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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1695 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #90 on: February 01, 2009, 08:56:50 pm »

place, after the Emperor Frederic II. had seized so much of the property of the order in Sicily.

In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, the order had no possessions whatever. Though the people of these countries took some share in the crusades, and were, therefore, not deficient in religious zeal, their poor and little-known lands offered no strong inducements to the avarice or ambition of the knights of the Temple, and they never sought a settlement in them.

We thus see that, with the exception of the northern kingdoms, there was no part of Europe in which the order of the Temple was not established. Everywhere they had churches, chapels, tithes, farms, villages, mills, rights of pasturage, of fishing, of venery, and of wood. They had also, in many places, the right of holding annual fairs, which were managed, and the tolls received, either by some of the brethren of the nearest houses or by their donates and servants. The number of their preceptories is, by the most moderate computation, rated at 9,000; and the annual income of the order at about six millions sterling--an enormous sum for those times! Masters of such a revenue, descended from the noblest houses of Christendom, uniting in their persons the most esteemed secular and religious characters, regarded as the chosen champions of Christ, and the flower of Christian knights, it was not possible for the Templars, in such lax times as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, to escape falling into the vices of extravagant luxury and overweening pride. Nor are we to wonder at their becoming objects of jealousy and aversion to both the clergy and the laity, and exciting the fears and the cupidity of an avaricious and faithless prince.


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Footnotes
245:* The Armenia of the crusades was a part of Cilicia.

246:* They will be found in Campomanes, p. 80, and Münter p. 421.

247:* The possessions of the Templars in England will be found in the works of Dugdale and Tanner.



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