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Crusader Orders

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birdwatcher3000 View Drop Down
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  Quote birdwatcher3000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Crusader Orders
    Posted: 16-May-2005 at 05:43
Did the Eastern Roman Empire have any orders similar to the Hospitaller Knights, the Teutonic Knights, or the Knights Templars?
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 15:36
Hm...nothing similar, as I know of. The religious knightly orders are a distinct Western European phenomena, an amalgam of the century old monastic and knightly traditions.

The Byzantine church, as opposed to the Roman one, did not give penance for sins in return for making war, infidels or not.
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 16:16
That seems to be so. Religious "knight" orders did not seem to exist in the Eastern Roman Empire, although the Muslim Hashshahshins was similar to crusader orders. Byzantine political and military organization were different from that of western europe.

It's possible that there were Orthodox bandit/mercenary groups, but it doesn't look like they are that famous.

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  Quote giani_82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 17:40

Originally posted by Reginmund

Hm...nothing similar, as I know of. The religious knightly orders are a distinct Western European phenomena, an amalgam of the century old monastic and knightly traditions.

Actually the Japanese had similar orders in the Middle Ages as well - yamabushi, sohei and ikko-ikki to emerge the last.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall."
Confucius
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  Quote birdwatcher3000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 01:41
Thank you all of your replies.
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 01:54
Originally posted by birdwatcher3000

Did the Eastern Roman Empire have any orders similar to the Hospitaller Knights, the Teutonic Knights, or the Knights Templars?


There are a number of Neo-Byzantine organisations, mostly run by bogus claimants to the Byzantine throne, that award orders to the rich and gullible. Amongst them is the "Order of Constantine" that alledgedly was founded by the great Constantine I himself.
I'll just quote and leave it to you to decide, if to believe or not:
"On October 29th AD 312, Emperor Constantine (306-337) defeated "ad Saxa Rubra" (near Ponte Milvio in Rome) his rival Maxentius and took the supreme command of the entire Roman Empire. As everybody knows, the eve of the battle he had seen a shining Cross with the motto "In Hoc Signo Vinces"; during the night he had the divine warning of decorating the flags of his soldiers with a Cross. Constantine believed and had the Christian symbol on his flags which he called "Labarum", from the Greek "Lapbyron", which means flag of victory and Christs monogram XP". He and his sons initialled also their helmets, shields, swords and cuirasses and the soldiers did the same with their armours.

Constantine entrusted 50 Knights chosen from his cohort with the custody of the labarum.

As traditionally relate, the Emperor wanted to commemorate his victory by establishing a knightly order and personally invested the first fifty knights. The "Constantinian Golden Chivalry was established in this way (golden because of the collar made of pure gold and worn by the highest dignitaries), the oldest of the Orders of knighthood; it represents the model of all other subsequent militias in their classical meaning ."


From:

http://www.knightofmalta1.org/constantinian.html
[IMG]http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i137/komnenos/crosses1.jpg">
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 19:02
There wasn't really an effective form of crusading order similar to that of the western knights. However, the Byzantines did have a crusader spirit. Unlike the Westerners who planned all out conquest of given Holy Places, the Byzantines had a distinct frontier ideology, particularly from the 7th-11th centuries. Rather than a crusader the Byzantines had a frontiersman, a tough and resourceful fighter who would fight for the whole length of his life to keep the Empire secure. Byzantium had a much more pragmatic understanding of the Islamic world, they knew that there was never going to be one great drive south and east that would crush Islamic power totally. A good example of the Byzantine frontiersman is the story of Digenes Akritas, which best shows the attitude of Byzantium to warfare in the East.
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2005 at 14:05

In the later Byzantine period, roughly 14th-15th centuries, warrior saints and their devotional icons became quite popular as the Empire crumbled under the Ottoman advance.  I assume that native Byzantine soldiers (i.e. Greeks, Serbs, and others who were still part of the late Byzantine "Commonwealth" that Obolensky writes about) were particularly fond of these warrior saints, although I have never read of an Order or military organization similar to the religious orders developing as a result.

Saint Demetrios



Edited by Byzantine Emperor
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2005 at 03:16
Nice, I had no idea of these but I was wondering.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2005 at 12:42
I think they had a different concept of orders, they had the varangian guards descendants of vikings that served as personal bodyguards to the emperor and I'm thinking they still had  praetorian guards based on the old roman army and stuff like that. But they weren't based on religous themes but on honors bestowed by the emperor. i guess they were the closest counterparts of the western knight.
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jun-2005 at 15:24

But what was the basic army divided - I mean how, as the Roman Legions?

And it ispossible that there wwere orders that werer kept quiet about and none know of them... like used as assasins and..

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