The military orders soon became accustomed to collaborating on the battle fields of Palestine, whether in Hārim (1164), Montgisard (1177), Margelion (1179), La Fontaine du Cresson, and finally Hattīn (1187). Their first combined operation dates back to the siege of Damascus, led by the armies of the second crusade in 1148. (...) The same determination allowed in 1163 a contingent of Crusaders to unblock, with the support of Templars, the Hospitaller castle of Crack des Chevalliers, that was besieged by the Atabeg of Damascus, Nūr ad-Dīn. (...)
The fraternity of arms reigning between the Knights Templar and the Hospitallers also appears from the Battle of La Fontaine du Cresson on May 1, 1187, where the Grand Masters Gerard de Ridefort and Roger des Moulins fought side by side. Templar Grand Master Gérard de Ridefort did not listen to the precautionary advice of the Hospital master when deciding to engage in an unequal fight against a column of 7,000 Muslims on the verge of to regain its bases. Hospitaller Grand Master Roger des Moulins was killed along with sixty Templars. (...) Gerard de Ridefort escaped the Ayyubid swords in pitifully fleeing, as his subordinate had prophesied at the start of the fight. This same great master caused the fall of the Frankish Holy Land, a few weeks later, prompting Guy de Lusignan to reluctantly help the city of Tiberias, besieged by Muslims. The battle of Hattīn (4 July, 1187) was fatal to the Latins who lost 230 Templars, beheaded by order of Saladin, and 120 Knights of the Hospital.
This blog is based on the paper (in French) on "Combined operations of the military orders in the Medieval Levant (12th-13th centuries)" by Pierre-Vincent Claverie; illustration source
Shortly after the Order was established in 1120 (Nablus) and confirmed by the papacy in 1129 (Troyes), it settled at the coastal cities such as Acre and Jaffa, where the Western pilgrims landed on their way to the holy places. During the 12th Century the Templars came into possession of twenty coastal commanderies. Most of these commanderies enjoyed direct access to the sea as in Acre, Tripoli, Tortosa or Latakia. The best known Templar port remains Tortosa, where the order had since 1152 half of the seignory of the city with a castle leaning against the shore. The coastal commandaries often communicated with each other by cabotage by sea. This is the transport of goods or passengers between two ports in the same country by a transport operator from another country.
Templars and Hospitallers appear to have expressed reluctance to fight on sea before the battle of Hattīn (4 July, 1187). Their first notable engagement came on 30 December 1187 when the two orders seized eleven Egyptian galleys blocking the port of Tyr. However, it was not until the Fifth Crusade (1217–1221) that the Order of the Temple was able to arm its own ships. The Fifth Crusade saw the Nile delta serve as a foundation operations to a multitude of squadrons.
These vessels were intended to bring provisions and equipment to the contingents engaged in the Nile Delta from 1218. Knights Templar and Hospitaller transport speeded up considerably after the arrival of a Frisian squadron, composed of solid hulls (koggen). The crews of the Templar ships consisted at that time of crusaders and brothers in arms, versatile enough to handle trebuchets (a type of catapult which uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile) in case of forced demobilization.
This blog is based on papers in French by Pierre-Vincent Claveri on the Templar Navy, such as this one; illustration templar ship, fresque in trhe Templar Chappel, Cressac, Charente, France, source
In his article on Medievalists.net Peter Konieczny (...) presents the strong case that before and at the start of the First Crusade "an alliance existed between the Crusaders and the (muslim; TN) Fatimid rulers of Egypt (...) By the latter decades of the eleventh-century, these states (Byzantium and Fatimid Egypt; TN) had only known peace with each other in living memory, which is remarkable for the medieval world.
"The legislative body by which the friars of the Temple govern themselves underwent many logical adaptations to suit the times, along its existence. In spite of this, they channeled themselves in two different and complimentary but equally valid points: on the one side papal bulls and on the other the general chapters.
Thus, Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona and Provence, at a very advanced age, abdicating his throne, and shaking off the ensigns of royal authority, retired to the house of the Templars at Barcelona, and pronounced his vows (A.D. 1130) before brother Hugh de Rigauld, the Prior. His infirmities not allowing him to proceed in person to the chief house of the order at Jerusalem, he sent vast sums of money thither, and immuring himself in a small cell in the Temple at Barcelona. He there remained in the constant exercise of the religious duties of his profession until the day of his death.
At the same period, the Emperor Lothaire bestowed on the order a large portion of his patrimony of Supplinburg. And the year following (A.D. 1131,) Alphonso the First, king of Navarre and Arragon, also styled Emperor of Spain, one of the greatest warriors of the age, by his will declared the Knights of the Temple his heirs and successors in the crowns of Navarre and Arragon. A few hours before his death he caused this will to be ratified and signed by most of the barons of both kingdoms. The validity of this document, however, was disputed, and the claims of the Templars were successfully resisted by the nobles of Navarre. But in Arragon they (The Knights templar, TN) obtained, by way of compromise, lands, and castles, and considerable dependencies, a portion of the customs and duties levied throughout the kingdom, and of the contributions raised from the Moors."
This blog quotes from The History of the Knights Templar, by Charles G. Addison  published on sacred-texts.com; illustration statue in Barcelona of Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, source Wikipedia.org
The early rivalry between the Templars and the Hospitable people made it clear that the former had not neglected the care of the hospices. And, in fact, in many places, tradition attributes to them institutions of this nature. (...)
Hospices spread everywhere, monastic hospitals, cathedral hospices, parish hospices. We find some in Dijon, in Autun, in Chalon, in Màcon, in Auxerre, in Langres as in Cluny, in Saulieu very formerly, in Châtillon whose commercial importance becomes very large in the twelfth century, in Seraur which, at the end in the twelfth century the Duke of Burgundy freed men from the house of God from various royalties. Beaune already has at the gates of the city his Maison-Dieu, which later on was named St. Peter's Hospital. Vezelay, an important center of prayer and exchange, on the threshold of the duchy, has a similar establishment from the eleventh century, and Sens, also on the confines of the duchy, and Aigueperse and Cersy in the twelfth century."
English translation from the paragraph "Maison des Templiers de Dijon" on templiers.org.free.fr. Illustration The Hotel Dieu in Beaune, source
At the same time, recent scholarship (...) has uncovered that many Byzantine women who married into the Seljuk Dynasty maintained their Christian religious practices and passed them onto their children (future Seljuk sultans), many of whom were baptized at the Hagia Sophia, the main cathedral in Constantinople. A consciousness of conversion did develop in the medieval period, but a thirteenth-century Cilician Armenian law code suggests that conversions to Islam were reversible."
This blog quotes from "Diversity in the Medieval Middle East - Inclusions, Exclusions, Supporters, and Discontents" by Rachel Goshgarian, Chapter 9 in Lucia Volk's The Middle East in the World: An Introduction (Foundations in Global Studies) (Routledge, 2015) on www.academia.edu;; source illustration www.quora.com
In fact, the model of dhimma as defined in the Quran and in the hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) stipulated that while Christians and Jews must pay a supplemental tax in exchange for exemption from military service, they were not to be forcibly converted to Islam. (...) Some descriptive sources from the medieval period (from the seventh through the fifteenth centuries) show that these prescriptions were not always followed. For example, in many cities under Islamic rule, Christians and Jews were compelled to wear specific colors and/or types of clothing in order to physically distinguish themselves from Muslims."
This blog quotes from "Diversity in the Medieval Middle East - Inclusions, Exclusions, Supporters, and Discontents" by Rachel Goshgarian, Chapter 9 in Lucia Volk's The Middle East in the World: An Introduction (Foundations in Global Studies) (Routledge, 2015) on www.academia.edu;; source illustration bywajtu.pl
A proponent of studying Islam based upon its own sources, he commissioned a comprehensive translation of Islamic source material, and in 1142 he traveled to Spain where he met his translators. One scholar has described this as a “momentous event in the intellectual history of Europe.”
The Arabic manuscripts which Peter had translated may have been obtained in Toledo, which was an important centre for translation from the Arabic. However, Peter appears to have met his team of translators further north, possibly in La Rioja, where he is known to have visited the Cluniac monastery of Santa María la Real of Nájera. The project translated a number of texts relating to Islam (known collectively as the "corpus toletanum"). They include the Apology of al-Kindi; and most importantly the first-ever translation into Latin of the Arabic Qur'an (the "Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete") for which Robert of Ketton was the main translator. (...) The translation was completed in either June or July 1143, in what has been described as “a landmark in Islamic Studies. With this translation, the West had for the first time an instrument for the serious study of (and attack on; TN) Islam.”
Source text and illustration Wikipedia
The Seljuks were the ﬁrst Turkish Muslim entity to become established in the region (the Byzantine defeat by the Seljuk Turks took place 1071; TN). They were followed by many other similar Turkish and Persian-speaking principalities, which existed either as subservient to the Seljuks or in direct competition with them.
At the same time, the Armenians established their own principality and, later, kingdom in the region. And after the First Crusade, a Latin Crusader state was established around Antioch. This was followed by the entrance of the Mongols into the region. Those Mongols who had converted to Islam (and were known as the Ilkhanids) extended their territory into Anatolia in the mid-thirteenth century, forming the largest contiguous land empire in the history of humankind.
As all of these political entities established themselves in Anatolia, they supported the construction of churches, mosques, religious schools (medreses, or ma-drassas), dervish lodges ( zaviyes), and caravansaries (inns), completely transforming the physical landscape both of urban areas and the hinterland. These physical structures, in turn, altered the cultural life of the region, by providing spaces within which individuals could gather to pray, study, or participate in the development of mystical religious practices.
The architectural programs funded in Anatolia—by a range of individuals associated with myriad local principalities—altered the urban and rural landscapes of the region. On a purely aesthetic level, these architectural programs are material evidence of the kind of hybridity that was common in late medieval Anatolia. Many of the masons and architects constructing new “Islamic” buildings (e.g., mosques, madrassas, and dervish lodges) were members of indigenous Christian populations. As a result, while many of the buildings and their functions were new, the physical appearance of much of the early Islamic architecture of Anatolia looks very similar to what is traditionally considered the Armenian, Byzantine, and Georgian (i.e., Christian) architecture of the region.
This blog quotes a portion of "Diversity in the Medieval Middle East - Inclusions, Exclusions, Supporters, and Discontents" by Rachel Oshgarian which can be found here. Illustration: Ruins of the Cathedral of Ani and the church of Redeemer in Ani, an ancient capital of Armenia in the 10th century; photo by Antonio, source Wikipedia Commons
Peter used the newly translated material in his own writings on Islam, of which the most important are the Summa totius heresis Saracenorum (The Summary of the Entire Heresy of the Saracens) and the Liber contra sectam sive heresim Saracenorum (The Refutation of the Sect or Heresy of the Saracens). In these works Peter portrays Islam as a Christian heresy that approaches paganism (...). His explicit purpose for commissioning the translation was the conversion of Muslims. For Peter, the point is not to "study" a "religion" but to refute a particularly vile form of Christological heresy, a heresy centered on the denial of Christ's divinity.
While his interpretation of Islam was basically negative, it did manage in “setting out a more reasoned approach to Islam (...) through using its own sources rather than those produced by the hyperactive imagination of some earlier Western Christian writers.” Although this alternative approach was not widely accepted or emulated by other Christian scholars of the Middle Ages, it did achieve some influence among a limited number of Church figures (...).
Source text Wikipedia and the paper by John Tolan "Peter the Venerable on the "Diabolical heresy of the Saracens" " on academia.edu. Illustration: The Consecration of Cluny III by Pope Urban II, 12th century (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), source Wikipedia.
In this seminal work, Ronnie Ellenblum, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, challenges the assumptions of prominent 20th-century scholars concerning the composition and character of crusader settlement and society. (...) Ellenblum’s research enabled the “reconstruction” of entire villages ― property by property ― identifying in the process the origins and vocations of many of the inhabitants. This survey turned up roughly 200 Frankish settlements, most of which had never been heard of before either because the settlements themselves had since been abandoned, ruined and overgrown, or because their Frankish origins were hidden behind modern Arabic names and more recent construction.
One of Ellenblum’s chief theses is that: “The Franks…were very successful settlers and were not only fighters and builders of fortifications. The migrants who settled in the Kingdom of Jerusalem established a network of well-developed settlements…includ[ing] the construction of developed castra [towns], of ‘rural burgi,’ and monasteries, of castles that served as centers for seigniorial estates, of smaller castles, manor houses, farmhouses, unfortified villages, parochial systems etc.”
Even more important, Ellenblum proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the claim of earlier historians such as Prawer and Smail “that the Franks were completely unaware of what went on in their fields (save when it came to collecting their share of the crops), and had no contact with the local inhabitants, is not based on written or archeological sources and is certainly not accurate.” (Emphasis added.) (...) This book makes all previous conclusions about Frankish society obsolete, and any depiction of Frankish Palestine that does not take Ellenblum’s conclusions into account can be dismissed as inaccurate.
Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Cambridge OCR Advanced Sciences)
Uniquely, William, as founder, renounced all his rights, which, according to the then popular practise accrued to him. Cluny was forbidden to hold lands by feudal service. A donor to this foundation had to make his gift in free alms, that is, the only service owed was prayers for his soul.
According to the founding charter, the abbey was only under the protection of the Pope (exemplo). This limited guardianship was only later accepted by the popes, but Cluny could count on a far-reaching autonomy, This Romana libertas, Roman freedom, gave the monastery a great prestige.
Cluny adopted a modiﬁed form of the Benedictine rule. St. Benedict had directed his monks to spend long hours at manual labor, but once a monastery grew rich in land and peasant labor, it was impossible to get the monks to work in the ﬁelds. The Cluniac rule greatly extended the hours to be devoted to performing the services of the church in the hope of keeping the monks occupied in that way.
By the eleventh century Cluny had many daughter houses. (...) With the support of the (German TN) emperor Henry III Cluniac monks reformed many German monasteries and men inspired by Cluny revived English monasticism.
This blog is a combination of quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969) and sections of the Wikipedia entry on Cluny Abbey; source illustration .khanacademy.org, showing William of Aquitaine addressing two monks of Cluny, historiated initial, from the Miscellanea secundum usum Ordinis Cluniacensis, late 12th – early 13th century, folio 85r (Illuminated Manuscript no. 17716, Bibliotheque National de France, Paris)
During the first two centuries of the Christian era it was not easy to make the pilgrimage to Palestine. Jerusalem itself had been destroyed by Titus (70 AD, TN), and the Roman authorities did not approve of journeys thither. The fall of Jerusalem had resulted in the triumph of St. Paul's conception of Christianity over that of St. Iames', and the church sought to stress its universality at the expense of its ]ewísh origins. But the holy places were not forgotten. (...) When, after the triumph (of Emperor Constantine under the sign of Christ during the battle of the Milvian Bridge - 312,TN) the empress Helena came to Palestine, the tradition that she found there was strong enough for her to be able to identify all the sacred sites.
The official recognition of Christianity, combined with Helena's voyage and her pious labors, which her son Constantine endorsed by building the great churches of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem and the Nativity at Bethlehem, let loose a stream of pilgrims bound for Palestine. (...) By the beginning of the 4th century the number of monasteries and hostels in Jerusalem where pilgrims could be housed was said to be over three hundred.
This blog quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969); illustration www.oldbookillustrations.com
|King Alfonso X|
There was another slight interruption in the course of the ninth century, owing to the growth of Moslem power in the Mediterranean and the establishment of Arabs in Crete and Sicily and southern Italy. When (in 870, TN) the Breton Bernard reached Jerusalern he found Charlemagne's establishments still in working order, but they were shabby and the number of visitors had sadly declined.
By the beginning of the 10th century conditions in the Mediterranean had improved. The Moslems had lost their foothold in southeast Italy and were soon to lose their last pirate-nests in southern France. Crete was recovered for Christendom half way through the century; and the Byzantine fleet was already able to provide an effective police force. The Italian rnaritime cities were beginning to open up direct commerce with the Moslem ports.
In the east the Abbasid (...) vice-roys in Palestine were ready to welcome visitors who brought
money into the country and who could be taxed; and when the Ikhshïdids, and after them the Fätímids, succeeded to the possession of Palestine, the appearance of good-will increased. It was now not difficult for a pilgrim to take a boat at Venice or Bari or Amalﬁ which would take him direct to Alexandria or some Syrian port. Most pilgrirns, however, preferred to sail in an Italian ship to Constantinople and visit the renowned collection of relics there, and then go on by land to Palestine. (...)
That certain holy places endowed the visitor with peculiar spiritual merit was now generally accepted. (...) The penitential value of a pilgrimage was also widely recognized. (...) The crime of murder in particular needed such an expiation.
This blog quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969); additional text and source illustration Wikipedia, showing Harun al-Rashid receiving a delegation of Charlemagne in Baghdad, a painting by Julius Köckert.
To many of the pilgrims crowding to Palestine half the point of the journey was the possibility of buying some important relic with which to sanctify their churches at home. The greater number of the early saints and martyrs had lived in the east, and it was in the east that their relics could be found. It was now generally held that divine aid could be obtained at the graves of the saints, as the Spaniard Prudentius and the Italian Ennodius taught, while St. Ambrose himself believed in the efﬁcacy of relics and sought to discover some. St. Basil of Caesarea was a little more cautious. He was prepared to believe that relics might have some divine power, but he wished to be absolutely certain of their authenticity. Here again popular enthusiasm was undeterred by the caution of the fathers.
The major Christian relics remained in the east, those of Christ being gradually moved from Jerusalem to Constantinople and those of the saints being preserved at their native homes. But it was often possible for a lucky pilgrirn to acquire some lesser relic, while others were brought to the west by enterprising merchants."
This blog quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969); souce of illustration wikipedia, photo by
John Stephen Dwyer, showing a reliquary at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in the United States, with relics of St. James, St. Matthew, St. Philip, St. Simon, St. Thomas, St. Stephen and other saints.
By the end of the 10th century they were popularizing the journey to Jerusalem and were building hostels along the route for the beneﬁt of poorer pilgrims. They particularly encouraged pilgrims from the neighborhood of their great houses. (...) The dukes of Normandy and the counts of Anjou both were devoted patrons of the Cluniac movement; and we ﬁnd Fulk III Nerra of Anjou (970–1040) making three journeys to Palestine, all well merited by his sins, and Richard lll of Normandy (ca 997–1027) collecting alms for the Palestinian shrines, which his brother duke Robert visited at the head of a large company in 1035. But it was the poorer folk that the Cluniacs particularly helped and enabled to go east in smaller independent groups.
Political events aided the Cluniacs in their work. About the beginning of the eleventh century the mad Fâtimid caliph al Häkim (985-1021) began to persecute the Christians throughout his dominions and to destroy their Churches, including the church of the Holy Sepulcher itself; and during his reign pilgrimage was dangerous. Later, he persecuted the Moslims as well; and after his death there was a reaction in favor of religious toleration. The Byzantine emperor Romanus III (c. 968-1034) made a treaty with al-Hâkims successors Ali az-Zahir (1005-1036), allowing him to rebuild the Sepulcher, and the treaty was conﬁrmed in the time of Constantine IX, who sent his own workmen to set about the work.
This blog quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969); illustration from englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com, depicting The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as described by Arculf to Admonan. 9th century copy, Vienne, Osterreichisches National Bibliothek, Codex 458, f4v
"During the ninth and tenth centuries the church had become deeply involved in secular affairs. The extensive lands of the bishops and abbots were held of lay lords by feudal services, and the prelates had to perform the (worldy, TN) functions of vassals either personally or by deputy.
Some doughty bishops led their troops in battle wielding a mace, which they insisted did not violate canon law as it drew no blood, but most had secular agents called advocates to head their levies. But the prelates were appointed by the secular lords and invested by them with the insignia of their holy ofﬁce. They served the lords as counselors and administrators.
As we have seen, the Capetian (French, TN) monarchy owed what little power it had to the prelates it controlled and the German empire was based on an episcopacy devoted to the emperor. This situation was harmful to the spiritual functions of the church."
This blog quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969); source illustration thinglink.com
Eventually, in 915 the southern cities, in alliance with Byzantine and papal forces, drove the Saracens from their last stronghold in the peninsula, and a century later the northern cities attacked the various Arab maritime bases nearby. Finally, in the eleventh century the Pisans and
Genoese raided the African coast itself, and forced terms of peace upon the Saracen leader, among them the promise to refrain from further piracy. With this victory and peace, made in 1087, control over the western Mediterranean passed from the Arabs to the Italian cities."
This blog quotes form Baldwin, M. W. (ed.): The first hundred years (1969); source illustration Ceramic Bowl from 1175 -1225 showing Mediterranean ship. From National Museum of San Matteo, Pisa. Source Wikipedia