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“Nolite confidere in principibus”: The Military Orders’ relations with the rulers of Christendom

Nicholson, Helen Jane 2015. “Nolite confidere in principibus”: The Military Orders’ relations with the rulers of Christendom. In: Josserand, Philippe, Oliveira, Luís F. and Carraz, Damien eds. Élites et Orders Militaires au Moyen Age: Recontre Autour d’Alain Demurger, Madrid: Casa de Veláquez, pp. 261-276.

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Abstract

As Alain Demurger has noted, the military religious orders in Prussia and Rhodes were themselves states, «dont une bonne partie des ressources provient des domaines possédés et exploités dans d’autres États souverains »—and, as he went on to add, it was hardly surprising that the kings of modern states reacted against these orders: «Comment un roi de France […] pouvait-il accepter la présence d’un ordre international, soumis au pape mais indépendant de fait ? » Yet, whatever their privileges in theory, in practice the military religious orders were not independent of secular powers, nor of the local ecclesiastical authorities, the bishops and archbishops. In order to survive and to pursue their vocation of the defence of Christendom, they had to negotiate with those who held power, to protect their lands and their incomes and to ensure that they could export resources and personnel to the East. They relied on the powerful elites of Christendom to assist them in their work. However, those in power generally expected some return for their assistance, and not simply the spiritual reward of prayer. This keynote paper considers how the military religious orders balanced the demands of the powerful elites against the defence of Christendom, and argues that sometimes balance was impossible to achieve.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Additional Information: Proceedings of the conference Élites et ordres militaires au Moyen Age: Rencontre en l’honneur d’Alain Demurger, at Lyon, 21-23 Octobre 2009.
Publisher: Casa de Veláquez
ISBN: 9788415636885
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/72018

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