The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: Latin: Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, German: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden, Deutschherrenorden or Deutschritterorden), is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order c. 1190 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The Teutonic Order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals. Its members have commonly been known as the Teutonic Knights, having a small voluntary and mercenary military membership, serving as a crusading military order for protection of Christians in the Holy Land and the Baltics during the Middle Ages.
Purely religious since 1929, the Teutonic Order still confers limited honorary knighthoods. The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order, a Protestant chivalric order, is descended from the same medieval military order and also continues to award knighthoods and perform charitable work.
|Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem|
Coat of arms in the style of the 14th-century
|Active||c. 1190 – present|
|Allegiance|| Holy Roman Empire (1190–1806)|
Austrian Empire & Austria-Hungary (1804-1918)
Holy See (1190–present)
|Type||Catholic religious order|
(1192–1929 as military order)
|Nickname(s)||Teutonic Knights, German Order|
|Attire||White mantle with a black cross|
|First Grand Master||Heinrich Walpot von Bassenheim|
|Current Grand Master||Frank Bayard|
The full name of the Order in German is Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem or in Latin Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum (engl. "Order of the House of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem"). Thus the term "Teutonic" echoes the German origins of the order (Theutonicorum) in its Latin name. It is commonly known in German as the Deutscher Orden (official short name, literally "German Order"), historically also as Deutscher Ritterorden ("German Order of Knights"), Deutschherrenorden, Deutschritterorden ("Order of the German Knights"), Marienritter ("Knights of Mary"), Die Herren im weißen Mantel ("The lords in white capes"), etc.
The Teutonic Knights have been known as Zakon Krzyżacki in Polish ("Order of the Cross") and as Kryžiuočių Ordinas in Lithuanian, Vācu Ordenis in Latvian, Saksa Ordu or, simply, Ordu ("The Order") in Estonian, as well as various names in other languages.
Formed in the year 1192 in Acre, in the Levant, the medieval Order played an important role in Outremer (the general name for the Crusader states), controlling the port tolls of Acre. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend the South-Eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Cumans. The Knights were expelled by force of arms by King Andrew II of Hungary in 1225, after attempting to place themselves under papal instead of the original Hungarian sovereignty and thus to become independent.
In 1230, following the Golden Bull of Rimini, Grand Master Hermann von Salza and Duke Konrad I of Masovia launched the Prussian Crusade, a joint invasion of Prussia intended to Christianize the Baltic Old Prussians. The Knights had quickly taken steps against their Polish hosts and with the Holy Roman Emperor's support, had changed the status of Chełmno Land (also Ziemia Chelminska or Kulmerland), where they were invited by the Polish prince, into their own property. Starting from there, the Order created the independent Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, adding continuously the conquered Prussians' territory, and subsequently conquered Livonia. Over time, the kings of Poland denounced the Order for expropriating their lands, specifically Chełmno Land and later the Polish lands of Pomerelia (also Pomorze Gdańskie or Pomerania), Kujawy, and Dobrzyń Land.
The Order theoretically lost its main purpose in Europe with the Christianization of Lithuania. However, it initiated numerous campaigns against its Christian neighbours, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Novgorod Republic (after assimilating the Livonian Order). The Teutonic Knights had a strong economic base which enabled them to hire mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies, and they also became a naval power in the Baltic Sea. In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). However, the capital of the Teutonic Knights was successfully defended in the following Siege of Marienburg and the Order was saved from collapse.
In 1515, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I made a marriage alliance with Sigismund I of Poland-Lithuania. Thereafter, the empire did not support the Order against Poland. In 1525, Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg resigned and converted to Lutheranism, becoming Duke of Prussia as a vassal of Poland. Soon after, the Order lost Livonia and its holdings in the Protestant areas of Germany. The Order did keep its considerable holdings in Catholic areas of Germany until 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings.
However, the Order continued to exist as a charitable and ceremonial body. It was outlawed by Adolf Hitler in 1938, but re-established in 1945. Today it operates primarily with charitable aims in Central Europe.
The Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross. A cross pattée was sometimes used as their coat of arms; this image was later used for military decoration and insignia by the Kingdom of Prussia and Germany as the Iron Cross and Pour le Mérite. The motto of the Order was: "Helfen, Wehren, Heilen" ("Help, Defend, Heal").
In 1143 Pope Celestine II ordered the Knights Hospitaller to take over management of a German hospital in Jerusalem, which, according to the chronicler Jean d’Ypres, accommodated the countless German pilgrims and crusaders who could neither speak the local language nor Latin (patriæ linguam ignorantibus atque Latinam). Although formally an institution of the Hospitallers, the pope commanded that the prior and the brothers of the domus Theutonicorum (house of the Germans) should always be Germans themselves, so a tradition of a German-led religious institution could develop during the 12th century in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
After the loss of Jerusalem in 1187, some merchants from Lübeck and Bremen took up the idea and founded a field hospital for the duration of the Siege of Acre in 1190, which became the nucleus of the order; Celestine III recognized it in 1192 by granting the monks Augustinian Rule. However, based on the model of the Knights Templar, it was transformed into a military order in 1198 and the head of the order became known as the Grand Master (magister hospitalis). It received papal orders for crusades to take and hold Jerusalem for Christianity and defend the Holy Land against the Muslim Saracens. During the rule of Grand Master Hermann von Salza (1209–1239) the Order changed from being a hospice brotherhood for pilgrims to primarily a military order.
The Order was founded in Acre, and the Knights purchased Montfort (Starkenberg), northeast of Acre, in 1220. This castle, which defended the route between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea, was made the seat of the Grand Masters in 1229, although they returned to Acre after losing Montfort to Muslim control in 1271. The Order also had a castle at Amouda in Armenia Minor. The Order received donations of land in the Holy Roman Empire (especially in present-day Germany and Italy), Frankish Greece, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Emperor Frederick II elevated his close friend Hermann von Salza to the status of Reichsfürst, or "Prince of the Empire", enabling the Grand Master to negotiate with other senior princes as an equal. During Frederick's coronation as King of Jerusalem in 1225, Teutonic Knights served as his escort in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; von Salza read the emperor's proclamation in both French and German. However, the Teutonic Knights were never as influential in Outremer as the older Templars and Hospitallers.
In 1211, Andrew II of Hungary accepted the services of the Teutonic Knights and granted them the district of Burzenland in Transylvania, where they would be immune to fees and duties and could enforce their own justice. Andrew had been involved in negotiations for the marriage of his daughter with the son of Hermann, Landgrave of Thuringia, whose vassals included the family of Hermann von Salza. Led by a brother called Theoderich or Dietrich, the Order defended the south-eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the neighbouring Cumans. Many forts of wood and mud were built for defence. They settled new German peasants among the existing Transylvanian Saxon inhabitants. The Cumans had no fixed settlements for resistance, and soon the Teutons were expanding into their territory. By 1220, The Teutonics Knights had built five castles, some of them made of stone. Their rapid expansion made the Hungarian nobility and clergy, who were previously uninterested in those regions, jealous and suspicious. Some nobles claimed these lands, but the Order refused to share them, ignoring the demands of the local bishop. After the Fifth Crusade, King Andrew returned to Hungary and found his kingdom full of grudge because of the expenses and losses of the failed military campaign. When the nobles demanded that he cancel the concessions made to the Knights, he concluded that they had exceeded their task and that the agreement should be revised, but did not revert the concessions. However, Prince Béla, heir to the throne, was allied with the nobility. In 1224, the Teutonic Knights, seeing that they would have problems when the Prince inherited the Kingdom, petitioned Pope Honorius III to be placed directly under the authority of the Papal See, rather than that of the King of Hungary. This was a grave mistake, as King Andrew, angered and alarmed at their growing power, responded by expelling the Teutonic Knights in 1225, although he allowed the ethnically German commoners and peasants settled here by the Order and who became part of the larger group of the Transylvanian Saxons, to remain. Lacking the military organization and experience of the Teutonic Knights, the Hungarians did not replace them with adequate defenses and stopped the attacks against the Cumans. Soon, the steppe warriors would be a threat again.
In 1226, Konrad I, Duke of Masovia in north-eastern Poland, appealed to the Knights to defend his borders and subdue the pagan Baltic Prussians, allowing the Teutonic Knights use of Chełmno Land (Culmerland) as a base for their campaign. This being a time of widespread crusading fervor throughout Western Europe, Hermann von Salza considered Prussia a good training ground for his knights for the wars against the Muslims in Outremer. With the Golden Bull of Rimini, Emperor Frederick II bestowed on the Order a special imperial privilege for the conquest and possession of Prussia, including Chełmno Land, with nominal papal sovereignty. In 1235 the Teutonic Knights assimilated the smaller Order of Dobrzyń, which had been established earlier by Christian, the first Bishop of Prussia.
The conquest of Prussia was accomplished with much bloodshed over more than fifty years, during which native Prussians who remained unbaptised were subjugated, killed, or exiled. Fighting between the Knights and the Prussians was ferocious; chronicles of the Order state the Prussians would "roast captured brethren alive in their armour, like chestnuts, before the shrine of a local god".
The native nobility who submitted to the crusaders had many of their privileges affirmed in the Treaty of Christburg. After the Prussian uprisings of 1260–83, however, much of the Prussian nobility emigrated or were resettled, and many free Prussians lost their rights. The Prussian nobles who remained were more closely allied with the German landowners and gradually assimilated. Peasants in frontier regions, such as Samland, had more privileges than those in more populated lands, such as Pomesania. The crusading knights often accepted baptism as a form of submission by the natives. Christianity along western lines slowly spread through Prussian culture. Bishops were reluctant to have Prussian religious practices integrated into the new faith, while the ruling knights found it easier to govern the natives when they were semi-pagan and lawless. After fifty years of warfare and brutal conquest, the end result meant that most of the Prussian natives were either killed or deported.
The Order ruled Prussia under charters issued by the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor as a sovereign monastic state, comparable to the arrangement of the Knights Hospitallers in Rhodes and later in Malta.
To make up for losses from the plague and to replace the partially exterminated native population, the Order encouraged immigration from the Holy Roman Empire (mostly Germans, Flemish, and Dutch) and from Masovia (Poles), the later Masurians. These included nobles, burghers, and peasants, and the surviving Old Prussians were gradually assimilated through Germanization. The settlers founded numerous towns and cities on former Prussian settlements. The Order itself built a number of castles (Ordensburgen) from which it could defeat uprisings of Old Prussians, as well as continue its attacks on the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, with which the Order was often at war during the 14th and 15th centuries. Major towns founded by the Order included Allenstein (Olsztyn), Elbing (Elbląg), Klaipėda (Memel), and Königsberg, founded in 1255 in honor of King Otakar II of Bohemia on the site of a destroyed Prussian settlement.
The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were absorbed by the Teutonic Knights in 1237, after the former had suffered a devastating defeat in the Battle of Saule. The Livonian branch subsequently became known as the Livonian Order. Attempts to expand into Rus failed when the knights suffered a major defeat in 1242 in the Battle of the Ice at the hands of Prince Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod. Over the next decades the Order focused on the subjugation of the Curonians and Semigallians. In 1260 it suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle of Durbe against Samogitians, which inspired rebellions throughout Prussia and Livonia. After the Teutonic Knights won a crucial victory in the Siege of Königsberg from 1262 to 1265, the war had reached a turning point. The Curonians were finally subjugated in 1267 and the Semigallians in 1290. The Order suppressed a major Estonian rebellion in 1343–1345, and in 1346 purchased the Duchy of Estonia from Denmark.
The Teutonic Knights began to direct their campaigns against pagan Lithuania (see Lithuanian mythology), due to the long existing conflicts in the region (including constant incursions into the Holy Roman Empire's territory by pagan raiding parties) and the lack of a proper area of operation for the Knights, after the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at Acre in 1291 and their later expulsion from Hungary. At first the knights moved their headquarters to Venice, from which they planned the recovery of Outremer, this plan was, however, shortly abandoned, and the Order later moved its headquarters to Marienburg, so it could better focus its efforts on the region of Prussia. Because "Lithuania Propria" remained non-Christian until the end of the 14th century, much later than the rest of eastern Europe, the conflicts stretched out for a longer time, and many Knights from western European countries, such as England and France, journeyed to Prussia to participate in the seasonal campaigns (reyse) against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1348, the Order won a great victory over the Lithuanians in the Battle of Strėva, severely weakening them. The Teutonic Knights won a decisive victory over Lithuania in the Battle of Rudau in 1370.
Warfare between the Order and the Lithuanians was especially brutal. It was common practice for Lithuanians to torture captured enemies and civilians, it is recorded by a Teutonic chronicler that they had the habit of tying captured Knights to their horses and having both of them burned alive, while sometimes a stake would be driven into their bodies, or the Knight would be flayed. Lithuanian pagan customs included ritualistic human sacrifice, the hanging of widows, and the burying of a warrior's horses and servants with him after his death. The Knights would also, on occasion, take captives from defeated Lithuanians, whose condition (as that of other war captives in the Middle Ages) was extensively researched by Jacques Heers. The conflict had much influence in the political situation of the region, and was the source of many rivalries between Lithuanians or Poles and Germans, the degree to which it impacted the mentalities of the time can be seen in the lyrical works of men such as the contemporary Austrian poet Peter Suchenwirt.
The conflict in its entirety lasted over 200 years (although with varying degrees of aggression during that time), with its front line along both banks of the Neman River, with as many as twenty forts and castles between Seredžius and Jurbarkas alone.
A dispute over the succession to the Duchy of Pomerelia embroiled the Order in further conflict at the beginning of the 14th century. The Margraves of Brandenburg had claims to the duchy that they acted upon after the death of King Wenceslaus of Poland in 1306. Duke Władysław I the Elbow-high of Poland also claimed the duchy, based on inheritance from Przemysław II, but he was opposed by some Pomeranians nobles. They requested help from Brandenburg, which subsequently occupied all of Pomerelia except for the citadel of Danzig (Gdańsk) in 1308. Because Władysław was unable to come to the defense of Danzig, the Teutonic Knights, then led by Hochmeister Siegfried von Feuchtwangen, were called to expel the Brandenburgers.
The Order, under a Prussian Landmeister Heinrich von Plötzke, evicted the Brandenburgers from Danzig in September 1308 but then refused to yield the town to the Poles, and according to some sources massacred the town's inhabitants; although the exact extent of the violence is unknown, and widely recognized by historians to be an unsolvable mystery. The estimates range from 60 rebellious leaders, reported by dignitaries of the region and Knight chroniclers, to 10,000 civilians, a number cited in a papal bull (of dubious procedence) that was used in a legal process installed to punish the Order for the event; the legal dispute went on for a time, but the Order was eventually absolved of the charges. In the Treaty of Soldin, the Teutonic Order purchased Brandenburg's supposed claim to the castles of Danzig, Schwetz (Świecie), and Dirschau (Tczew) and their hinterlands from the margraves for 10,000 marks on 13 September 1309.
Control of Pomerelia allowed the Order to connect their monastic state with the borders of the Holy Roman Empire. Crusading reinforcements and supplies could travel from the Imperial territory of Hither Pomerania through Pomerelia to Prussia, while Poland's access to the Baltic Sea was blocked. While Poland had mostly been an ally of the knights against the pagan Prussians and Lithuanians, the capture of Pomerelia turned the kingdom into a determined enemy of the Order.
The capture of Danzig marked a new phase in the history of the Teutonic Knights. The persecution and abolition of the powerful Knights Templar, which began in 1307, worried the Teutonic Knights, but control of Pomerelia allowed them to move their headquarters in 1309 from Venice to Marienburg (Malbork) on the Nogat River, outside the reach of secular powers. The position of Prussian Landmeister was merged with that of the Grand Master. The Pope began investigating misconduct by the knights, but no charges were found to have substance. Along with the campaigns against the Lithuanians, the knights faced a vengeful Poland and legal threats from the Papacy.
In 1236, the Knights of Saint Thomas, an English order, adopted the rules of the Teutonic Order. A contingent of Teutonic Knights of indeterminate number is traditionally believed to have participated at the Battle of Legnica in 1241 against the Mongols. The combined German-Polish/Lithuanian force was crushed by the Mongol army and their superior tactics, with few survivors.
In 1337, Emperor Louis IV allegedly granted the Order the imperial privilege to conquer all Lithuania and Russia. During the reign of Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode (1351–1382), the Order reached the peak of its international prestige and hosted numerous European crusaders and nobility.
King Albert of Sweden ceded Gotland to the Order as a pledge (similar to a fiefdom), with the understanding that they would eliminate the pirating Victual Brothers from this strategic island base in the Baltic Sea. An invasion force under Grand Master Konrad von Jungingen conquered the island in 1398 and drove the Victual Brothers out of Gotland and the Baltic Sea.
In 1386, Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania was baptised into Christianity and married Queen Jadwiga of Poland, taking the name Władysław II Jagiełło and becoming King of Poland. This created a personal union between the two countries and a potentially formidable opponent for the Teutonic Knights. The Order initially managed to play Jogaila and his cousin Vytautas against each other, but this strategy failed when Vytautas began to suspect that the Order was planning to annex parts of his territory.
The baptism of Jogaila began the official conversion of Lithuania to Christianity. Although the crusading rationale for the Order's state ended when Prussia and Lithuania had become officially Christian, the Order's feuds and wars with Lithuania and Poland continued. The Lizard Union was created in 1397 by Prussian nobles in Culmerland to oppose the Order's policy.
In 1407, the Teutonic Order reached its greatest territorial extent and included the lands of Prussia, Pomerelia, Samogitia, Courland, Livonia, Estonia, Gotland, Dagö, Ösel, and the Neumark, pawned by Brandenburg in 1402.
In 1410, at the Battle of Grunwald (German: Schlacht bei Tannenberg) – known in Lithuanian as the Battle of Žalgiris – a combined Polish-Lithuanian army, led by Vytautas and Jogaila, decisively defeated the Order in the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War. Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen and most of the Order's higher dignitaries fell on the battlefield (50 out of 60). The Polish-Lithuanian army then began the Siege of Marienburg, the capital of the Order, but was unable to take Marienburg owing to the resistance of Heinrich von Plauen. When the First Peace of Thorn was signed in 1411, the Order managed to retain essentially all of its territories, although the Knights' reputation as invincible warriors was irreparably damaged.
While Poland and Lithuania were growing in power, that of the Teutonic Knights dwindled through infighting. They were forced to impose high taxes to pay a substantial indemnity but did not give the cities sufficient requested representation in the administration of their state. The authoritarian and reforming Grand Master Heinrich von Plauen was forced from power and replaced by Michael Küchmeister von Sternberg, but the new Grand Master was unable to revive the Order's fortunes. After the Gollub War the Knights lost some small border regions and renounced all claims to Samogitia in the 1422 Treaty of Melno. Austrian and Bavarian knights feuded with those from the Rhineland, who likewise bickered with Low German-speaking Saxons, from whose ranks the Grand Master was usually chosen. The western Prussian lands of the Vistula River Valley and the Brandenburg Neumark were ravaged by the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. Some Teutonic Knights were sent to battle the invaders, but were defeated by the Bohemian infantry. The Knights also sustained a defeat in the Polish-Teutonic War (1431-1435).
In 1454, the Prussian Confederation, consisting of the gentry and burghers of western Prussia, rose up against the Order, beginning the Thirteen Years' War. Much of Prussia was devastated in the war, during the course of which the Order returned Neumark to Brandenburg in 1455. In the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), the defeated Order recognized the Polish crown's rights over western Prussia (subsequently Royal Prussia) while retaining eastern Prussia under nominal Polish overlordship. Because Marienburg Castle was handed over to mercenaries in lieu of their pay, the Order moved its base to Königsberg in Sambia.
After the Polish–Teutonic War (1519–1521), the Order was completely ousted from Prussia when Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg converted to Lutheranism in 1525. He secularized the Order's remaining Prussian territories and assumed from his uncle Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland, the hereditary rights to the Duchy of Prussia as a vassal of the Polish Crown, the Prussian Homage. The Protestant Duchy of Prussia was thus a fief of Catholic Poland.
Although it had lost control of all of its Prussian lands, the Teutonic Order retained its territories within the Holy Roman Empire and Livonia, although the Livonian branch retained considerable autonomy. Many of the Imperial possessions were ruined in the German Peasants' War from 1524 to 1525 and subsequently confiscated by Protestant territorial princes. The Livonian territory was then partitioned by neighboring powers during the Livonian War; in 1561 the Livonian Master Gotthard Kettler secularized the southern Livonian possessions of the Order to create the Duchy of Courland, also a vassal of Poland.
After the loss of Prussia in 1525, the Teutonic Knights concentrated on their possessions in the Holy Roman Empire. Since they held no contiguous territory, they developed a three-tiered administrative system: holdings were combined into commanderies that were administered by a commander (Komtur). Several commanderies were combined to form a bailiwick headed by a Landkomtur. All of the Teutonic Knights' possessions were subordinate to the Grand Master, whose seat was in Bad Mergentheim.
There were twelve German bailiwicks:
Outside of German areas were the bailiwicks of
The Order gradually lost control of these holdings until, by 1809, only the seat of the Grand Master at Mergentheim remained.
Following the abdication of Albert of Brandenburg, Walter von Cronberg became Deutschmeister in 1527, and later Administrator of Prussia and Grand Master in 1530. Emperor Charles V combined the two positions in 1531, creating the title Hoch- und Deutschmeister, which also had the rank of Prince of the Empire. A new Grand Magistery was established in Mergentheim in Württemberg, which was attacked during the German Peasants' War. The Order also helped Charles V against the Schmalkaldic League. After the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, membership in the Order was open to Protestants, although the majority of brothers remained Catholic. The Teutonic Knights became tri-denominational, with Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed bailiwicks.
The Grand Masters, often members of the great German families (and, after 1761, members of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine), continued to preside over the Order's considerable holdings in Germany. Teutonic Knights from Germany, Austria, and Bohemia were used as battlefield commanders leading mercenaries for the Habsburg Monarchy during the Ottoman wars in Europe.
The military history of the Teutonic Knights was to be ended in 1805 by the Article XII of the Peace of Pressburg, which ordered the German territories of the Knights converted into a hereditary domain and gave the Austrian Emperor responsibility for placing a Habsburg prince on its throne. These terms had not been fulfilled by the time of the Treaty of Schönbrunn in 1809, and therefore Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the Knights' remaining territory to be disbursed to his German allies, which was completed in 1810.
|Ratsgebietiger||Hochmeister||Kanzlei des Hochmeisters|
|Großkomtur (Magnus Commendator)||Ordensmarschall (Summus Marescalcus)||Großspittler (Summus Hospitalarius)||Ordenstressler (Summus Thesaurarius)||Ordenstrappier (Summus Trappearius)|
|Großschäffer (Marienburg)||Großschäffer (Königsberg)|
|Komtur (Preußen)||Komtur (Preußen)|
|Deutschmeister (Magister Germaniae)||Landmeister in Livland (Magister Livoniae)|
|Komtur (Livland)||Komtur (Livland)|
|Komtur (in the Holy Empire)||Komtur (in the Holy Empire)|
The Generalkapitel (general chapter) was the collection of all the priests, knights and half-brothers (German: Halbbrüder). Because of the logistical problems in assembling the members, who were spread over large distances, only deputations of the bailiwicks and commandries gathered to form the General chapter. The General chapter was designed to meet annually, but the conventions were usually limited to the election of a new Grandmaster. The decisions of the Generalkapitel had a binding effect on the Großgebietigers of the order.
The Hochmeister (Grandmaster) was the highest officer of the order. Until 1525, he was elected by the Generalkapitel. He had the rank of ruler of an ecclesiastic imperial state and was sovereign prince of Prussia until 1466. Despite this high formal position, practically, he was only a kind of first among equals.
The Großgebietiger were high officers with competence on the whole order, appointed by the Hochmeister. There were five offices.
The order was divided in three national chapters, Prussia, Livland and the territory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The highest officer of each chapter was the Landmeister (country master). They were elected by the regional chapters. In the beginning, they were only substitutes of the Grandmaster but were able to create a power of their own so that, within their territory, the Grandmaster could not decide against their will. At the end of their rule over Prussia, the Grandmaster was only Landmeister of Prussia. There were three Landmeisters:
Because the properties of the order within the rule of the Deutschmeister did not form a contiguous territory, but were spread over the whole empire and parts of Europe, there was an additional regional structure, the bailiwick. Kammerbaleien("Chamber Bailiwicks") were governed by the Grandmaster himself. Some of these bailiwicks had the rank of imperial states
The smallest administrative unit of the order was the Kommende. It was ruled by a Komtur, who had all administrative rights and controlled the Vogteien (district of a reeve) and Zehnthöfe (tithe collectors) within his rule. In the commandry, all kinds of brothers lived together in a monastic way. Noblemen served as Knight-brothers or Priest-brothers. Other people could serve as Sariantbrothers, who were armed soldiers, and as Half-brothers, who were working in economy and healthcare.
The collapse of the Habsurg monarchy and the Empire it governed in Austria, the Italian Tyrol, Bohemia and the Balkans brought a shattering crisis to the Order. While in the new Austrian Republic, the Order seemed to have some hope of survival, in the other former parts of the Habsburg territories, the tendency was to regard the Order as an honorary chivalric Order of the House of Habsburg. The consequence of this risked being the confiscation of the Order’s property as belongings of the House of Habsburg. So as to make the distinction clearer, in 1923 the then High Master, Field Marshal Eugen of Austria-Teschen, Archduke of Austria, a member of the House of Habsburg and an active army commander before and during the First World War, had one of the Order’s priests, Norbert Klein, at the time Bishop of Brno (Brünn) elected his Coadjutor and then abdicated, leaving the Bishop as High Master of the Order.
As a result of this move, by 1928 the now independent former Habsburg territories all recognized the Order as a Catholic religious order. The Order itself introduced a new Rule, approved by Pope Pius XI in 1929, according to which the government of the Order would in future be in the hands of a priest of the Order, as would its constituent provinces, while the women religious of the Order would have women superiors. In 1936 the situation of the women religious was further clarified and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Order was given as their supreme moderator the High Master of the Order, the Sisters also having representation at the Order’s general chapter.
This completed the transformation of what remained in the Catholic Church of the Teutonic knights into a Catholic religious order now renamed simply the Deutscher Orden ("German Order"). However, further difficulties were in store.
The promising beginnings of this reorganization and spiritual transformation suffered a severe blow through the expansion of Germany might under the Nazi regime. After Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938, and of equivalently of Czechoslovakia in 1939 the Teutonic Order was suppressed throughout the Großdeutsches Reich until Germany's defeat. This did not prevent the Nazis used imagery of the medieval Teutonic knights for propagandistic purposes.
The Fascist rule in Italy, which since the end of the First World War had absorbed the Southern Tyrol, was not a propitious setting, but following the end of hostilities, a now democratic Italy provided normalized conditions, In 1947 Austria legally abolished the measures taken against the Order and restored confiscated property. Despite being hampered by the Communist regimes in Yugoslavia and in Czechoslovakia, the Order was now broadly in a position to take up activities in accordance with elements of its tradition, including care for the sick, for the elderly, for children, including work in education, in parishes and in its own internal houses of study. In 1957 a residence was established in Rome for the Order’s Procurator General to the Holy See, to serve also as a pilgrim hostel. Conditions in Czechoslovakia gradual improved and in the meanwhile the forced exile of some members of the Order lead to the Order’s re-establishing itself with some modest, but historically significant, foundations in Germany. The Sisters, in particular, gained several footholds, including specialist schools and care of the poor and in 1953 the former house of Augustinian Canons, St. Nikola, in Passau became the Sisters’ Motherhouse. Although the reconstruction represented by the reformed Rule of 1929 had set aside categories such as the knights, over time the spontaneous involvement of laypeople in the Order’s apostolates has led to their revival in modernized form, a development formalized by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1965.
With the official title of "Brethren of the German House of St Mary in Jerusalem", the Order today is unambiguously a Catholic religious order, though sui generis. Various features of its life and activities recall those of monastic and mendicant orders. At its core are priests who make solemn religious profession, along with lay brothers who make perpetual simple profession. Also part of the Order are the Sisters, with internal self-government within their own structures but with representation in the Order’s General Chapter. Their ultimate superior is the High Master of the Order. The approximately 100 Catholic priests and 200 nuns of the Order are divided into five provinces, namely, Austria, Southern Tyrol-Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia. While the priests predominantly provide spiritual guidance, the nuns primarily care for the ill and the aged. Many of the priests care for German-speaking communities outside of Germany and Austria, especially in Italy and Slovenia; in this sense the Teutonic Order has returned to its 12th-century roots: the spiritual and physical care of Germans in foreign lands.
There is an Institute of "Familiares", most of whom are lay people, and who are attached by spiritual bonds to the Order but do not take vows. The "Familiares" are grouped especially into the bailiwicks of Germany, Austria, Southern Tyrol, Ad Tiberim (Rome), and the bailiwick of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as also in the independent commandry of Alden Biesen in Belgium, though others are dispersed throughout the world. Overall, there are in recent years some 700.
By the end of the 20th century, then, this religious Order had developed into a charitable organization and established numerous clinics, as well as sponsoring excavation and tourism projects in Israel. In 2000, the German chapter of the Teutonic Order declared bankruptcy and its upper management was dismissed; an investigation by a special committee of the Bavarian parliament in 2002 and 2003 to determine the cause was inconclusive.
The current Abbot General of the Order, who also holds the title of High Master, is Father Frank Bayard. The current seat of the High Master is the Church of the German Order ("Deutschordenskirche") in Vienna. Near the St Stephen's Cathedral ("Stephansdom") in the Austrian capital is the Treasury of the Teutonic Order, which is open to the public, and the Order's central archive. Since 1996, there has also been a museum dedicated to the Teutonic Knights at their former castle in Bad Mergentheim in Germany, which was the seat of the High Master from 1525 to 1809.
|Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem|
Coat of arms of the order
|Awarded by Pope Francis|
|Type||Dynasty order of chivalry|
|Religious affiliation||Catholic Church|
|Motto||Helfen, Wehren, Heilen|
|Grand Master||Frank Bayard|
|Next (higher)||Sovereign Military Order of Malta|
|Next (lower)||Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice|
Honorary Knights of the Teutonic Order have included:
A portion of the Order retains more of the character of the knights during the height of its power and prestige. Der Balije van Utrecht ("Bailiwick of Utrecht") of the Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde ("Chivalric German [i.e., 'Teutonic'] Order") became Protestant at the Reformation, and it remained an aristocratic society. The relationship of the Bailiwick of Utrecht to the Roman Catholic Deutscher Orden resembles that of the Protestant Bailiwick of Brandenburg to the Roman Catholic Order of Malta: each is an authentic part of its original order, though differing from and smaller than the Roman Catholic branch.
The Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross, granted by Innocent III in 1205. A cross pattée was sometimes used. The coat of arms representing the grand master (Hochmeisterwappen) is shown with a golden cross fleury or cross potent superimposed on the black cross, with the imperial eagle as a central inescutcheon. The golden cross fleury overlaid on the black cross became widely used in the 15th century. A legendary account attributes its introduction to Louis IX of France, who is said to have granted the master of the order this cross as a variation of the Jerusalem cross, with the fleur-de-lis symbol attached to each arm, in 1250. While this legendary account cannot be traced back further than the early modern period (Christoph Hartknoch, 1684), there is some evidence that the design does indeed date to the mid 13th century.
The motto of the Order is "Helfen, Wehren, Heilen" ("to help, to defend, to heal").
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany posed for a photo in 1902 in the garb of a monk from the Teutonic Order, climbing the stairs in the reconstructed Marienburg Castle as a symbol of Imperial German policy.
The German historian Heinrich von Treitschke used imagery of the Teutonic Knights to promote pro-German and anti-Polish rhetoric. Many middle-class German nationalists adopted this imagery and its symbols. During the Weimar Republic, associations and organisations of this nature contributed to laying the groundwork for the formation of Nazi Germany.
Before and during World War II, Nazi propaganda and ideology made frequent use of the Teutonic Knights' imagery, as the Nazis sought to depict the Knights' actions as a forerunner of the Nazi conquests for Lebensraum. Heinrich Himmler tried to idealise the SS as a 20th-century reincarnation of the medieval Order. Yet, despite these references to the Teutonic Order's history in Nazi propaganda, the Order itself was abolished in 1938 and its members were persecuted by the German authorities. This occurred mostly due to Hitler's and Himmler's belief that, throughout history, Roman Catholic military-religious orders had been tools of the Holy See and as such constituted a threat to the Nazi regime.
The converse was true for Polish nationalism (see: Sienkiewicz "The Knights of the Cross"), which used the Teutonic Knights as symbolic shorthand for Germans in general, conflating the two into an easily recognisable image of the hostile. Similar associations were used by Soviet propagandists, such as the Teutonic knight villains in the 1938 Sergei Eisenstein film Aleksandr Nevskii.
Teutonic knights are still to be found only in another interesting survival, Ridderlijke Duitse Orde Balije van Utrecht (The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order). Like the Hospitaller Bailiwick of Brandenburg, this commandery turned itself into a noble Protestant confraternity at the time of the Reformation.
The 15th and early 16th century brought hard times for the Order. Apart from the drastic power loss in the East as of 1466, the Hussite attacks imperilled the continued existence of the bailwick of Bohemia. In Southern Europe, the Order had to renounce important outposts – such as Apulia and Sicily. After the coup d’état of Albrecht von Brandenburg, the only territory of the Order remained were the bailwicks in the empire.
This tradition was further perverted by the Nazis who, after the occupation of Austria suppressed it by an act of 6 September 1938 because they suspected it of being a bastion of pro-Habsburg legitimism.
[T]he Nazis...after the occupation of Austria suppressed [the Order] by an act of 6 September 1938 because they suspected it of being a bastion of pro-Habsburg legitimism. On Germany's occupying Czechoslovakia the following year, the Order was also suppressed in Moravia although the hospitals and houses in Yugoslavia and south Tyrol were able to continue a tenuous existence. The Nazis, motivated by Himmler's fantasies of reviving a German military elite then attempted to establish their own "Teutonic Order" as the highest award of the Third Reich. The ten recipients of this included Reinhard Heydrich and several of the most notorious Nazi criminals. Needless to say, although its badge was modelled on that of the genuine Order, it had absolutely nothing in common with it.
The Battle of Płowce took place on 27 September 1331 between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Order.Gollub War
The Gollub War was a two-month war of the Teutonic Knights against the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1422. It ended with the signing the Treaty of Melno, which resolved territorial disputes between the Knights and Lithuania over Samogitia that had dragged on since 1398.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.Grose Bochse
The Grose Bochse (old German for Große Büchse, "Big Gun") was a medieval supergun of the Teutonic Order. It was cast from June to September 1408 in several pieces and was presumably assembled by a screw or plug connection. The cannon was even bigger than the slightly later finished Faule Grete and may have reached the dimensions of the largest known bombard by caliber, the Pumhart von Steyr.Further known superguns of the 15th century are the equally cast-bronze Faule Mette and the wrought-iron Dulle Griet and Mons Meg.Hunger War
The Hunger War or Famine War was a brief conflict between the allied Kingdom of Poland, and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, against the Teutonic Knights in summer 1414 in an attempt to resolve territorial disputes. The war earned its name from destructive scorched earth tactics followed by both sides. While the conflict ended without any major political results, famine and plague swept through Prussia. According to Johann von Posilge, 86 knights of the Teutonic Order died from plague following the war. In comparison, about more than 200 knights perished in the Battle of Grunwald of 1410, one of the biggest battles in medieval Europe.Konrad Wallenrod
Konrad Wallenrod is an 1828 narrative poem, in Polish, by Adam Mickiewicz, set in the 14th-century Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Mickiewicz wrote it, while living in St. Petersburg, Russia, in protest against the late-18th-century partitioning of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and Austria.
Mickiewicz had been exiled to St. Petersburg for his participation in the Philomaths organization at Wilno University.The poem helped inspire the Polish November 1830 Uprising against Russian rule. Though its subversive theme was apparent to most readers, the poem escaped censorship due to conflicts among the censors and, in the second edition, a prefatory homage to Tsar Nicholas I. Though Mickiewicz later disparaged the work, its cultural influence in Poland persists.Lithuanian Crusade
The Lithuanian Crusade was a series of campaigns by the Teutonic Order and the Livonian Order, two crusading military orders, to convert the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania to Roman Catholicism. The Livonian Order settled in Riga in 1202 and the Teutonic Order arrived to Culmerland in 1230s. They first conquered other neighboring Baltic tribes – Curonians, Semigallians, Latgalians, Selonians, Old Prussians (see Livonian Crusade and Prussian Crusade).
The first raid against the Lithuanians and Samogitians was in 1208 and the Orders played a key role in Lithuanian politics, but they were not a direct and immediate threat until 1280s. By that time the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was already an established state and could offer organized defense. Thus for the next hundred years the Knights organized annual destructive reise (raids) into the Samogitian and Lithuanian lands but without great success: border regions in Samogitia and Suvalkija became sparsely inhabited wilderness, but the Order gained very little territory. The war between the Teutonic Order and Lithuania was one of the longest wars in the history of Europe.The Grand Duchy finally converted to Christianity in 1386, when Grand Duke Jogaila accepted baptism from Poland before his wedding to reigning Queen Jadwiga and coronation as King of Poland. However, the baptism did not stop the crusade as the Order publicly challenged sincerity of the conversion at the Papal court. Lithuania, together with its new powerful ally Poland, defeated the Order in the decisive Battle of Grunwald in 1410, which is often cited as the end of the Lithuanian Crusade. The final peace was reached by the Treaty of Melno (1422).
It was the end of 225 years long warfare (1197–1422), including 86 years of the initial confrontation (1197–1283), 128 years of the regular warfare (1283–1411) and 11 years of the final fights (the period between the Peace Treaty of Thorn 1411 and the Peace Treaty of Melno 1422).Livonian Order
The Livonian Order was an autonomous branch of the Teutonic Order, formed in 1237. It was later a member of the Livonian Confederation, from 1435 to 1561.Malbork
Malbork ([ˈmalbɔrk] (listen); German: Marienburg (listen); Latin: Civitas Beatae Virginis) is a town in northern Poland in the Żuławy region (Vistula delta), with 38,478 inhabitants (2006). Situated in the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, it was previously assigned to Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Malbork County.
Founded in the 13th century by the Knights of the Teutonic Order, the town is noted for its medieval Malbork Castle, built in the 13th Century as the Order's headquarters and of what later became known as Royal Prussia.Malbork Castle
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (Polish: zamek w Malborku; German: Ordensburg Marienburg) is a 13th-century Teutonic castle and fortress located near the town of Malbork, Poland. It is the largest castle in the world measured by land area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It was originally constructed by the Teutonic Knights, a German Catholic religious order of crusaders, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress. The Order named it Marienburg in honour of Mary, mother of Jesus. In 1457, during the Thirteen Years’ War, it was sold by the Bohemian mercenaries to King Casimir IV of Poland in lieu of indemnities and it since served as one of the several Polish royal residences, interrupted by several years of Swedish occupation, and fulfilling this function until the First Partition of Poland in 1772. From then on the castle came back to German rule for over 170 years. Following Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, the land was assigned to Poland by the Allies. Heavily damaged, the castle was renovated under the auspices of modern-day Poland in the second half of the 20th century and most recently in 2016. Nowadays, the castle hosts exhibitions and serves as a museum.
The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and, on its completion in 1406, was the world's largest brick castle. UNESCO designated the "Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork" and the Malbork Castle Museum a World Heritage Site in December 1997. It is one of two World Heritage Sites in the region, together with the "Medieval Town of Toruń", which was founded in 1231.
Malbork Castle is also one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated on 16 September 1994. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.Northern Crusades
The Northern Crusades or Baltic Crusades were religious wars undertaken by Catholic Christian military orders and kingdoms, primarily against the pagan Baltic, Finnic and West Slavic peoples around the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, and to a lesser extent also against Orthodox Christian Slavs (East Slavs). The crusades took place mostly in the 12th and 13th centuries and resulted in the mass extermination, subjugation and forced baptism of indigenous peoples.
The most notable campaigns were the Livonian and Prussian crusades. Some of these wars were called crusades during the Middle Ages, but others, including most of the Swedish ones, were first dubbed crusades by 19th-century romantic nationalist historians. However, crusades against northern pagans were authorized by Pope Alexander III in the bull Non parum animus noster, in 1171 or 1172 .Peace of Thorn (1411)
The (First) Peace of Thorn was a peace treaty formally ending the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War between allied Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania on one side, and the Teutonic Knights on the other. It was signed on 1 February 1411 in Thorn (Toruń), one of the southernmost cities of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights. In historiography, the treaty is often portrayed as a diplomatic failure of Poland–Lithuania as they failed to capitalize on the decisive defeat of the Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in June 1410. The Knights returned Dobrzyń Land which they captured from Poland during the war and made only temporary territorial concessions in Samogitia, which returned to Lithuania only for the lifetimes of Polish King Władysław Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas. The Peace of Thorn was not stable. It took two other brief wars, the Hunger War in 1414 and Gollub War in 1422, to sign the Treaty of Melno that solved the territorial disputes. However, large war reparations were a significant financial burden on the Knights, causing internal unrest and economic decline. The Teutonic Knights never recovered their former might.Polish–Teutonic War (1326–1332)
Polish–Teutonic War (1326–1332) was the war between the Kingdom of Poland and the State of the Teutonic Order over Pomerelia, fought from 1326 to 1332.Second Peace of Thorn (1466)
The Peace of Thorn of 1466 (German: Zweiter Friede von Thorn; Polish: drugi pokój toruński) was a peace treaty signed in the Hanseatic city of Thorn (Toruń) on 19 October 1466 between the Polish king Casimir IV Jagiellon on one side, and the Teutonic Knights on the other.
The treaty concluded the Thirteen Years' War which had begun in February 1454 with the revolt of the Prussian Confederation, led by the cities of Danzig (Gdańsk), Elbing (Elbląg), Kulm (Chełmno) and Thorn, and the Prussian gentry against the rule of the Teutonic Knights in the Monastic State.
Both sides agreed to seek confirmation from Pope Paul II and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, but the Polish side stressed (and the Teutonic side agreed) that this confirmation would not be needed for validation of the treaty. In the treaty, the Teutonic Order ceded the territories of Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania) with Danzig, Kulmerland with Kulm and Thorn, the mouth of the Vistula with Elbing and Marienburg (Malbork), and the Bishopric of Warmia (Ermland) with Allenstein (Olsztyn). The Order also acknowledged the rights of the Polish Crown for Prussia's western half, subsequently known as Polish or Royal Prussia. Eastern Prussia, later called Duchy of Prussia remained with the Teutonic Order until 1525, as a Polish fief.
The treaty stated that Royal Prussia became the exclusive property of the Polish king and Polish kingdom. Later some disagreements arose concerning certain prerogatives that Royal Prussia and the cities held, like Danzig's privileges. The region possessed certain privileges such as the minting of its own coins, its own Diet meetings (see the Prussian estates), its own military, and its own administrative usage of the German language. A conflict over the right to name and approve Bishops in Warmia, resulted in the War of the Priests (1467–79). Eventually, Royal Prussia became integrated into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but retained some distinctive features until the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century.
In 1525, the Order was ousted from East Prussian territory by its own Grand Master when Albert, Duke of Prussia adopted Lutheranism and assumed the title of duke as hereditary ruler under the overlordship of Poland in the Prussian Homage. The area became known as the Duchy of Prussia.State of the Teutonic Order
The State of the Teutonic Order (German: Staat des Deutschen Ordens; Latin: Civitas Ordinis Theutonici), also called Deutschordensstaat (German: [ˈdɔʏtʃ ɔɐdənsˌʃtaːt]) or Ordensstaat ([ˈɔɐdənsˌʃtaːt]) in German, was a crusader state formed by the Teutonic Knights or Teutonic Order during the 13th century Northern Crusades along the Baltic Sea. The state was based in Prussia after the Order's conquest of the Pagan Old Prussians which began in 1230. It expanded to include at various times Courland, Gotland, Livonia, Neumark, Pomerelia and Samogitia. Its territory was in the modern countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden (Gotland). Most of the territory was conquered by military orders, after which German colonization occurred to varying effect.
The Livonian Brothers of the Sword controlling Terra Mariana were incorporated into the Teutonic Order as its autonomous branch Livonian Order in 1237. In 1346, the Duchy of Estonia was sold by the King of Denmark for 19,000 Köln marks to the Teutonic Order. The shift of sovereignty from Denmark to the Teutonic Order took place on 1 November 1346.Following its defeat in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 the Teutonic Order fell into decline and its Livonian branch joined the Livonian Confederation established in 1422–1435. The Teutonic lands in Prussia were split in two after the Peace of Thorn in 1466. The western part of Teutonic Prussia was converted into Royal Prussia, which became a more integral part of Poland. The monastic state in the east was secularized in 1525 during the Protestant Reformation as the Duchy of Prussia, a Polish fief governed by the House of Hohenzollern. The Livonian branch continued as part of the Livonian Confederation until its dissolution in 1561.Thirteen Years' War (1454–1466)
The Thirteen Years' War (German: Dreizehnjähriger Krieg; Polish: wojna trzynastoletnia), also called the War of the Cities, was a conflict fought in 1454–1466 between the Prussian Confederation, allied with the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and the State of the Teutonic Order.
The war began as an uprising by Prussian cities and local nobility to win independence from the Teutonic Knights. In 1454 Casimir IV married Elisabeth of Habsburg and the Prussian Confederation asked Poland's King Casimir IV Jagiellon for help and offered to accept the king as protector instead of the Teutonic Order. When the King assented, war broke out between supporters of the Prussian Confederation, backed by Poland, and backers of government by the Teutonic Knights.
The Thirteen Years' War ended in the victory of the Prussian Confederation and Poland and in the Second Peace of Thorn (1466). This was soon followed by the War of the Priests (1467–1479), a drawn-out dispute over the independence of the Prussian Prince-Bishopric of Warmia (Ermland), in which the Knights also sought revision of the Peace of Thorn.Treaty of Kalisz (1343)
The Treaty of Kalisz (Polish: Pokój kaliski, German: Vertrag von Kalisch) was a peace treaty signed on 8 July 1343 in Kalisz, concluded by the Kingdom of Poland under King Casimir III the Great and the State of the Teutonic Order under Grand Master of the Teutonic Order Ludolf König von Wattzau.Treaty of Soldin (1309)
For the 1466 treaty between Brandenburg and Pomerania, see Treaty of Soldin (1466).
The Treaty of Soldin (German: Vertrag von Soldin) was signed on 13 September 1309 at Soldin (Myślibórz) by Waldemar, Margrave of Brandenburg-Stendal, and the Teutonic Order.In 1308 the Order had agreed to help Polish forces retake the city of Danzig (Gdańsk) from the Brandenburgians, in exchange for being allowed to garrison a nearby fort for a year. However, during the siege disputes arose as to the extent of the fort that was to be loaned to the Teutonic Knights, and after being seized and briefly imprisoned, the Polish troops departed the siege. After they captured the city, the Teutonic Knights massacred its inhabitants and took the town for their own.
However, the Order still lacked any legal basis for their possession of Danzig. As a result, they purchased these from Brandenburg, as well as the rights to most of Pomerelia (Dirschau (Tczew), Schwetz (Świecie) and their hinterlands) for 10,000 silver Mark, despite the fact that the initial claims to Danzig and surrounding areas by Brandenburg were themselves of dubious legality.The treaty was subsequently confirmed in 1311 by Emperor-elect Henry VII, but repeatedly questioned by Poles, resulting in the Polish-Teutonic Wars.
In the Treaty of Kalisz (1343), the Polish king finally recognized the territorial changes.
The treaty gave the Teutonic Order control of the lower Vistula, a direct access to the Baltic Sea through Danzig, and a continuous route into the Holy Roman Empire. The same year the treaty was signed, the order's headquarters were moved from Venice to Marienburg (Malbork).Umm al-Faraj
Umm al-Faraj (Arabic: أم الفرج, known to the Crusaders as La Fierge), was a Palestinian village, depopulated in 1948.
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