One of the most fascinating eras of the medieval times in Europe was that of The Crusades. The Crusades were the military campaigns sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in the 11th century and aimed at liberating the holy land of Jerusalem from the Muslims. However, after intermittently continuing for over two centuries, the Crusades ended in failure in 1291. Medieval knights and the Crusades were closely linked as various orders of the Knights were formed during these wars.
Crusaders Knights Religious Warriors
During the Crusades, various religious armies were formed under the instructions of the Pope which were known as orders of the knights. Medieval knights and the Crusades thus became intertwined for a long time. These orders mainly consisted of monks who were called knights of the Christ. Various orders of these knights formed during these crusades and became particularly attractive because of the promise of heaven from the Pope.
The Knights Hospitaller were religious Knights who cared for the sick Christian crusaders
Creation of the Crusader Knights
Various orders of the knights were created during the Crusades upon the orders of the Pope. Some of the most popular of these orders were Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, and Teutonic Knights. Medieval knights and the Crusades eventually became the two interlinked institutions as the knights took active part in liberating the holy lands from the infidels. Although the above mentioned were the most popular orders of medieval knights, various other orders were also created including The Poor Knights of Christ, the Temple of Solomon, and the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St John etc.
History of Crusader Knights
The history of medieval knights in the Crusades begins soon after the initiation of the Crusades. For instance, the Order of the Knights Hospitaller was founded soon after the First Crusade in 1113 and was headed by Blessed Gerard. The Order was sanctioned by a Papal Bull of Pope Paschal II. Similarly, the Order of the Knights Templar was formed in 1120 under the patronage of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Warmund. Subsequently, the knights of these orders actively participated in the Crusades till the end.
Knights Templar Crusader Knights were fearless crusader knights who would fight to the death. Knights templar were the most famous of all the crusader knights
Types of Crusader Knights, Templar, Hospitaller, Teutonic Knights
Three most powerful orders of the knights were the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller, and Teutonic Knights. Among these, the Order of the Teutonic Knights was formed in the late 12th century while the other two were formed soon after the initiation of the Crusades at the beginning of the 12th century. During the later Crusades, serious differences arose between the three Orders which also damaged the position of the Christians in the Crusades. These Orders of knights who actively participated in the Crusades gave rise to the concept of holy warriors which was to remain in the imagination of Europe over the subsequent centuries.
End of Crusader Knights
The downfall of the famous orders of the medieval knights came soon after the end of the Crusades. During the 14h century, various charges of heresy, sorcery, and sodomy were brought against the knights and the orders were disbanded. The real reasons, however, were political and economic in nature as the knights had accumulated considerable wealth during their invasions in the East. The King Philip IV of France was in deep debt to the Knights Templar and decided to use the rumours against the Order for his own purposes which became the starting point of their downfall.