Sunday, May 24, 2009
To review further Vanished Kingdom, May 5 below, in his chapter Marienburg, J. Roy reflects on the movie Alexander Nevsky and 'what was the nature of the Teutonic Knights,' formally The Order of St. Mary's Hospital. 'Certainly the Knights were rough men and the dreadful circumstances of their trade would probably nauseate any.. The early knights were monks, lay brothers who followed the ancient monastic routine... Forbidden to them were the usual daily prerogatives of the knightly class - the pleasures of the hunt, the courtship of women. They ate sparingly, a diet of eggs and tough bread, very little meat. In battle they were bullied and cursed by their masters, ordered to act as a unit and not allowed the glory of individual combat... Their quest is not the Holy Grail but martyrdom. This was no false or vainglorious chivalry. God was simple then. He was either right or he was wrong. Medieval man had no difficulty ascertaining which. The ethos of Prussia was created single-handedly by the Teutonic Knights. Their standards became an inbred element of response and attitude.'