Teutonic Knight

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Definition

A medieval Teutonic Knight was a member of the Catholic military Deutscher Orden or Teutonic Order, officially founded in March 1198 CE. The first mission of the Teutonic knights was to help retake Jerusalem from the Arabs in the Third Crusade (1187-1192 CE), and during this failed attempt they set up a hospital outside Acre during the siege of that city. The hospital was granted the status of an independent military order by the Pope, and the knights never looked back. The Middle East proved to be too difficult to hold onto, but the ambitious order merely switched their focus to converting Christians and grabbing land in central and eastern Europe instead. With their famous black cross on a white tunic, the austere Teutonic knights became master traders and diplomats, carving out vast swathes of territory from their base in Prussia and building castles across Europe from Sicily to Lithuania.

More about: Teutonic Knight

Timeline

  • 1189 - 1192
    The Third Crusade is formed with the aim of recapturing Jerusalem for Christendom. Although some cities were recaptured, Jerusalem was not one of them.
  • c. 1190
    Teutonic knights establish a field hospital at Acre during the Third Crusade.
  • May 1198
    The Order of Teutonic Knights is officially sanctioned by Pope Innocent III.
  • 1242
    An army of Teutonic knights is defeated by the Russians at Lake Peipus.
  • 1244
    The Teutonic Order adopts a white surcoat and black cross insignia for all knights.
  • 1244
    At the battle of La Forbie near Gaza against an Ayyubid army, a devastating 437 of 440 Teutonic knights are killed.
  • 1271
    The Mamluks of Egypt and Syria capture Montfort fortress, headquarters of the Teutonic Order.
  • 1291
    The Mamluks of Egypt and Syria capture Acre, the headquarters of the Teutonic Order.
  • 1291 - 1309
    Venice is the headquarters of the Teutonic Order.
  • 1308
    The Teutonic Order acquires Danzig and eastern Pomerania.
  • 1309
    The headquarters of the Teutonic Order is moved to a fortified convent at Marienburg in Prussia.
  • 1346
    The Teutonic Order acquires control of northern Estonia.
  • 15 Jul 1410
    At the battle of Tannenburg an army of Teutonic knights is wiped out.
  • 1457
    The headquarters of the Teutonic Order is relocated to Konigsberg.
  • 1525
    The Teutonic Order is secularized in Prussia.
  • 1562
    The Teutonic Order is secularized in Livonia.
Membership