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MEDIEVAL CZECH CHIVALROUS CRUSADERS

 

Written by Alastair Millar

Transcribed by Isabelle de Foix

 

This is a list of the Masters of Grand Masters of the Chivalrous Order of the Crusaders of the Red Star (to give it its full name), the only male religious order to have been founded in the Czech lands, and to always had its centre in Prague, from its foundation in 1237 to the present day. These are the Grand Masters from our period of study, and thus voila, their names are period!

 

1237—1248: Albert

1248—1260: Konrad, zv. Svab (“the Swabian”)

1260—1276: Merbot z Ratiboru

1276—1282: Otto, zv. Sas (“the Saxon”)

1282—1296 (?) Ekard

1296—1313: Fridrich I

1313—1324: Rudiger

1324—1351: Oldrich

1351—1352: (?)  Jindrich

1352—1363: Fridrich II

1380—1407: (?) Zdenik

1407(?)—1419: Mikulas I. Capsky (expelled)

1419—1426:  Jan Capsky (removed)

1426—1428: Vaclav Holub ze Skorkova

1428—1454: Erazim (Erasmus)

1454—1460:  Ondrej Pesmet (expelled)

1460: Jan Hulec (resigned)

1460—1490: Mikulas Puchner

1490—1511: Matij z Toebska (ze Strebska)

1511—1552: Vaclav z Hradesina

1552—1580: Antonin Brus

1580—1590: Martin Medek

1590—1606: Zbynek Berka z Dube

1606—1612: Karel, svobodny pan z Lambergu

1612—1622: Jan Lohel (Lohelius)

1622—1667: Arnot Vojtech hrabe z Harrachu

 

This data comes from the new “Encyklopdie Radu a Kongregaci v Ceskych Zemich, I. dil: Rady Rytioske a Koizovnici” (Encyclopedia of Orders and Congregations in the Czech Lands) by Milan Buben, published by nakl. Libri in Prague, 2002 (ISBN: 80-7277-085-3) .

 

The Order is known in Latin as the “Ordo militaris Crucigerorum cum rubea stella in pede pontis Pragensis” (from the location of its mother monastery, which still stands next to the Charles Bridge in Prague), and the “Ordo sacrorum ac militarium Crucigerorum cum rubea stella”. It has the distinction of having been founded at the instigation of one the last of the Premyslids—St. Agnes (1200—1282). The Premyslids were for centuries the ruling house of Bohemia.

 

Those curious about surnames should note that the first surname to appear here is early fifteenth century. Judging from the other name lists given in the book (to be transcribed soon—please be patient!) this is pretty typical; surnames start to appear in the fourteenth century for Czech names, and became more common in the fifteenth century. Bear in mind, however, that these are not commoners…and also that the French and Germans were using surnames somewhat earlier (cf. Arnold Kropf, Provincial Commander of the Order of Teutonic Knights in Prague in 1279).