Arnaud de Toroge (1110??-1184)

Translation : Andrew Zolnai

Master of the Order from 1180 to 1184.

Arnaud de Toroge is Master of the Province of Provence and Aragon when he is elected at the head of the Order at the end of 1180, to succeed Eudes de Saint-Amand, who died in captivity in Damas.

Arnaud de Toroge is more than 70 years old when he is elected, but he is a man who is well versed in the discipline and functioning of the Order. His knowledge centred on Spain, because of the "Reconquista", meaning de Toroge didn't really know the political situation of the Latin States.
His term as Master is marked by quarrels between Templars and Hospitalers, as the power and influence of the former constantly grew.
Arnaud de Toroge accepts the mediation of Pope Lucius III and the king Baldwin IV to put a term to these fratricidal quarrels.

In 1184, the political situation got worse when Raynald of Châtillon(1), helped by Templar and Hospitaler knights, ravaged for his own profit the Muslim territories in Transjordan.
Arnaud de Toroge would still have to show great political wisdom in order to negotiate a cessation of hostilities with Saladin, ready to avenge the fatal incursions of Renaud de Chatillon.
In 1184, Arnaud de Toroge and the Master of the Hospital of St John(2) went to Europe to plead before the Pope(3) and the Kings to send a new Crusade to strengthen the Latin states, at the mercy of the growing power of Saladin, the reunifyer of the Muslim world.

During this journey, Arnaud de Toroge fell ill and died in Verona on September 30th, 1184, when he went to Rome, to meet Pope Lucius III.

Previous Master : Eudes de Saint-Amand - Next Master : Gérard de Ridefort

Back to Masters list

Notes :

(1)The origin of Raynald of Châtillon is uncertain. Some have him native of Chatillon-sur-Marne (Marne), others of Chatillon-Coligny (Loiret). Anyway, his birth is located around 1120. He joined the armies of the 2nd Crusade and on arrival in the Holy Land, he joins the service of Constance, regent of Antioch. He will eventually marry her in 1153.
Captured by the Turks in 1160, he remained imprisoned for 16 years before returning to freedom. Widowed meantime, he left Antioch and went to Jerusalem where he obtained the lordship of Hebron. In 1177, with his marriage to Etiennette de Milly, he obtained from the King Baldwin IV the lordship of Outre-Jourdain with the fortresses of Karak and Chawbak, from where he organized several expeditions against Muslim caravans.
In 1182, he mounted an expedition to the Red Sea. He plundered the ports of Hejaz and threatened the holy cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. Saladin then launched retaliatory raids against him and besieged him in his fortress of Karak in 1183. Raynald owed his salvation to the intervention of the armies of Baldwin IV. In 1187, he attacked a caravan on the way to Damas and thus broke the truce concluded with Saladin. War was declared and then followed the Christian defeat at Hattin. Captured, Renaud is then beheaded by Saladin.

(2)The Master of the Order of St-John is Roger des Moulins

(3)The Pope was then Lucius III.

for more reference books... Bibliography
  1. "Histoire des Croisades et du Royaume Franc de Jerusalem (3 volumes)"
    René Grousset ; Librairie Académique Perrin 1991
  2. "Armorial des Maîtres de l'Ordre du Temple"
    Bernard Marillier ; Editions Pardès, 2000
  3. "Les Grands Maîtres de l'Ordre du Temple"
    Jacques Rolland ; Editions Dervy, 2004
  4. "Histoire des Templiers"
    J.-J.-E. Roy ; Editions Pardès, 1999
  5. "The Central Convent of Hospitalers and Templars - History, Organization and Personel (1099/1120-1310)"
    Jochen Burgtorf ; Editions Brill, 2008
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Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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