Land. 197

9.   King Alfonso III of Aragon permits the Templars to export six horses to the Latin East (25 April 1286)201

10.   King James II of Aragon demands that the Templars help to defend his kingdom against Castile (17 August 1300)201

Who’s who. 203

References. 206


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Nicholas Morton is Senior Lecturer in History at Nottingham Trent University.