Orders of Chivalry -
Knighthood inhabits a grey area between
the Commons of a land and it's Nobility. The concept is an ancient one
and, in its essence, revolves around a person who is a member of a distinguished
clan or lineage and who is wealthy enough to own and maintain a horse,
armour, and arms, serving their city or nation in the capacity of a semi-noble
warrior. Such a person need not hold a noble or territorial title, but
nearly always needs to be at least gentry, however that is defined by their
society. Central to the idea is that of horse-borne arms - indeed, most
words used to describe such a warrior or class evolved out of terms for
"horse" or "rider" (Caballero, Cavaleiro, Cavaliere, Chevalier, Equites,
Ritter - English forms the exception, "Knight" being derived from a word
meaning "servant, companion, minion).
This file's chivalric orders: Order of Calatrava, Knights of St. John ("Kts. of Malta"), Order of Christ, Order of Santiago, Knights Templar, and Teutonic Knights. Local Commanderies of various Orders: (St. John: Heitersheim and Sonnenburg. Templars: England, Ireland, Scotland. Teutonic: Deutschmeister, Biesen, Koblenz, Ootmarsum, and Utrecht).
Religious Orders -
Included in this file are a variety of religious orders. These priestly organizations are not chivalric in the sense of the term detailed above, but they deserve inclusion here because they resemble in many ways their knightly counterparts, being tightly-knit organizations with a spiritual focus, and international in scope.
OTHER RELIGIOUS ORDERS
The DOMINICANS The Order of Preachers (Ordo Praedicatorum), more commonly known as the Dominican Order, or Dominicans is a Catholic religious order, sometimes called "Blackfriars" because of the black cappa, or cloak, they wear over their white habits. The Dominican Order was founded by Saint Dominic in the early 13th century as an Augustinian order. It was one of the great orders of mendicant monks that revolutionized religious life in Europe during the High Middle Ages. Founded to preach the gospel and to combat heresy, the Order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers. Despite the attitude of their founder, who believed in persuasion by example, the Dominicans became closely allied with and at times dominated the Inquisition.
PROVINCIAL and DISTRICT AUTHORITIES Here are lists of various regional and local commanders of assorted chivalric orders.
Order of St. John: Grand Priory of Heitersheim Ranked as Princes of the Empire in their own right.