Grand Master (order)

Grand Master (Latin: Magister generalis; German: Großmeister) is a title of the supreme head of various orders, including chivalric orders such as military orders and dynastic orders of knighthood.

The title also occurs in modern civil fraternal orders such as the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows, and various other fraternities. Additionally, numerous modern self-styled orders attempt to imitate habits of the former bodies.


Medieval era

In medieval military orders such as the Knights Templar or the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, the Grand Master was the formal and executive head of a military and feudal hierarchy, which can be considered a "state within the state", especially in the crusader context lato sensu, notably aimed at the Holy Land or pagan territories in Eastern Europe, as well as the reconquista in the Iberian peninsula.

If an order is granted statehood and thus widely considered sovereign, the Grand Master is also its Head of State. If within the Holy Roman Empire, a Reichsfürst and Head of Government, and thus a true territorial Prince of the church, as was the case with the Teutonic Knights and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Modern era

Except the modern continuation of the organisations of medieval foundation, the title of Grand Master has been used by the heads of Grand Lodges of Freemasons since 1717, and by Odd Fellows since the 18th century.

The title of Grand Master is also used by various other fraternities, including academic ones associated with universities. The national leader of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity goes by the title "Worthy Grand Master".[1] The heads of local chapters use the title of "Grand Master".

Orders of chivalry

A sovereign monarch often holds the title of Grand Master of the highest honorary dynastic orders of knighthood, or may confer or entrust it upon another person including a prince of the royal family, regularly the heir to the throne, who in other orders may hold another high rank/title.

The term "Sovereign" is generally used in place of "Grand Master" for the supreme head of various orders in Britain and other Commonwealth nations. In the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Grand Master is styled "Sovereign", e.g. Sovereign Grand Master, due to its status as an internationally independent sovereign entity.

In republican nations, a president may also serve as the grand master of the various state orders such as in France, where the president is the grand master of the Legion of Honour, and Portugal.


In freemasonry, the grand master is an office given to a freemason elected to oversee a Masonic jurisdiction.

Jedi Order

Grand Master of the Jedi in the fictional Star Wars universe: The Grand Master is usually the oldest, most experienced and best trained of all Jedi. A Grand Master is voted unanimously by the Jedi High Council. The Grand Master dictates the organization's general policies while providing direction and guidance to the entire Jedi Order.

Further reading

  • Micallef, Antonio (2012). Lectures on the Statutes of the Sacred Order of St. John of Jerusalem: at the University (of Studies) of Malta 1792. KIT Scientific Publishing. pp. 233–235. ISBN 9783866444027.

See also


  1. ^
Alexander I of Yugoslavia

Alexander I (16 December 1888 [O.S. 4 December] – 9 October 1934), also known as Alexander the Unifier, served as a prince regent of the Kingdom of Serbia from 1914 and later became King of Yugoslavia from 1921 to 1934 (prior to 1929 the state was known as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes). He was assassinated in Marseille, France, by Bulgarian revolutionary Vlado Chernozemski during a state visit.

Alpheus Smith

S. Alpheus Smith (1815 – July 26, 1897) was a United States Customs House employee and the first secretary of the Republican Party (United States) general committee in Kings County, New York. He resided in Brooklyn, New York beginning in 1837. He was a native of New Jersey, living there prior to 1837.

His tenure at the Customs House in New York City lasted thirty-five years. Smith was secretary of the Republican general committee for seven years. He was a member of the Order of Odd Fellows. He served as a deputy Grand Master (order) in New York and was earlier a Grand Master in New Jersey.

He lived to be eighty-two before dying in 1897 at his home on Clinton Street, in Brooklyn. He was survived by his wife, three sons, and two daughters. He is buried in Plainfield, New Jersey.

Civil awards and decorations of Albania

Civil awards and decorations of Albania are awards and decorations that have been bestowed in Albania since its declaration of independence in 1912.

Commander (order)

Commander (Italian: Commendatore, French: Commandeur, German: Komtur, Spanish: Comandante, Portuguese: Comendador), or Knight Commander, is a title of honor prevalent in chivalric order and fraternal orders.

The title of Commander occurred in the medieval military orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller, for a member senior to a Knight. Variations include Knight Commander, notably in English, sometimes used to denote an even higher rank than Commander. In some orders of chivalry, Commander ranks above Officier (i.e. Officer), but below one or more ranks with a prefix meaning "Great", e.g. Grand - in French, Grosskomtur in German, Comandante Mayor (using an equivalent suffix) in Spanish, and Groot- in Dutch (Grootcommandeur; "Grand Commander"), Grand Cross.

David Bagration of Mukhrani

Prince David Bagrationi Mukhrani (Mukran-Batoni [მუხრანბატონი]) of Georgia, David Bagration de Moukhrani y de Zornoza, or Davit Bagrationi-Mukhraneli (Georgian: დავით ბაგრატიონ-მუხრანელი), (born 24 June 1976), is a Spanish-born scion of the Mukhrani branch of the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty and current head by primogeniture of the royal House of Bagrationi which reigned in Georgia from the medieval era until the early 19th century, succeeding on the death of his father Jorge de Bagration on 16 January 2008.

Bagrationi's 2009 marriage to Princess Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky, a member of the rival Gruzinsky branch of the Bagrationi, his marital life and subsequent divorce in 2013, drew much publicity.

Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Frederick Francis IV (Friedrich Franz Michael; 9 April 1882 – 17 November 1945) was the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He inherited the throne when he was fifteen years old in 1897 and was forced to renounce it in 1918.

Grand Master (Masonic)

A Grand Master is a title of honour as well as an office in Freemasonry, given to a freemason elected to oversee a Masonic jurisdiction, derived from the office of Grand Masters in chivalric orders. He presides over a Grand Lodge, and has certain rights in the constituent Lodges that form his jurisdiction. In most, but not all cases, the Grand Master is styled "Most Worshipful Grand Master." One example of a differing title exists in the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, where the Grand Master is titled "Right Worshipful". Under the Grand Lodge of Scotland the role is titled "Grand Master Mason".

Grand Master of the Teutonic Order

The Grand Master (German: Hochmeister; Latin: Magister generalis) is the holder of the supreme office of the Teutonic Order. It is equivalent to the grand master of other military orders and the superior general in non-military Roman Catholic religious orders. Hochmeister, literally "high master", is only used in reference to the Teutonic Order, as Großmeister ("grand master") is used in German to refer to the leaders of other orders of knighthood.

An early version of the full title in Latin was Magister Hospitalis Sanctae Mariae Alemannorum Hierosolymitani. Since 1216, the full title Magister Hospitalis Domus Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum Hierosolymitani ("Master of the Hospital House of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Germans of Jerusalem") was used.

The offices of Hochmeister and Deutschmeister (Magister Germaniae) were united in 1525. The title of Magister Germaniae had been introduced in 1219 as the head of the bailiwicks in the Holy Roman Empire, from 1381 also those in Italy, raised to the rank of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1494, but merged with the office of grand master under Walter von Cronberg in 1525, from which time the head of the order had the title of Hoch- und Deutschmeister.

Grand Masters and Lieutenancies of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre

The article offers an index of the Grand Magistry including Grand Masters and the Lieutenancies of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Grand Masters of the Knights Templar

Each man who held the position of Grand Master of the Knights Templar was the supreme commander of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (also known as the Knights Templar), starting with founder Hugues de Payens in 1118. While many Grand Masters chose to hold the position for life, abdication was not unknown. Some masters chose to leave for life in monasteries or diplomacy. Grand Masters often led their knights into battle on the front line and the numerous occupational hazards of battle made some tenures very short.

Each country had its own Master, and the Masters reported to the Grand Master. He oversaw all of the operations of the Order, including both the military operations in the Holy Land and eastern Europe, and the financial and business dealings in the Order's infrastructure of western Europe. The Grand Master controlled the actions of the order but he was expected to act the same way as the rest of the knights. After the Pope issued a Papal Bull on behalf of the Templars, the Grand Master was obliged to answer only to Rome.

Karl Engelbrektson

Karl Lorentz Engelbrekt Engelbrektson (born 12 February 1962) is a Swedish Army major general and a former Force Commander of the Nordic Battlegroup (NBG). He was Chief of Training and Procurement from 2014 to 2016. Engelbrektson is currently serving as the Chief of Army.

List of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller

This is a list of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller, including its continuation as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta after 1798. It also includes unrecognized "anti-Grand Masters" and lieutenants or stewards during vacancies.

The title "Grand Master" is applied retrospectively; the medieval heads of the order took the title of custos ("guardian") of the hospital. The title magister ("master") is used on coins minted in Rhodes, beginning with Foulques de Villaret. The first to use the title Grandis Magister ("Grand Master") was Jean de Lastic (r. 1437–1454); the title Grandis Magister is found on coins minted by Pierre d'Aubusson (r. 1476–1503). Later Grand Masters in Rhodes used Magnus Magister.

After the loss of Rhodes, Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and his successors went back to using simple Magister, abbreviated M.H.H. for Magister Hospitalis Hierosolymae. Use of Magister Magnus is taken up again in the 17th century, under Antoine de Paule (r. 1623–1636).The title of Prince and Grand Master (Principe e Gran Maestro del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta) is in use from 1880,

when Franz Joseph I of Austria granted the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire to the Grand Masters.

The title has remained in use after the dissolution of the Austrian Empire in 1919.

Numbered lists of Grand Masters of the Order, with portraits and attributed arms, are published from the early 17th century, with updated editions appearing throughout the 18th century.

The numbering of Grand Masters in use by the Order by the early 18th century, published in the 1719 Statutes of the Order,

lists the Blessed Gerard as founder without number, counting Raymond du Puy as first Master of the Hospital, Foulques de Villaret as 24th, Riccardo Caracciolo as 32nd,

Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam as 43rd and the then incumbent Ramon Perellos y Roccaful as 63rd.

Matthew Festing

Robert Matthew Festing (born 30 November 1949) served as Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 2008 until his resignation following a dispute with the Vatican on 28 January 2017.

Military order (religious society)

A military order (Latin: Militaris ordinis) is a chivalric order with military elements. Western military orders were originally established as Catholic religious societies; the first orders originated during the medieval Crusades with the stated purpose of protecting Christians against violent persecution by Islamic conquests in the Holy Land, which later evolved into serving as a standing army that defended the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Most members, often titled knights were laymen; however, they cooperated with the clergy, frequently taking religious vows such as poverty, chastity, and obedience, according to monastic ideals.

Prominent examples include the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar, as well as the later Teutonic Knights in the Baltics.The Knights Templar, the largest and most influential of the military orders, was suppressed in the early fourteenth century; only a handful of orders were established and recognized afterwards. However, some persisted longer in their original functions, only later evolving into purely honorific and/or ceremonial chivalric orders with charitable aims in modern times, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Order of Saint John, the respective Catholic and Reformed successors of the Knights Hospitaller. Notably, the Catholic mainstem of the Teutonic Order became exclusively monastic except a limited associated confraternity of honorary Knights; the Protestant Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order continues as a chivalric order.

Order of Saint Stanislaus

The Order of Saint Stanislaus (Polish: Order św. Stanisława Biskupa Męczennika, Russian: Орден Святого Станислава), also spelled Stanislas, was a Polish order of knighthood founded in 1765 by King Stanisław August Poniatowski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It remained under the Kingdom of Poland between 1765 and 1831, and was incorporated under the Russian Empire from 1831 to 1917, until the Russian revolution.Today, there are two recognized orders that claim descent from the original Order of Saint Stanislaus: the Russian dynastic Order of Saint Stanislaus (House of Romanov), awarded by the head of the House of Romanov as former sovereigns of the Russian Empire, and the Polish Order of Polonia Restituta, a governmental order of merit awarded by the President of Poland and considered by some as a type of successor.

Peter II of Yugoslavia

Peter II (Serbo-Croatian: Petar / Петар; 6 September 1923 – 3 November 1970) was the last King of Yugoslavia, reigning from 1934 to 1945. He was the last reigning member of the Karađorđević dynasty which came to prominence in the early 20th century.

Peter I of Serbia

Peter I (Serbian: Petar/Петар; 11 July [O.S. 29 June] 1844 – 16 August 1921) reigned as the last King of Serbia (1903–1918) and as the first King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918–1921). Since he was the king of Serbia during a period of great Serbian military success, he was remembered by Serbian people as King Peter the Liberator, and also known as Old King.

Peter was Karađorđe's grandson and third son of Persida Nenadović and Prince Alexander Karađorđević, who was forced to abdicate. Peter lived with his family in exile. He fought with the French Foreign Legion in the Franco-Prussian War. He joined as volunteer under the alias Peter Mrkonjić in the Herzegovina Uprising (1875–77) against the Ottoman Empire.

He married Princess Zorka of Montenegro, daughter of King Nicholas, in 1883. She gave birth to his five children, including Prince Alexander. After the death of his father in 1885, Peter became head of the Karađorđević dynasty. After a military coup d'état and the murder of King Alexander I Obrenović in 1903, Peter became King of Serbia. As king, he advocated a constitutional setup for the country and was famous for his libertarian politics.

King Peter was the supreme commander of the Serbian army in the Balkan wars. Because of his age, on 24 June 1914, he proclaimed his son, Alexander, heir-apparent to the throne, as regent. In the First World War he and his army retreated across Albania.

University of Arts (Albania)

Albanian University of Arts (formerly known as the Academy of Arts) is the main institution that offers higher education in the arts in Albania.

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