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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, 09:24:22 pm »

aid whenever it was necessary; to defend him against all unbelieving kings and princes; not to fly before these unbelieving foes; not to alienate the goods of the order; to be loyal to the prince of the country; to be chaste; and to aid all spiritual persons, especially the Cistercians, by words and by deeds.

Under the provincial-masters stood the priors, bailiffs, or masters, who governed large districts of the provinces, and had under their inspection several of the houses of the order and their preceptors. They dwelt in large temple-houses, with a good number of knights; they had the power of holding chapters, and of receiving members into the order.

The preceptors were subordinate to the priors; they presided over one or more houses. They were generally knights, but they were sometimes priests. They were of two kinds--house-preceptors and knight-preceptors; the former, as their name denotes, merely presided over the houses, and might be priests or serving-brethren; the latter, who were probably only to be found in the East or in Spain, led each ten knights in the battle.

Another office to be found among the Templars was that of visitors. These were knights, who, as the representatives of the Master, visited the different provinces of the order, especially in the West, to reform abuses, make new regulations, and terminate such disputes and law-suits as were usually reserved for the decision of the Master and the chapter. All the provincial officers, even the great-priors, were subject to the visitors, as the representatives of the Master. The powers of the visitors ceased as soon as the business ended for which they were sent, or when they were recalled.

Besides the foregoing offices, which were almost exclusively confined to the knights, there were some inferior ones appropriated to the serving-brethren.

p. 263

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