Crusade and Society in eastern Europe
The Hospital and The Temple in Poland and Pomerania 1145-1370
(British Thesis Service London University - 1994)

Auteur(s) : Paul Vincent Smith

Crusade and Society in eastern Europe - The Hospital and The Temple in Poland and Pomerania 1145-1370
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Description :

This thesis uses the record of benefaction in Europe to the Military Orders of the Hospital and the Temple to measure regional crusading support and to provide a description of the contribution of countries outside the crusading heartland, in particular the Empire, Poland, the Czech lands and Hungary, to Europe's crusading enterprise between 1145 and 1291.

Through critical interpretation of published sources and secondary literature, making use of more than 400 original documents, among them several from the Hospitallers' Prague archive which remain unpublished, it examines in detail, for the first time as a whole, the endowment of both orders and the establishment of their houses on the territory of the Piast rulers of Poland and in the two Slav principalities of Pomerania.

At the same time it assesses the development of the Military Orders' estates in terms of the relative importance of initial endowment, subsequent acquisition, plantation of new properties and alteration in the terms of ownership; in so doing, it aims to contribute to the correction of a long-standing but erroneous model for the economic development of 13th and 14th century Poland.

Through an examination of local conditions it postulates a model for the creation of Hospitaller and Templar houses and the evolution of provincial hierarchies. It examines available information for the internal administration of both orders, the activity of their officials, and the number, nationality and regional connections of their membership. It provides new information on the evolution of independent prioral offices in the Hospital's two provinces of Bohemia and of Eastern Germany from 1291.

The local involvement of both orders is set in context and closely defined for the regions under consideration. The penetration of Eastern European society by crusading ideology is examined as a necessary background to reassessment of the early activity of 'national' military orders and the Teutonic Knights in the Baltic theatre.


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