What were the dominant martial and clerical themes to the training of knights in medieval military orders? Were there specific fighting or training techniques, or weapons, adopted to meet religious constraints? Also, what degree of additional religious competency or practice was expected from knights, and of their sergeants and officers as they progressed through the ranks?

I'm especially interested about Knights of Saint John and Knights Templar.

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    Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (a work of fiction) perhaps? The author likes to show off his erudition, so there should be relevant leads.
    – Drux
    Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 13:35
  • I have edited your question in an attempt to bring it into scope for the site. If I have misrepresented the intent of your question, please re-edit. Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 15:10
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    Have you done any preliminary research? Consulted any preliminary sources?
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 14:52
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    Did they receive their military training in these orders, or where they mostly trained and adult knights wo joined? IDK, but in your place I'd ask these question.
    – mart
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 6:12

2 Answers 2


The Catholic Encyclopedia contains a length article on the Catholic Military Orders as well as on specific orders such as the Teutonic Knights and the Knights Templar. Some key points from those articles are:

Religious State
The knights of the great orders were regarded in the Church as analogous to monks whose three vows they professed and whose immunities they shared. They were answerable to the pope alone; they had their chapels, their clerics, and their cemeteries, all exempted from the jurisdiction of the secular clergy. ....

Military Organization
The military organization of the orders was uniform, explained by that law of war which compels the belligerent to maintain his military apparatus on a level with those of his adversary, on pain of defeat. The strength of an army was in its cavalry, and to this type the armament, mounting, and tactics of the military orders conformed. The knights-brethren were the heavy cavalry; the men-at-arms-brethren, the light cavalry. ....

Economic Organization
The importance acquired by the military orders during the course of the Middle Ages may be measured by the extent of their territorial possessions, scattered throughout Europe. In the thirteenth century nine thousand manors formed the portion of the Templars; thirteen thousand that of the Hospitallers. ....


Finally, I found following books that might help me:

I will start with Monks of War, yet it seems to be mostly focused on presenting historical events rather than discussing organization, military training and spiritual practice of knights. I hope I will find there enough information which I need.

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