By Alan Forey
Publication through Forey, Alan
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Additional info for The Military Orders: From the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Centuries
The Militia of Christ of Livonia - also known as the order of the Swordbrethren - was established at Riga in 1202, and the order ofDobrin, which took its name from the stronghold of Dobrzyn on the Vistula, was founded in 1228 or shortly before. 36 Both were established in connection with missions. By 1202, missionary activity had been in progress in Livonia for some twenty years but had achieved little lasting success. Albert of Buxhövden, who was appointed bishop of Livonia in 1199, was not the first to realise the necessity of force, which was needed not only to protect Christians in the region but also as a means of subjugation and conversion.
They thought that it would be pleasing and agreeable to God, and more meritorious, not only to serve the poor and siek, but also to lay down their lives for Christ, and by defending the Holy Land from the enemies of the faith of Christ to engage in both spiritual and bodily warfare for Christ. 24 Some German crusaders may have decided to stay out in the East in 1198, although the Narracio reports the recruitment only of the German noble Hermann of Kirchheim at that time. The existing FOC;\;DATIONS AND LOCATIONS 23 personnel of St Thomas of Acre could not, on the other hand, have provided a nucleus of fighting men when it became a military order, for the canons were subject to the canonical prohibition on fighting; they were removed, and presumably the bishop of Winchester, who according to one chronicler was 'wellsupplied with a force of warriors', provided a military element from amongst his followers.
But the account of the foundation given by the thirteenth-century chronicler Roderick Jimenez de Rada suggests that the original intention was to defend Calatrava with crusaders and mercenaries, rather than to create a new military order: he states that the archbishop of Toledo offered indulgences to those undertaking the defence of the castle and that this appeal met with a widespread response, while the abbot brought goods from his monastery, together with 'a multitude ofwarriors to whom he supplied wages and provisions'.
The Military Orders: From the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Centuries by Alan Forey