Templar Times

Loading...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10th Anniversary of Tahoma Chapel

Today, marks the 10th anniversary of Tahoma Chapel #30 of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of AconTahoma Chapel #30 was consecrated on August 29th, 2004, and was presided over by Sir Fred of Mount Pleasant. Tahoma Chapel #30 was the third Chapel to be created within the United States and which led to the establishment of the Grand Preceptor's Council of the Province of the United States of America with Sir Andrea of Byron as the first Right Worthy Grand Preceptor.

Today this Chapel sits at 33-members and 7-Honorary members and the officers of the chapel today are:
Worthy Master: Sir Robert of Elizabethtown

Eminent Prior: Sir Alvin of Auburn
Marshal: Sir Gregory of Roane
Treasurer: Sir Robert of Robertsdale
Secretary: Sir Barry of Les Bois
Deputy Marshal: Sir Paul of Kent
Almoner: Sir Donald of Lancaster
1st Working Knight: Sir Alexander of Kingston
2nd Working Knight: Sir Jack of Sequim
3rd Working Knight: Sir Bryant of West Fork
4th Working Knight: Sir Corby of Les Bois
Herald: Sir Mark of Rohan
Doorkeeper: Sir Paul of Mehlsack
Cellarer: Sir Milton of Kelso
Cellarer: Sir Loren of Albany
Cellarer: Sir Peter of Dungannon
Cellarer: Sir Dale of Forges of Saint Maurice
Sentry: Sir Michael of Lafayette
To commemorate our 10th anniversary, we had coins minted. Most of the coins were bronze, some were silver, and a couple were gold. One's position within the Order indicated what type of coin one received; same as the shell they wear on their uniform. Every Knight of the Chapel was given one coin free with the others costing $10.


Today the Province of the United States has 23 consecrated Chapels with a couple more that are on the way to becoming consecrated. Tahoma Chapel was a founding member of this Province and currently the Right Eminent Grand Prior and the Provincial Grand Almoner are members of this Chapel. While I have only been a member for over a year, I have enjoyed my time in organization.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord

The Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord is an appendant body originally stemming from the Order of the Secret Monitor, but in America one needs only be a member of the Allied Masonic Degrees. This is an invitational-order which requires Masons to be members of the 2nd grade/degree of the Order of the Secret Monitor known as "Prince." This order is composed of 6-grades:
Grade 1: Ostiartii or Doorkeeper
Grade 2: Lectors or Readers
Grade 3: Fellow or Healer & Exorcist
Grade 4: Councillor
Grade 5: Keeper of the Hidden Secret
Grade 6: Prince of Jerusalem
The first three Grades are conferred in a Consistory, the 4th Grade is conferred in a Council of Elders, the 5th Grade is conferred in a Council of Entrusted, and the 6th Grade is conferred in a in a Council of Princes. To be eligible for the 4th Grade, one must have presided over the Consistory. To advance to the 5th Grade, one must have received the four previous Grades and be an officer (appointed or elected) Grand Council of AMD for the USA. To receive the 6th Grade, one must have received the 5th Grade and have served as an elected Grand officer within the American AMD.

The 1st Grade tells the story of Rahab and his hiding the Jewish spies from the King of Jericho. The 2nd Grade tells the story of Ruth, her marriage to Boaz, and her son Obed, the grandfather of David. The 3rd Grade surrounds the resolve of the Maccabees to retain their faith in the face of tyranny. The 4th Grade depicts the carrying of the Ark of the Covenant over the River Jordan and its entrance into Jericho. The 5th Grade surrounds Nebuchadnezzar attack on Jerusalem and accounts for the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant. The 6th Grade is centered on the Maccabees fight for independence around 150 BC.

Every member wears a scarlet cord, but the fashion in which it is worn may change depending on what grade you hold.


1st Grade Jewel

2nd Grade Jewel

3rd Grade Jewel
If adorned with the silver anointing horn indicates the wearer has been installed as a President of a Consistory

4th Grade Jewel

5th Grade Jewel (silver)
6th Grade Jewel (gold)

Within the United States, the Order is still small with only a couple of courts established. The Grand officers of the Grand Council of the AMD of the USA also sit as Grand officers of the Grand Conclave of the Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America. They correspond as follows:
Grand Conclave (Grand Council)
Grand Summus (Sovereign Grand Master)
Deputy Grand Summus (Deputy Grand Master)
Grand Chancellor (Senior Grand Warden)
Vice Grand Chancellor (Junior Grand Warden)
Grand Treasurer (Grand Treasurer)
Grand Registrar (Grand Secretary)
Grand Director of Ceremonies (Senior Grand Deacon)
Grand Herald (Junior Grand Deacon)
Grand Episcopus (Grand Chaplain)
Grand Sword Bearer (Grand Director of Ceremonies)
Grand Guarder (Grand Marshal)
Grand Watchman (Grand Tyler)
The constituent body is known as a Conclave and is led by the following officers (with corresponding AMD Council officers):
Conclave (Council)
Sovereign Master (President)
Senior Warden (Chancellor)
Junior Warden (Vice Chancellor)
Treasurer (Treasurer)
Secretary (Secretary)
Senior Deacon (Director of Ceremonies)
Junior Deacon (Herald)
Chaplain (Episcopus)
Tyler (Watchman)
This order was established in 1889 by Bro. Frederick Adolphus Philbrick as a way to promote the Benevolent Fund of the Order of the Secret Monitor. Brother Philbrick also wrote the original rituals of the order which were rewritten and updated in 2009; although the 1st Grade is still the original version as written in 1889. The Order continued until 1929 when it fell into disuse and sat dormant for nearly 80-years.

On November 17, 2006, the Most Worthy Supreme Grand Ruler Peter Glyn Williams convened a special meeting of Summus Conclave #3 initiated 12 new members. He consecrated a new Conclave and continued to reinvigorate this Order. Within a year's time, there were over 400 members who had received the 1st Grade. It was during this time that the rituals were revised. From 2008 to 2010, this Order had spread to neighboring provinces and across to the United States, and numbered around 2,500 members.

Several Brothers from the Grand Council of the AMD of the USA went over to England in 2008 and received the first 3-grades Grand Conclave of the Order of Secret Monitor of England and Wales by authority of the Most Worthy Supreme Grand Ruler Peter Glyn Williams. Then at Masonic Week in 2009, Peter Glyn Williams conferred the 1st Grade upon 223 Masons. Then on November 11, 2009, Peter Glyn Williams conferred the Preparation and Installation of a President Ceremony upon several members of the Grand Council of the AMD of the USA.

On February 13, 2010, the Grand Conclave of the Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America was formed by authority of Brother William R. Logan who was the Sovereign Grand Master of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America, under whom the Order of the Scarlet Cord falls under in the United States. In July of 2010, the Order of the Scarlet Cord in England became an independent body from the Order of the Secret Monitor thus becoming the "Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord." This body traveled back to the United States to confer upon certain American Brothers the final two grades.

The Order has continued to grow within the United States and the Grand Conclave meets at Masonic Week in Reston, VA. The Grand Conclave of the United States is presided over by Bro. Robert G. Davis, Most Distinguished Grand Summus.


References


1. Knights of the Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Secret_Monitor#Knights_of_the_Scarlet_Cord 

2. Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Allied Masonic Degrees: http://www.alliedmasonicdegrees.org/scarletcord.htm 

3. The Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Conclave of the Order of the Secret Monitor for Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea: http://www.osmnorthernaustralia.org.au/Scarlet_cord.htm 

4. The Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Provincial Grand Conclave of Durham of the Order of the Secret Monitor: http://www.osm.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26&Itemid=8 

5. Williams, P. G. (2001, June 8). History. Retrieved from The Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord: http://www.thescarletcord.org.uk/history.html

Monday, October 20, 2014

2015 Masonic Week

The 2015 Masonic Week schedule is now out on the internet. Masonic Week originated with the Allied Masonic Degrees in 1938 and over time, more and more groups have jumped on board and expanded the program. At this one, the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis will not be meeting as they have moved their next Annual Convocation to November 7, 2015, and which is being held at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. The 2015 Masonic Week will be from January 28th through February 1st which is a bit earlier than usual, but this was done due to conflict with the Grand Master's Conference of North America that was occurring on the other side of the States.

Official Program

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
8:00 AM - The Masonic Order of Athelstan, Province of USA
12:00 PM - Athelstan Luncheon
1:30 PM - Consecration of New Courts 
4:00 PM - Opening of the Provincial Grand Court of the United
6:00 PM - Banquet sponsored by the Masonic Order of Athelstan, Province of USA

Thursday, January 29th, 2015
8:00 AM - Trinity Chapel #12, St. Thomas of Acon
10:00 AM - Institution and Consecration of 2 new Chapels in USA
11:00 AM - Grand Preceptor’s Council Meeting
12:00 PM - Festive Board (Acon Members and the Ladies only)
1:30 PM - Grand Master’s Council Special Ceremonies
2:30 PM - The Order of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America
7:00 PM - All Masonic Banquet

Friday, January 30th, 2015
7:30 AM - Breakfast sponsored by Convent General KYCH
8:30 AM - Grand Council Knight Masons, USA
11:00 AM - Society of Blue Friars
12:00 PM - Luncheon sponsored by the Knight Masons
2:00 PM - Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest, Grand College of America
6:30 PM - Scarlet Cord Consistory Festive Board
6:30 PM - The Masonic Society Annual Dinner
6:30 PM - The Great Priory of America, CBCS Annual Banquet and Meeting
8:00 PM - Conferral of Councillor Grade Conferred in a Council of Elders of the Scarlet Cord
9:00 PM - Ye Antiente Order of Corks

Saturday, January 31st, 2015
7:00 AM - Breakfast sponsored by York Rite Sovereign College 
9:30 AM - Grand College of Rites of the USA 
11:00 AM - Nine Muses Council No. 13 
12:00 PM - Luncheon sponsored by The Philalethes Society
1:00 PM - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor
2:30 PM - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic
6:00 PM - AMD Social Hour
7:00 PM - Grand Council AMD Installation Banquet
9:00 PM - Masonic Order of the Bath

Sunday, February 1st, 2015
8:30 AM - The Operatives, United States of America Region
9:00 AM - Lodge of Menatzchim V° 
10:30 AM - Lodge of Harodim VI° 
12:00 PM - Operatives Brunch 
1:30 PM - Bull Run Quarry Assemblage (VA)
I plan on attending, but won't make the same mistake I did last year with dealing with the airlines and Mother Nature.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Torch of Light

by Ezekiel Mu'Akil Bey


One dark clear night I looked outside 
And wondered what's beyond the lights 
The twinkle dots a world so vast 
The blinks of stars remind of glass 

My mind began to leave my soul 
To travel far beyond the poles 
The speed of light became a breeze 
I wondered what, what could this be 

An infinite space so broad to grasp 
No human feeling could ever match 
The guide I had I could not see 
Then I remembered my three degrees 

I saw the lights becoming close 
With guides unknown of many host 
I understood what just appeared 
Masonic travel became so clear 

I just perceived what's to unfold 
My first entrance, which I behold 
I thought of all, in mind in me 
And recollected my first degree 

The more I traveled the more I saw 
Between two stars my mind had told 
A story far beyond the spheres 
Of working tools I held so dear 

And then I fell in deep black holes 
Passing in and on in chambers toll 
I thought again what could this be 
And then I thought of two degrees 

My mind controlled all moves I made 
But to return I wished and prayed 
I swore to keep all oaths 
I took The 3rd degree all clear it spoke 

On my return I saw the Lord 
And asked him why, what was this all 
The birth of man is but a porch 
To live the life of burning torch 

Can't you remember I spake the word 
And you appeared with all to learn 
With force and power "LET THERE BE LIGHT" 
And I became a torch of Light.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Installed as Grand Orator

Well, today ended the 147th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho and the 2014-2015 officers, elected and appointed, were installed today. Brother G. Arthur Shoemaker now sits as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho and I look forward to next year. 

I have the pleasure of serving the Grand Lodge of Idaho as the Grand Orator. Art served as Worshipful Master of my Lodge in 2008 while I served as Senior Warden so I happily accepted the appointment when Art approached me this last Summer. As Grand Orator it is my duty to deliver an address at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge on a Masonic topic as well as dedications and other times as designated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master. I look forward to serving in this capacity and serving the Brethren of Idaho.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ancient City of Tyre

In Freemasonry, we learn a bit about the Biblical character Hiram, King of Tyre, or Hiram I, who was an ally of King David and King Solomon, and who was integral in the building of King Solomon's Temple. During Hiram's reign 10th century BC, the height of the kingdom of Tyre, improvements such as cisterns, ports, shipyards, temples, and palaces, were made to the island and made it a jewel in the Mediterranean region.

Tyre, also known in Arabic as Ṣūr, is located 83-km south of Beirut and is the fourth largest city in what is now Lebanon, and which was known for being the dominant city-state of the Phoenician Empire. The literal translation of Tyre is "rock" as the original location of Tyre was very rocky. According to statements made to Herodotus, the city of Tyre was founded around 2750 BC. Originally it was a heavily fortified island, but over the centuries it has been connected to the mainland. The city had many plazas and squares, but due to the space restrictions of the island many of the buildings were built taller and were the sky-scrapers of their time. The Tyrian Island had two harbors, one on the northern and southern sides of the island; these two harbors gave it maritime prominence is ancient days. The northern harbor is still in use today. Prior to Alexander the Great, Tyre was just an island and on the mainland there was a community known as Ushu, but known as Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre, by the Greeks. This mainland city was primarily used for supplying the island as it sat at the foot of mountains and near the gorge of the ancient Leontes River, and they prospered as a result of the maritime wealth accumulated by Tyre.

Tyre has had a profound effect on the history of civilization. Tyre was a maritime power in the Mediterranean and was known as "Queen of the Sea." Around the 700 BC, Phoenician traders began to expand their trade. In turn this expansion led the Tyre establishing colonies around the Mediterranean such as Carthage and as far west as Spain. They traded first with wood, metals, salves, wine, and glass, but one of its trades it was known for, was its rare purple dyes which were used primarily by royalty as it was so costly. It was the purple dye that gave the Phoenicians their name as Phoenician means "purple people," originating from the Greek word "phoinios" meaning "purple." It is said that the alphabet into Greece was attributed to Cadmus of Tyre. The sister of Cadmus was named Europa and which it is believed that the continent was named. It there prowess on the seas and in trade that made them such a great match for King David and King Solomon, and the building of the Temple.

Tyre was continuously attacked by nation and empire; the Persians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Crusaders, and Arabs. The Phoenicians were defeated by Cyrus the Great and Tyre was created one of the four vassal kingdoms of the Empire. Under the Persians, the Tyre was known for furnishing ships. Alexander the Great attempted to lay siege, but was originally unsuccessful. He had to destroy Ushu to build a causeway to the island was he enabled to bring siege engines and scale the walls of Tyre. He was brutal to the people of Tyre; he executed many of the males who were of age to serve in the military, sold thousands to slavery, and razed the city to the ground. This brutality stems from the Tyrians killing an ambassador that Alexander has sent to them asking for a peace treaty. Alexander's primary goal was Egypt, but after the death of his ambassador, he had to set an example. Although the people received brutal treatment, the King, Azemilcus, or Azimilik, was spared. The city would eventually be rebuilt and they regained autonomy, but never to the prominence they once were and eventually they would be enveloped by the Roman Empire.

The city of Tyre was captured by the Crusaders in 1124 and would become an important city in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Tyre was the site for the Archbishop of Tyre, the most notable of whom was William of Tyre who is known for recording the history of the medieval Knights Templar. In 1291, Tyre was taken by the Mameluks and then became a part of the Ottoman Empire. This lasted until the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the state of Lebanon in 1920. At the present day, Tyre covers a larger part of the island and has expanded along the causeway (expanded greatly since Alexander's time) toward the mainland. It is primarily composed of Shia Muslims, but has a small community of Sunnis as well as Christians. Along with fishing, tourism is a primary source of income. This ancient city has had impact on the world that covers the histories of ancient empires, religious traditions, and even the legends of our ancient and honorable Fraternity.

References

1. Byers, G. (2010, January 26). The Biblical Cities of Tyre and Sidon. Retrieved from Associates for Biblical Research: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/01/26/the-biblical-cities-of-tyre-and-sidon.aspx#Article 

2. Ellis, E. S., & Home, C. F. (1913). The Ancient City of Tyre. Retrieved from Public Bookshelf: http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The_Story_of_the_Greatest_Nations_and_the_Worlds_Famous_Events_Vol_1/ancientc_jg.html 

3. List of kings of Tyre. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kings_of_Tyre 

4. Mark, J. J. (2009, September 2). Phoenicia. Retrieved from Ancient History Encyclopedia: http://www.ancient.eu/phoenicia/ 

5. Mark, J. J. (2009, September 2). Tyre. Retrieved from Ancient History Encyclopedia: http://www.ancient.eu.com/Tyre/ 

6. Padfield, D. (1994). The Destruction Of Tyre. Retrieved from The Church of Christ: http://www.padfield.com/1994/tyre.html 

7. Phoenicians. (n.d.). Retrieved from Time Maps: http://www.timemaps.com/civilization/Phoenicians 

8. Tyre. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyre,_Lebanon 

9. Tyre. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Brittanica: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/611914/Tyre/ 

10. Tyre (Sour). (n.d.). Retrieved from Tyre City Webpage: http://tyros.leb.net/tyre/ 

11. Tyre, Lebanon. (n.d.). Retrieved from About: http://atheism.about.com/od/bibleplacescities/ig/Tyre-Lebanon-Phoenician-Photos/Tomb-of-Hiram-1.htm

Saturday, September 6, 2014

30th Birthday

Well, here's to 30 amazing years on this planet!!! I have a great family, I've traveled around the world, I've had the pleasure of serving in the military, I'm going through an amazing journey through Freemasonry, I'm in my final semester as an undergraduate at Boise State, and I look forward to what the future may bring to my life.

Now it's time to relax before going to dinner tonight with the family and then a night on the town with my friends.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Teutonic Knights

Another chivalric order that was established during the Crusades was the "Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem" or Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, or also known as the Teutonic Knights. This medieval order was primarily composed of German nobles and, similar in duty with the Templars and Hospitalliers, it was established to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals, but in comparison to other knighthoods was relatively small.

Noblemen would serve as either Knights or Priests (thought nobility was not required for priests) while those of common lineage would compose the infantry or work as book-keepers or in the hospitals (this third class was often referred to as serving brothers). The knights took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Life as a knight was communal, they owned nothing personally and, in keeping of their vows, the armor they donned in battle was plain and simple. The uniform of the knights was a white surcoat with a black cross (often a cross pattée) upon the left shoulder. The squires also used these same colors so they could be identified with the Teutonic order. The motto of the Order was: "Helfen, Wehren, Heilen" or "Help, Defend, Heal". 

Hierarchy

The members of the order assembled to form the "Generalkapitel," or General Chapter, which was often used to elect the new Grand Master met annually and usually was only attended by the higher officer. For the elections, the Großkomtur of the late Hochmeister set the date and location of the elections, and once assembled he nominated a knight to serve as first elector. If approved, the first elector then nominated a second elector. This process continued until eight knights, one priest, and four members of common lineage were selected. This committee would meet privately where the first elector would make nominations for Hochmeister and only a majority vote would result in a new Hochmeister. The decision would be taken before the Generalkapitel where priests would escort the new Hochmeister to the altar to take the oath of office all the while singing the hymn "Te deum laudamus."

The order was led by the "Hochmeister" or Grand Master who was still considered "first among equals" and who served for life or resignation. This position had to be chosen from the knight class only which meant that the Hochmeister was of noble birth. Until 1525, this position was elected by the Generalkapitel and until 1466 was also sovereign prince of Prussia.

Appointed by the Hochmeister, the Großgebietiger were high officers that filled the following offices: 
The Großkomtur who was the deputy of the Hochmeister and had supervision over the clergy; sometimes referred to as Preceptor
The Treßler or Treasurer
The Spitler who was responsible for all hospital affairs
The Trapier who was responsible for dressing and armament
The Marschall who was the chief of military affairs
There were also a variety of special offices that worked for the Hochmeister. The Kanzler, or Chancellor, of the Hochmeister and the Deutschmeister. The Chancellor took care of the keys and seals and was recording clerk of the GeneralkapitelThe order was given the right to mint their own currency in 1246 and the production was overseen by the Münzmeister, or master of the mint, of Thorn. The Pfundmeister, or customs master, of Danzig. The Generalprokurator represented the order at the Holy See. The Großschäffer was a trading representative with special authority.

The Teutonic Knights were divided into three national chapters: Prussia, Livland and the territory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Each national chapter was led by a Landmeister which position was elected by the regional chapters. After 1309, the Landmeister of Prussia was also the Hochmeister. The Landmeister of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was also known as the Deutschmeister, and after Prussia and Livland were lost became the Hochmeister. With the order spread throughout the Holy Roman Empire, there was also a regional structure with supervision being left to a Bailiwick. The administrative unit at the local level was known as a Kommende and was ruled by a Komtur (Commander)

History

The Teutonic Knights were formed and recognized by Pope Celestine III in 1192 in Acre. This order was started by merchants from Lübeck and Bremen who had set up a field hospital during the Siege of Acre. This hospital was needed as German knights and soldiers suffering from sickness or wounds were left unattended as most of them did not speak Latin or French. Eventually a site within the walls of Acre were purchased. It was enlarged to include quarters for members, pilgrims and soldiers.

By 1198 the order started to turn into military order which also started the position of Hochmeister or Grand Master. In 1209 the order dropped its hospital mission and became strictly a military order. The order was given land in present day Germany and Italy, but also had property in Turkey and in the Levant (northeast of Acre). Most of the donations coming from the Holy Roman Empire. In 1214, Emperor Frederick I gave the position of Grand Master a spot in the imperial court and Frederick II exempted them from taxes and allowed use of imperial lands.

Not as strong or popular as their Templar and Hospitallier orders, the Teutonic Knights were still known for their battle prowess. They moved most of their forces to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Kipchaks, a Turkic tribal confederation. This didn't last long and in 1225 these knights were expelled by force by King Andrew II of Hungary as it was alleged the knights were attempting to place themselves under Papal instead of Hungarian sovereignty.


In 1226, Konrad I, Duke of Masovia (northeast Poland) requested help from the order to protect the borders from the pagan Prussians who were accused of destroying crops, stealing cattle, razing towns, destroying convents, murder, and sacrificing victims to their pagan gods. In 1230, the Teutonic Knights took part in the Prussian Crusade which was a joint invasion of Prussia intended to Christianize the inhabitants of the area. The Holy Roman Emperor gave the order rights of conquest and possession of Prussia. The order erected a fortress at Thorn, or Toruń (birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus) near the Vistula River and on a grove of oaks considered sacred by the pagan inhabitants.

The Teutonic Knights ruled Prussia as a sovereign monastic state (comparable to Knights Hospitallers in Rhodes and Malta). Fighting was fierce between the order and the native Prussians, but eventually the fighting died down and the people started to assimilate to the culture, religion, and language perpetuated by the order. Eventually Europeans (primarily Germanic, Flemish, or Dutch) started to emigrate to Prussia. In their conquest through the Baltic region, they defeated the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in 1237 at the Battle of Saule which resulted in the Livonian order being absorbed into the Teutonic Knights. During this time the order continued to conquer Prussian territory and even attempted to expand into the Russian Empire, but was repelled. The order then turned its focus to pagan Lithuania which was seen as equally brutal conflict as that in Prussia, but fighting in Lithuania would last for two centuries.

In Poland, the knights took over property in Chelmno Land (northern central Poland) as a base of their operations. From this the knights were able to create the independent Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights. This caused friction with the Polish monarchs and with problems with succession land disputes erupted. War erupted between Poland and the order. In 1291, the order moved its headquarters to Venice after the loss of Acre and the last Western holds in the Holy Land.

In 1309 the Knights moved their headquarters to Marienburg and the Landmeister of Prussia was merged with that of the Hochmeister. Fighting continued until 1343 when the papacy ended the conflict with the Treaty of Kalisz which left Chelmno Land to the knights, but the Poles regained Kuyavia and the Lands of Dobrzyń.

While fighting in Lithuania continued, the order was also involved with ending piracy in the Baltic Sea. The Victual Brothers were stationed on island, but were besieged and conquered in 1398.

Troubles with Poland woould be reignited after the Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania was baptized into Christianity and married Queen Jadwiga of Poland, and subsequently became King of Poland. By 1407, the order had the lands of Prussia, Pomerelia, Samogitia, Courland, Livonia, Estonia, Gotland, Dagö, Ösel, and the Neumark. The new Lithuanian-Polish alliance did not trust the order and in 1409 the "Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War" began. The Teutonic Knights were defeated in 1410 by a Polish-Lithuanian army at the Battle of Grunwald. An attempt was made to take Marienburg (headquarters of the order), but this failed due to strong resistance.

The First Peace of Thorn was signed in 1411 which allowed the Teutonic Knights to retain most of their land, but their reputation was damaged and their power began to dwindle while Poland and Lithuania rose in power. Infighting began and after a decade they began to lose lands. The knights fought against Poland again with the Polish–Teutonic War which lasted from 1431 to 1435. This war was a result of the alliance between the Teutonic order and Švitrigaila, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, who was waging a civil war against his brother King Jogaila of Poland. The Teutonic Knights invaded Poland, but was defeated. Poland allied with the Hussites to prevent Teutonic support of Švitrigaila. In 1435, Polish forces defeated and suppressed the rebellion, and the Teutonic Knights signed the Peace of Brześć Kujawski.

In the next few decades Prussia began to fall apart. Starting in 1454, the Prussian gentry and burghers rose against the order in what is known as the Thirteen Years' War. The Prussian gentry and burghers were supported by Poland and in 1466, the Second Peace of Thorn was signed recognizing Poland's rights over western Prussia. 

The Order maintained eastern Prussia with Königsberg as its headquarters and capitol. However they were no longer considered sovereign and independent, but vassals of the King of Poland. By the end of the end of 15th century it lost its property in Sicily and influence with the Papacy. The order lost complete control of Prussia and was ousted after the Polish-Teutonic War (1519-1521).

The Protestant Reformation had a strong effect on the order and in 1522 the Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg converted to Lutheranism, resigned from the order, and became the Duke of Prussia (a vassal of Poland). Martin Luther held a negative view of the order and actually wrote a letter to the knights trying to convince them break their vows as he said they were no use for God.

The order continued to lose its lands during the following century, but did maintain many of its holdings in Protestant regions of Germany and Livonia. The Livonian property was lost in 1561 when neighboring powers started partitioning off the territory during the Livonian War. The remainder of the property was in the Holy Roman Empipre and restructured the order with a 3-tier system: commanderies, bailiwicks, and the general chapter. After the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, the order was open to Protestants, but most were Catholic.

On February 9, 1801, the Treaty of Lunéville which signed the peace between France and Holy Roman Empire, the latter being defeated and which resulted for the Teutonic Knights, the loss of their lands and possessions on the left bank of the Rhine River. In 1809 Napoleon Bonaparte forced its dissolution and lost control over its holdings to Napoleon's allies. It continued to exist, but only as a ceremonial organization in Tyrol and Austria until it was banned by Hitler in 1938. It was reestablished after the end of WWII. Today it continues to exist as a philanthropic order in Vienna, Austria, seeking to care for German-speaking communities in foreign lands which was the original mission of the order. There is a Protestant branch still in existence in Utrecht, a province of Kingdom of the Netherlands.

References

1. Moeller, C. (1912). Teutonic Order. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved August 14, 2014 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14541b.htm

2. Teutonic Knights. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teutonic_Knights

3. Teutonic Knights. (n.d.). Retrieved from Middle Ages: http://www.lordsandladies.org/teutonic-knights.htm

4. Urban, W. L. (2000). The Early Years of the Teutonic Order. In The Prussian Crusade. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center. Retrieved from Monmouth College: http://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/PrussianCrusade2.htm

5. Woodhouse, F. C. (n.d.). Teutonic Knights: Their Organization And History. Retrieved from World History Center: http://history-world.org/teutonic_knights.htm

Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Semester at Boise State

Today marks the first day of my last semester as an Undergraduate student at Boise State University. This semester will be a heavy course load as I'm taking 5-courses, or 16-credits, with 4 of those classes being upper division classes: 3 History and 1 Political Science.



Fight Broncos, celebrate the orange and blue 

Boise, we'll stand and cheer for you 

Fight for distinction & our alma mater 

Bravely defending B-S-U! 

Fight on Courageously for Boise State 

Success and honor make her great 

Boise's proud tradition- 

Head's up competition- 

Glory for B - S - U 

Go! Orange! 

Go! big! blue! 

Fight! Fight! B-S-U!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Knight Crusader of the Cross

Another "chair degree," within the York Rite system, available for present and past Eminent Commanders is the Knight Crusader of the Cross. The other one is the Order of Knights PreceptorThis order is not used everywhere, but is still growing.

The body is referred to as "Asylum" and is supported by the following officers:
Knight Crusader of the East
Knight Crusader of the West
Knight Crusader of the South
Knight Crusader of the North
Knight Crusader Treasurer-Recorder
Knight Crusader of the Holy Cross
Knight Crusader of the Asylum
Knight Crusader of the Temple
This order was established in Florida in 1969. Like the other chair degrees in the York Rite, this order meets and confers this degree at the state Grand Commandery meeting which is how most "chair degrees" operate.

The initiation is opened with three brief lectures on Masonic Templary and the duties of a Commander. The candidates are then arranged according to the ritual and dubbed "Knight Crusaders of the Cross." It ends with a brief lecture on the ancient Knight Templars and an explanation of the emblem of the order and the modes of recognition of the order. The emblem of the order is the Jerusalem Cross with the motto "Non Nobis Domine Non Nobis Sed Nomini Tua Da Gloriam" or "Not to us, not to us, O Lord, But to thy name give glory."

References

1. Knight Crusaders of the Cross. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand York Rite Bodies of Tennessee: http://www.tngrandyorkrite.org/index.php?chapters=Y&page=KCC 

2. Knight Crusaders of the Cross of South Carolina. (2008). Retrieved from Grand York Rite of South Carolina: http://www.yorkrite.org/sc/kcc.pdf 

3. The "Chair Degrees" of York Rite masonry. (n.d.). Retrieved from York Rite of Freemasonry: http://www.yorkrite.com/degrees/#4