Orders of chivalry are very diverse in their structure and fields of activity. In world history there were many different organizations that performed one or another function. In this article we look at the largest and most influential Orders, known throughout the world.
So, before you the most prominent knightly orders in history.
The Order of Knights Templar
Date of formation – 1119.
The Templars are considered perhaps the most famous order of chivalry. At the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries, the Templars possessed fabulous wealth, including vast areas of land. After their expulsion from Palestine in 1291, the Templars were primarily engaged in trade and financial services.
As a result, the Templar Order became the richest Order in world history. The Knights conducted a successful usury business, lending large sums of money to many dignitaries, including monarchs.
In the fall of 1307, by order of King Philip IV of France, the Templars were persecuted and arrested. It is worth noting that the Order itself came under an official ban. The Templars were falsely accused of heresy and homosexuality. As a result, by 1312 the commonwealth of knights ceased to exist.
The Teutonic Order
The date of formation was 1190.
The Teutonians were a spiritual and chivalric order subordinate to the Kaiser of Germany. The motto of the Teutonians was “To Help – To Protect – To Heal”. At the dawn of its existence, the Order did help and protect disadvantaged people.
But at the beginning of the 13th century the military history of the Teutonic Order began with an unsuccessful attempt to occupy the Baltic and Russian territories. The Battle of Grunwald (1410), where the Polish-Lithuanian forces crushed the Teuton Knights to smithereens, was the beginning of their downfall.
The Order was revived in 1809, but it no longer had the importance and glory that it had had in earlier times. Today it is engaged in charity work, providing medical care to sick people. The headquarters of the Teutonians are now located in Vienna.
Order of the Dragon
Date of foundation – 1408.
The order was founded on the initiative of the Hungarian monarch Sigismund I of Luxembourg to protect the royal court from enemies, and the Catholic Church from heretics and pagans.
A distinctive feature for the knights was the pendants with engravings of a golden dragon encrusted with a scarlet cross. Interestingly, a member of this Order was the father of the famous Vlad Tepes – Vlad II Dracul, who received his nickname precisely because of his involvement with the Order (in translation from the Romanian word “dracul” means “dragon”).