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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 3051 times)
Trena Alloway
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Posts: 2386

« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2009, 08:46:31 pm »

p. 242


Provinces of the Order--Eastern Provinces--Jerusalem--. Houses of this Province--Tripolis--Antioch--Cyprus--Western Provinces--Portugal--Castile and Leon--Aragon--France and Auvergne--Normandy--Aquitaine--Provence--England--Germany--Upper and Central Italy--Apulia and Sicily.

WE have thus seen what a number of persons of all ranks were more or less intimately connected with the order of the Temple, and how powerful its influence must have been throughout the Christian world. To enable the reader to form some conception of its wealth and power, we shall, previous to explaining its system of internal regulation, give a view of its possessions in various countries.

The extensive possessions of the order of the Temple, in Asia and in Europe, were divided into provinces, each containing numerous preceptories or temple-houses, and each under its appointed governor. These provinces may be classified under the heads of Eastern and Western.

The eastern provinces of the order were,

I. JERUSALEM.--This province was always regarded as the ruling one; the chief seat and capital of the order. The Master and chapter resided here as long as the Holy City was in the hands of the Christians. This being the province which was first established, its regulations and organization served as a model for all others. Its provincial Master, or, as he was styled, the Preceptor of the Land and Kingdom

p. 243

of Jerusalem, took precedence of all others of the same rank.

The bailiwicks, or commanderies, in this province, were,--

1. The Temple of Jerusalem, the cradle of the order, and the original residence of the Master and the chapter.

2. Chateau Pélerin, or the Pilgrim's Castle, renowned in the history of the crusades. This castle was built by the Templars in 1217, in order that it might be their chief seat after the loss of Jerusalem. It was situated on the east side of Mount Carmel, which runs out into the sea between Caipha and Cæsarea. The Templars had long had a tower at a pass of this mountain, called Destruction, or the Tower of the Pass, for the defence of pilgrims against the robbers who lurked in the gorges of the mountains They were aided in building the castle, which was also designed to be a defence to Acre, by Walter D’Avesnes and by the German knights and pilgrims who were at that time in the Holy Land, and hence, perhaps, they called it Chateau Pélerin. The Cardinal de Vitry, who was at that time bishop of Acre, thus describes it. It was built on the promontory, three sides of which were washed by the sea. As they were sinking the foundation, they came to two walls of ancient masonry, and to some springs of remarkably pure water; they also found a quantity of ancient coins with unknown inscriptions, given, as the bishop piously deems, by God to his beloved sons and warriors, to alleviate the toil and expense which they were at. The place had probably been fortified in former times by the Jews or the Romans. The builders raised two huge towers of large masses of rock on the landward side, each 100 feet high, and 74 broad; these were united by a lofty wall, broad enough at its summit for

p. 244

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