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Élites et ordres militaires au Moyen Âge

 | 
Philippe Josserand
, 
Luís Filipe Oliveira
, 
Damien Carraz

II. — Hierarchies et elites au sein des ordres militaires

The Priests in the Military Orders

A Comparative Approach on Their Standing and Role

Jürgen Sarnowsky

Testo integrale

  • 1 «… Dye comether, clein oder groß, dye tragen den ordenn, das creutz und singen und lesen nit und d (...)
  • 2 The bull dated 29 June 1456 in Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Reg. Vat. 444, fos 23r-25v, cancelled; s (...)
  • 3 Revocation of the earlier bull from 11 February 1457, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Reg. Vat. 444, fº (...)

1In one of the treatises on the reform of the Empire, the Reformatio Sigismundi from about 1438, the Hospitallers and the Teutonic Knights are accused to suppress their priest brethren: «The commanders, great or small, they represent the order, carry the cross and do not sing and read, and take the priest that they have in the order to be nothing and their servants1». A similar impression was also at some point prominent at the Roman Curia. In summer 1456, Pope Calixtus III in gave orders to the cardinal legate Ludovico Trevisan to initiate reforms that would strengthen the standing of the Hospitaller priest brethren, who are expressly described as the former leading branch of the order2. The bull refers to the precedence the knight brethren had gained in all military orders since the 12th century, though the situation seems not to have been this dramatic, because the text was cancelled and then revoked by another bull from early 14573. In fact, the situation of the priest brethren of the military orders was ambivalent. They could neither become masters nor one of the main officials in the orders’ headquarters, but they held at least some influential positions, and they were responsible for the spiritual affairs of their communities.

  • 4 J. Riley-smith, Templars, p. 2.

2Research on the military orders was mostly focussed—and today still is focussed—on the knight brethren. This may often be caused by the lack of sources, but, as has been pointed out quite recently, «historians have tended to concentrate on them [the orders] as military phenomena, international institutions, economic powerhouses, and landowners; very little attention has been paid to their primary role as religious orders4». This essay cannot replace a detailed study or studies on single orders or regions, but will propose a first draft for a comparative approach on the standing and role of the priests in the military orders, concentrating on the three greater international orders, Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic Knights, and on four main points: firstly, on the institution of the priest brethren in the military orders, secondly, on their recruitment and social standing, thirdly, on their role in the internal organization, and, fourthly and finally, on the scope of their activities and tasks within the orders.

THE INSTITUTION OF THE PRIEST BRETHREN IN THE MILITARY ORDERS

  • 5 For the tripartite model of bellatores, oratores, and laboratores and its consequences for the mil (...)
  • 6 Sacerdotes et clerici fratres, or brudere prister und pfaffen, M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deuts (...)

3The classification of the members of military orders in knight brethren, priest brethren and sergeants seems to be an ideal representation of the earlier medieval tripartite model of society, divided into those who fight, those who pray and those who work5. But in fact, the membership structure of the orders only developed slowly and differently in each of the orders, and it became also more complicated by further divisions, for example between sergeants-at-arms and sergeants-of-office with different tasks. The priest brethren can also be distinguished in priests and other clerical brothers, as do the statutes of the Teutonic Knights6, and there are also the ranks of ordination, but these differences are rarely recorded in the sources.

  • 7 I follow here J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 92.
  • 8 J. Riley-smith, Templars, pp. 35-36.
  • 9 1150 as fratribus, clericis et laicis see J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Tem (...)
  • 10 J. Delaville le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers, t. I, n° 226.
  • 11 Ibid., I, n° 627.
  • 12 J. Riley-Smith, The Knights of St John, pp. 234, 238.

4The oldest institution of what became the three great military orders, the Hospital of St John, essentially started as a lay community with no formal distinction between its members7. Contrary to the impression given by the papal bull of 1456, priests seem never to have played a leading role8. Sometimes priests related to the Hospital are mentioned, as for example in 1119, but only in a charter of 1150 clerical and lay brothers are clearly distinguished. This distinction is taken over by the first rule of the Hospitallers compiled under Master Raymond du Puy before 1153, in which even the different ranks of ordination are mentioned9. Finally, the papal bull Christiane fidei religio in 1154 established the admittance of priests, even without the consent of their bishops. The bishops were still needed for the ordinations, but the priests were clearly under the authority of the Order and that of the pope10. About the same time, the first knights were associated with the Hospital, mirrored only in the statutes of 1181/82 which also give a tripartite division in clerical, lay, and converse brethren11. Though the priests were formally subjected to the authority of the knights in the 1230s under Master Bertrand de Comps12, the Hospitallers remained a multi-functional institution.

  • 13 In general, see A. Demurger, Les Templiers.
  • 14 The most recent edition of the rule in: S. Cerrini, Expérience neuve; it was not available in Hamb (...)
  • 15 R. Hiestand, Papsturkunden für Templer und Johanniter, vol. I, pp. 204-210.
  • 16 J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 37; see A. d’Albon, Cartulaire g (...)

5This was different for the Templars who were mainly dedicated to military tasks13. Nevertheless, priests in the service of the Templars are mentioned quite early, already in the first statutes14, and priest brethren were formally introduced by the great privilege of 1139, Omne datum optimum15. Like the Hospitallers, the Templars were allowed to admit priest even without the consent of their bishops, and they could dismiss them by vote of the chapter when they were useless or disturbed the peace of the community. While the regulations make clear that the Templar masters had to be «military and religious», only a subordinate position is assigned to the priests. The first priest brethren can be found already in 1140, and regulations for the chaplains, as they were also called, followed in the retrais from the years 1165/118716.

  • 17 See the discussion of his title prior in K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 21-22.
  • 18 E. Strehlke, Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici, n° 297; Die Register Innozenz’ III., ed. O. Hageneder, vo (...)
  • 19 E. Strehlke, Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici, n° 306.

6The Teutonic Knights had similar origins like the Hospitallers and may have employed priests in the hospital at Acre from its beginnings. Contrary to the Hospitallers, even one of the principals of the German hospital, Henry, in 1193/94, may have been priest17. When an assembly of high ranking officials from the Holy Land and German crusaders applied to Pope Innocent III to allow the admittance of knight brethren, in February 1199, the pope followed the proposals concerning the rule of the new institution and decided it should observe «the practice of the Temple with respect to clerics and knights and the example of the Hospitallers with respect to the poor and the sick18». The standing of the priest brethren of the Teutonic Knights was thus like those of the Templars, as was confirmed by a bull of Honorius III of December 1220 according to which the priests in the order were responsible for the souls of the other brethren, but were subjected to the power of discipline of master and chapter19.

RECRUITMENT AND SOCIAL STANDING OF PRIEST BRETHREN

  • 20 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 175; for the Hospitallers, see J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 197-201; (...)

7Little is known about the recruitment of priest brethren, especially in the earlier centuries, and about their social status. Most probably, there were no social requirements for them, except that they should be personally free, while the knights at least from the 13th century onwards had to prove their noble origins20. Thus, though the chaplains did not come from lower class families, it seems that they were mostly not equal in social rank to the knight brethren.

  • 21 For the problems of identification, see M. Glauert, «Vorbemerkungen».
  • 22 D. Wojtecki, Studien, pp. 66-77, 103-119.
  • 23 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 466-467.
  • 24 M. Glauert, Domkapitel, p. 20.

8Priest brethren are not easily to be identified, since there are not so many surnames or even names to be found in the sources21. Their social status has been studied for the Teutonic Knights in the bailiwick of Thuringia in the 13th century22. Of at least 28 priest brethren there to be found with surnames, 14 can be identified. From them, two were born from families of counts, nine from other noble families, mostly ministeriales, only three from bourgeois families. This does not say much about the social composition because the chances to identify sons of craftsmen are minimal, but, at least in the 13th century, there were some scions of noble and patriciate families in this branch of the Order23. This basically holds true also for later centuries, though the noble participation seems to have decreased. Thus, for example, of the 150 priest brethren in the bishopric of Pomesania in Prussia, five can be related to leading, 20 to other bourgeois families, and only five to knightly families. Of the latter, only one, Wikbold Dobbelstein, later promoted to the bishopric of Kulm, came from a knightly family from the Rhineland while the others were born from the Prussian knightly class not present in the ranks of the knight brethren of the Order24.

  • 25 See also J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, p. 234.
  • 26 See again K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 467-468.
  • 27 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 70, n° 116; quoting from National Library of Malta, Archives of the Order (...)
  • 28 Following M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 275-276.

9As becomes clear already from the Templar privilege Omne datum optimum, the military orders could recruit secular priests or have members of the orders ordained by local bishops25. The recruitment of the priests seems to have taken part mostly in the regions in which they were to serve later26, with the exception of those who went to the areas of employment in the Holy Land, the Eastern Mediterranean or the Baltic. For the later Middle Ages, the situation was much different for Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights. Since the majority of Hospitaller subjects on Rhodes were Greek, the Order completely relied on priest brethren recruited in the West. Similar to the knight brethren, in the 15th century fixed numbers of priests were summoned to Rhodes, «to celebrate the divine offices in the church of St John in the collachium of Rhodes together with our other priests and to fulfil the other [duties] which are imposed on you by your superiors here in Rhodes27…». This was different for the Teutonic Knights. When several of their priest brethren have surnames which point to towns and villages of Prussia, this is partially misleading, because we know that one Johann von Marienburg in fact came from Austria, possibly only later, after 1345, serving in the town parish of Marienburg, and others may have taken their name from their first convent in Prussia as one Jakob von Roggenhausen28. But the general picture becomes clear for the bishopric of Pomesania, in which 36 priests can be related to regions of origin; here only four came from outside Prussia: one from Austria, two from the Rhineland, and one from Pomerania.

  • 29 J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, pp. 235-236.
  • 30 A. Luttrell, «Spiritual Life», pp. 76-77.
  • 31 See the detailed table in J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 511.
  • 32 B. Jähnig, «Der Deutsche Orden und Thüringen», p. 342.

10The actual numbers of priest brethren in the orders and their proportions in relation to the other members are unknown. In 1179, the Master of the Hospitallers declared that, in return for alms, the Order could celebrate 1000 masses held by 14.130 priests, but these figures may be exaggerated and cannot be taken for the priest brethren alone because the Order still employed secular priests29. In any case, priests played an important role in the West: in 1338 there were 58 knights, 144 sergeants and 117 priests in Eastern Provence, at the same time in England 34 knights, 48 sergeants, and 34 priests; and in 1373 only 31 knights and 82 priests in Bohemia30. This was different on Rhodes, where, according to the statutes of 1466, in total 300 knights, 30 priests and 20 sergeants should reside31. The situation was similar in the Teutonic Order where, contrary to the Prussian houses, some bailiwicks in the Empire were dominated by priests. Thus, in the bailiwick of Thuringia in spring 1451, lived only seven knights and two sergeants, but 87 priests of the order32.

THE ROLE OF PRIEST BRETHREN IN THE INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF THE MILITARY ORDERS

  • 33 See M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, p. 64, Gesetz 2.
  • 34 For the regulations for the Teutonic Knights, see K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 67.
  • 35 See J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 336.
  • 36 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 187; for Calatrava, see also F. de Rades y Andrada, Crónica de C (...)

11Since clerics held a high rank in medieval society, especially after the reform movement of the 11th and 12th centuries, it is no surprise that priest brethren have a special status in the statutes of the military orders: they are to be treated with respect and receive their supplies first as state the statutes of the Teutonic Knights33. They formed their own group with internal jurisdiction34. Their most important office was the prior, situated in the headquarters of the orders, to whom the priests had to confess and answer for their penances. The Templars appointed conventual priors only in the 13th century35, but conventual priors were at an early point instituted in most of the military orders, also in Spain36.

  • 37 J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, pp. 280, 338-40; J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 269.
  • 38 Acta Eugenii IV, ed. G. Fedalto, n° 234.
  • 39 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 271-273.
  • 40 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 67.
  • 41 See M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, pp. 87-89, Gesetze 40-44; nevertheless the pri (...)
  • 42 E. Strehlke, Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici, n° 700.

12The first Hospitaller conventual priors are mentioned in 1153 and 1163. At least in theory, these priors were responsible for all priest brethren, the conventual church and all other churches of the order and had their own jurisdiction. They were the first in the rank of the conventual bailiffs, but, unlike the others, did not have to answer to the chapters general37. Their position was often compared to that of a bishop or archbishop. In fact, Eugenius IV allowed them in 1433 to wear the insignia of mitre and ring during solemn occasions38, but it seems clear that the priors could not ordain the priests themselves. The priests at the conventual church on Rhodes met, like the Order’s langues, for decisions on property donated to them or on the absence of chaplains from the convent. Similarly, they were also the first to make proposals for the appointment of a new conventual prior39. In the Teutonic Order, the first prior in the main house in Acre is mentioned in 1242, his lieutenant in 125340. There were other important priors of the Order, in Marburg and Plauen, but the conventual priors held a similar position like that of the Hospitallers’ priors41. There status found papal approval in June 1400 when Boniface IX allowed the priors of Marienburg the use of bishop’s insignia, mitre, ring, and crozier, during the celebration of mass and other solemn festivities42.

  • 43 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 187; for Santiago, see Rule of the Order of St. James, ed. E. Ga (...)
  • 44 Urkunden und Regesten zur Geschichte des Templerordens, ed. W. Irgang, n° 26.
  • 45 B. Jähnig, «Der Deutsche Orden und Thüringen», pp. 315-18, for the detailed regulations for Zschil (...)
  • 46 He later was buried there, see J. Delaville le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers à Rhodes, p. 237.

13Priest brethren normally were integrated into the convent, separate communities were an exception. These can be found in the orders of Santiago and Calatrava43, but also for the other military orders, especially in collegiate foundations or in priest commanderies. For the Templars, the attempt to establish a Templar canonry in the bishopric of Lebus, in 1244, failed44, but in 1278, the Teutonic Knights took over the former house of Augustinian canons in Zschillen in Thuringia, related to the control over nine churches in two dioceses, to be staffed by 12 priest brethren under a provost from the order45. For the Hospitallers, there are several examples, like Caspe in Aragón, where, in 1394, Master Juan Fernández de Heredia established a community of nine Hospitaller priests46.

  • 47 A. Luttrell, «Spiritual Life», p. 78.
  • 48 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 201-202.
  • 49 B. Jähnig, «Der Deutsche Orden und Thüringen», p. 339.
  • 50 See the survey in J. Mol, «Wirtschaftsführung der Ritterorden in den friesischen Ländern», pp. 111 (...)
  • 51 For a survey see R. Biskup and M. Glauert (eds.), Die Domkapitel des Deutschen Ordens; see also th (...)
  • 52 M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 238-39, 184-185.

14Many commanderies were dominated by priest brethren, for example in the Hospitaller priory of Francia, in which in 1373 even 64% of commanders were priests47. The Knights of St John later, in the 15th century, developed a clear division of offices for knight brethren, sergeants, and priests48. This was quite often related to parishes and the spiritual care for seculars. In Mühlhausen in Thuringia, for example, the Teutonic Knights had two priest commanderies related to the two main churches of the town49, and in Frisia, there were priest commanderies of the Teutonic Knights in Nes and of the Hospitallers in Sneek, which were responsible for seven or ten parish churches, respectively50. A special kind of communities can be found in the Teutonic Order: the diocesan chapters in Prussia and Livonia which had been founded as chapters of priest brethren or had been incorporated51. Their life followed the norms, especially concerning the offices like provost, dean, and custodian. But there were some characteristic differences: more frequent changes in office, and new members of the chapters could only be elected by consent of the bishops and the leading officials of the Teutonic Knights52.

  • 53 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 65.
  • 54 J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, p. 234; J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and T (...)
  • 55 J. Delaville le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers, III, n° 3844, § 22.

15Priest brethren only rarely appear in other higher offices within the orders. In 1283, there was one priest brother as land commander in the Bailiwick of Bozen, Konrad von Tscheve53, but when, in 1308, the Hospitaller conventual prior John of Laodicea acted as lieutenant of the master and of the Grand Commander for Spain, this was only connected with a visitation54. The Hospitallers had already in 1283 decided that no priest brother could held an office which was connected with the shed of blood by judicial sentences55—the special status of the priests leading to restrictions.

THE SCOPE OF THE ACTIVITIES AND TASKS OF THE PRIEST BRETHREN WITHIN THE ORDERS

  • 56 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 66-67, based on M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen (...)
  • 57 H. de Curzon (ed.), La règle du Temple, n° 269; translation quoted from M. Barber, The New Knighth (...)

16The main tasks of priest brethren lay in the field of spirituality. Thus, the priests of the Teutonic Knights should celebrate masses for knights and sergeants, also for the sick brethren in the hospital, and care for the funeral and commemoration of the dead. They had to pray before and after the meals, and to read while the others were eating. They took also part in the reception ceremonies, received the vows and issued the blessings, and surveyed the penance of knights and sergeants while they did penance themselves not in public but only to their prior56. The internal confessions became problematic during the Templars’ Trial. According to the statutes, the brethren should confess only to the priests of the Order who had «greater power to absolve them on behalf of the pope than an archbishop57». Though the knights in fact from time to time confessed to outsiders like the Carmelites, this led to the accusation that the Templars had tried to cover up their heretical practices.

  • 58 For the different aspects see: R. Czaja and J. Sarnowsky (eds.), Die Rolle der Schriftlichkeit.
  • 59 A. Forey, «Literacy in the Aragonese Templars», p. 211; Id., The Templars in Aragón, p. 315.
  • 60 In fact, later two chaplains and one clerk are mentioned in the documents, J. Riley-Smith, Knights (...)
  • 61 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 250-251, 303-304, 316.
  • 62 A. Luttrell, «Jean and Simon de Hesdin».

17Since the spiritual tasks of the priest brethren required literacy including at least basic Latin, they also played an important role in nearly every aspect of written communication and documentation in the military orders58. The orders also employed secular priests and, since the 13th century, secular scribes, but priest brethren always remained in the entourage of the higher officials. Thus, there was one chaplain serving the Templars’ provincial master in Aragón at least since 1172 who—at least until the 1230s—also acted as scribe59, and the chaplains of the Templar masters always played an important role. The first chaplains of the Hospitaller master already appear in 1157, and the statutes of 1206, repeated in 1302, allow one chaplain and one clerk of the master60. On Rhodes, the masters had their own chapels in which at least three priest brethren were serving under their own prior. Though during the 15th century the chancery became dominated by secular clerks, there were still some exceptions like the German Johannes Erfstein von Straßburg who served as chaplain of the master and scribe of the chancery in the 1470s61. There were also literal activities. At least two Hospitaller priest, Jean and Simon de Hesdin, were masters of Theology, and the latter, in about 1375, translated the work of Valerius Maximus into French62.

  • 63 M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, p. 98, Gewohnheit 11; there is also the inclusion (...)
  • 64 M. Armgart, Handfesten des preußischen Oberlandes, pp. 120-125.
  • 65 H. Bauer, Peter von Dusburg; J. Wenta, «Deutschordenspriester Peter von Dusburg».
  • 66 U. Arnold, «Nikolaus von Jeroschin».

18Priest brethren were even more dominant in the chancery of the Teutonic Knights. According to the Order’s customs, the masters were permitted to employ one priest and one younger cleric (scolaris or schuler)63. In the 15th century or even before, these chaplains of the grand masters acted at the same time as chancellors, while the chaplains of the local officials in Prussia were employed as scribes and notaries64. At the same time, priest brethren contributed works of historiography. Peter von Dusburg, in 1326, composed a lengthy Chronicle of Prussia dedicated to Grand Master Werner von Orseln65, which was soon translated into German by another priest brother, Nikolaus von Jeroschin, in a rhymed version which found wide reception66.

  • 67 H. de Curzon (ed.), La règle du temple, n° 211, comparing the chaplain with Jesus, the other twelv (...)
  • 68 See J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, pp. 274-75; J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 228.
  • 69 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 179.
  • 70 Not clear in the case of the Hospitallers cf. J. Sarnowsky, «The Convent and the West», pp. 156-15 (...)
  • 71 U. Arnold, «Die Schriftlichkeit des Deutschen Ordens», p. 13.
  • 72 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 221.
  • 73 J.-E. Beuttel, Generalprokurator des Deutschen Ordens; J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 192-196.

19The priest brethren also took part in other internal events of the orders, like chapters general or the elections of masters, not only responsible for the liturgy. For the elections of masters of the Templars and the Teutonic Knights, at least one chaplain was required for the group of 13 electors67. The elections in the Knights of St John followed the same model, one of the 13 electors being a priest brother, and in the 15th century, when the number of electors was raised to 16, the number of chaplains in the committee of electors was limited to two68. Furthermore, as in the Order of Santiago69, quite often one knight and one priest were employed in visitations70, even when, at least in the Teutonic Order, the knight chose the priest brother who would accompany him71. On Rhodes, the younger priest brethren had to take part, like their knightly counterparts, in the service on St Peter, Kos, or the ships of the order, the caravana, to be promoted72. Finally, another important position for priest brethren was that of the proctors general of the Hospitallers or the Teutonic Knights at the Roman curia73.

  • 74 M. Armgart, Handfesten des preußischen Oberlandes, pp. 157-60; M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 552-55.
  • 75 K. Murawski, Zwischen Tannenberg und Thorn, p. 162; H. Boockmann, «Einzug des Erzbischofs Sylveste (...)
  • 76 For a survey see M. Glauert, «Die Bindung des Domkapitels von Riga», passim.

20Some of the priest brethren had an extraordinary career. Wikbold Dobbelstein started in Prussia as chaplain of the Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode in 1352/63. In 1356 member of the diocesan chapter of Pomesania, in 1363 he was promoted to the bishopric of Kulm74. One grand masters’chaplain and chancellor, Sylvester Stodewescher, became even archbishop of Riga in 144875, and this was not the only priest brother of the Teutonic Knights to become archbishop in this diocese76. Also, in each of the bishoprics in which the diocesan chapter was staffed by priest brethren, these were elected regularly to bishops, in Kulm, Pomesania, and Sambia in Prussia, and in Curonia in Livonia.

  • 77 M. Barber, The New Knighthood, p. 369, n° 64; R. Hiestand, «Templer- und Johanniterbistümer», pp. (...)
  • 78 See also J. Burgtorf, «Die Herrschaft der Johanniter», p. 46.
  • 79 R. Hiestand, «Templer-und Johanniterbistümer», p. 155; Jean Morel had first been elected archbisho (...)
  • 80 Matthieu de Chaselles on Nisyros, Michele de Castellacio at Paphos, J. Sarnowsky, «Die Kirche auf (...)

21Similarly, some members of the other military orders were promoted to bishoprics. The Templar priest Humbert is mentioned as titular bishop of Banyas in 1272, while in 1288/90 Guillaume de Saint-Jean was titular archbishop of Nazareth. There were also Templars as bishops in Senlis and Savona in Liguria77. For the Hospitallers, there was an archbishop of Tarsus in 1303, but the Order did not succeed in establishing a succession of priest brethren in the bishoprics controlled by it politically. For Valenia, in the lordship of Margat, there may have been Hospitaller bishops in 1187 and 1250/66, and after 1289, Hospitaller bishops in partibus, partly connected with the Order’s preceptory at Senlis78. On Rhodes, only two Hospitallers were elected archbishops, both before conventual priors, Nicolaus in 1373, and Jean Morel in 144779. There was also one priest brother as bishop on the island of Nisyros, in 1436, and another conventual prior as bishop of Paphos on Cyprus, in 145980.

22Even though this survey was much incomplete, it should have become clear that the priest brethren played an important role for the history of the military orders. Instituted at an early point and recruited in the commanderies, they experienced respect for their clerical status even if they never gained a standing like priests in other orders of the church—with some characteristic differences between Templars and Teutonic Knights on one, and Hospitallers on the other side. They held influential positions as conventual priors and priest commanders, were responsible for the spiritual affairs of the community, served as clerks, and took over other important tasks. Even if they were normally integrated into the orders’ houses, they formed a spiritual and intellectual élite which could be employed in the orders’ relationship to other ecclesiastical and secular authorities, especially to the Roman curia. Several aspects of their history deserve further attention, from their prosopography and history in certain regions to everyday life in priest communities, and research on individual careers may throw more light on the complex relationship between the noble knight brethren and their more spiritual orientated counterparts. Hopefully, we may thus learn more about this underestimated branch of the military orders.

Note

1 «… Dye comether, clein oder groß, dye tragen den ordenn, das creutz und singen und lesen nit und dye priester, dye sye im orden haben, dye halten sie für nichtz nit und als yr knecht », in Reformation, ed. H. Koller, version N, p. 184, similar in the other versions.

2 The bull dated 29 June 1456 in Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Reg. Vat. 444, fos 23r-25v, cancelled; see J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 200; K. Setton, Papacy, p. 188, n. 110 (erroneously referring the cancellation only to the date).

3 Revocation of the earlier bull from 11 February 1457, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Reg. Vat. 444, fº 23r°, in the margin.

4 J. Riley-smith, Templars, p. 2.

5 For the tripartite model of bellatores, oratores, and laboratores and its consequences for the military orders, see A. Demurger, Chevaliers du Christ, pp. 12-13, 17-18.

6 Sacerdotes et clerici fratres, or brudere prister und pfaffen, M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, pp. 27, 64, and 87, Regel, 10, and Gesetze, 2, and 40; see M. Glauert, Domkapitel, p. 183.

7 I follow here J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 92.

8 J. Riley-smith, Templars, pp. 35-36.

9 1150 as fratribus, clericis et laicis see J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, pp. 34-35; J. Delaville le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers, t. I, nos 17, 53, 70.

10 J. Delaville le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers, t. I, n° 226.

11 Ibid., I, n° 627.

12 J. Riley-Smith, The Knights of St John, pp. 234, 238.

13 In general, see A. Demurger, Les Templiers.

14 The most recent edition of the rule in: S. Cerrini, Expérience neuve; it was not available in Hamburg, thus the old edition is used here: H. de Curzon (ed.), La règle du Temple, n° 64 (4).

15 R. Hiestand, Papsturkunden für Templer und Johanniter, vol. I, pp. 204-210.

16 J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 37; see A. d’Albon, Cartulaire général de l’Ordre du Temple, n° 202.

17 See the discussion of his title prior in K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 21-22.

18 E. Strehlke, Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici, n° 297; Die Register Innozenz’ III., ed. O. Hageneder, vol. 1, p. 823; transl. in J. Riley-Smith, Templars and Hospitallers, S. 9. See also the report of the Narratio de primordiis ordinis Theutonici, in M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, p. 160.

19 E. Strehlke, Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici, n° 306.

20 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 175; for the Hospitallers, see J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 197-201; for the Teutonic Knights M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 182, 280; K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 465.

21 For the problems of identification, see M. Glauert, «Vorbemerkungen».

22 D. Wojtecki, Studien, pp. 66-77, 103-119.

23 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 466-467.

24 M. Glauert, Domkapitel, p. 20.

25 See also J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, p. 234.

26 See again K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 467-468.

27 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 70, n° 116; quoting from National Library of Malta, Archives of the Order of St John, Arch. 407, fos 8v°-9r°, summons of 1518.

28 Following M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 275-276.

29 J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, pp. 235-236.

30 A. Luttrell, «Spiritual Life», pp. 76-77.

31 See the detailed table in J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 511.

32 B. Jähnig, «Der Deutsche Orden und Thüringen», p. 342.

33 See M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, p. 64, Gesetz 2.

34 For the regulations for the Teutonic Knights, see K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 67.

35 See J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 336.

36 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 187; for Calatrava, see also F. de Rades y Andrada, Crónica de Calatrava, fos 9r°-10r°, who mentions a prior as the head of priest brethren in the main convent, with episcopal powers similar to the other conventual priors to be presented below.

37 J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, pp. 280, 338-40; J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 269.

38 Acta Eugenii IV, ed. G. Fedalto, n° 234.

39 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 271-273.

40 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 67.

41 See M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, pp. 87-89, Gesetze 40-44; nevertheless the priest brethren remained under the control of the grand commander, ibid., p. 106, Gewohnheit 28.

42 E. Strehlke, Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici, n° 700.

43 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 187; for Santiago, see Rule of the Order of St. James, ed. E. Gallego Blanco, n° 40, p. 118; for Calatrava, see F. de Rades y Andrada, Crónica de Calatrava, f os 9r°-10r°.

44 Urkunden und Regesten zur Geschichte des Templerordens, ed. W. Irgang, n° 26.

45 B. Jähnig, «Der Deutsche Orden und Thüringen», pp. 315-18, for the detailed regulations for Zschillen.

46 He later was buried there, see J. Delaville le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers à Rhodes, p. 237.

47 A. Luttrell, «Spiritual Life», p. 78.

48 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 201-202.

49 B. Jähnig, «Der Deutsche Orden und Thüringen», p. 339.

50 See the survey in J. Mol, «Wirtschaftsführung der Ritterorden in den friesischen Ländern», pp. 111, 126.

51 For a survey see R. Biskup and M. Glauert (eds.), Die Domkapitel des Deutschen Ordens; see also the studies of the editors: M. Glauert, Domkapitel; R. Biskup, Domkapitel von Samland.

52 M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 238-39, 184-185.

53 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, p. 65.

54 J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, p. 234; J. Burgtorf, The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars, p. 437.

55 J. Delaville le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers, III, n° 3844, § 22.

56 K. Militzer, Von Akkon zur Marienburg, pp. 66-67, based on M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, pp. 36-38, 40-41, 43-44, 51, 69, 72-73, 85, 87-89, 117; Regel 10, 13, 16, Gesetze 12, 23-24, 29, 38, 40-44, Gewohnheit 63; for the Hospitallers see A. Luttrell, «Spiritual Life», p. 78.

57 H. de Curzon (ed.), La règle du Temple, n° 269; translation quoted from M. Barber, The New Knighthood, p. 198, also with references to the following remarks.

58 For the different aspects see: R. Czaja and J. Sarnowsky (eds.), Die Rolle der Schriftlichkeit.

59 A. Forey, «Literacy in the Aragonese Templars», p. 211; Id., The Templars in Aragón, p. 315.

60 In fact, later two chaplains and one clerk are mentioned in the documents, J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St. John, p. 235, based on J. Delaville le Roulx, Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers, nos 251, 1193 § 10, 2280, 4413, 4549 § 21, 4574 § 4.

61 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 250-251, 303-304, 316.

62 A. Luttrell, «Jean and Simon de Hesdin».

63 M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, p. 98, Gewohnheit 11; there is also the inclusion of a scriptor sarracenicus of cause due to the situation in the Holy Land.

64 M. Armgart, Handfesten des preußischen Oberlandes, pp. 120-125.

65 H. Bauer, Peter von Dusburg; J. Wenta, «Deutschordenspriester Peter von Dusburg».

66 U. Arnold, «Nikolaus von Jeroschin».

67 H. de Curzon (ed.), La règle du temple, n° 211, comparing the chaplain with Jesus, the other twelve brethren with the Apostles; M. Perlbach, Die Statuten des Deutschen Ordens, pp. 92-93, Gewohnheit 4.

68 See J. Riley-Smith, Knights of St John, pp. 274-75; J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 228.

69 A. Forey, The Military Orders, p. 179.

70 Not clear in the case of the Hospitallers cf. J. Sarnowsky, «The Convent and the West», pp. 156-157.

71 U. Arnold, «Die Schriftlichkeit des Deutschen Ordens», p. 13.

72 J. Sarnowsky, Macht, p. 221.

73 J.-E. Beuttel, Generalprokurator des Deutschen Ordens; J. Sarnowsky, Macht, pp. 192-196.

74 M. Armgart, Handfesten des preußischen Oberlandes, pp. 157-60; M. Glauert, Domkapitel, pp. 552-55.

75 K. Murawski, Zwischen Tannenberg und Thorn, p. 162; H. Boockmann, «Einzug des Erzbischofs Sylvester Stodewescher».

76 For a survey see M. Glauert, «Die Bindung des Domkapitels von Riga», passim.

77 M. Barber, The New Knighthood, p. 369, n° 64; R. Hiestand, «Templer- und Johanniterbistümer», pp. 153-56; another Templar, Hugues de Nissun, left the Order for the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre when he was provided with the bishopric of Sebaste in Armenia.

78 See also J. Burgtorf, «Die Herrschaft der Johanniter», p. 46.

79 R. Hiestand, «Templer-und Johanniterbistümer», p. 155; Jean Morel had first been elected archbishop of Nicosia, but was immediately transferred to Rhodes, while the former Rhodian archbishop Andreas Chrysoberges took the post in Nicosia, see J. Sarnowsky, «Die Kirche auf Rhodos», pp. 194-195.

80 Matthieu de Chaselles on Nisyros, Michele de Castellacio at Paphos, J. Sarnowsky, «Die Kirche auf Rhodos», pp. 194-95; Id., Macht, p. 270.

Autore

University of Hamburg, Department of History

© Casa de Velázquez, 2015

Condizioni di utilizzo http://www.openedition.org/6540