Sunday, March 9, 2008

Foundation (part 2)

The new institution was confirmed by Duke Frederick of Swabia, on November 19, 1190 and, with the capture of Acre, the founders of the hospital were given a permanent site in the city. Pope Clement III confirmed that by the Bull Quotiens postulatur of February 6, 1191. The Order was initially subordinate to the Master of the Hospital.

Some forty knights were received into the new Order at its foundation and the King of Jerusalem Frederick of Swabia selected their first Master in the name of the Pope and Emperor. The knights had to be of German birth a unique requirement among the Crusader Orders founded in the Holy Land. They were drawn predominately from the noble or knightly class. Their blue mantle, charged with a black cross, was worn over a white tunic, a uniform recognized by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and confirmed by the Pope in 1211. The waves of German knights and pilgrims who followed the Third Crusade brought considerable wealth to the new German Hospital as well as recruits. This enabled the knights to acquire the Lordship of Joscelin and, soon thereafter they built the castle of Montfort. Not as numerous in the Holy Land as either the Hospitaller or Templar Orders, the Teutonic knights were a formidable power.

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