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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 135

the souls of the departed. The admirers of valor and piety either joined their standard or enriched their coffers. Great men sent their sons to them for instruction, and the Knights Hospitallers soon became a powerful monastic and military * order. A few years later, some French gentlemen founded the equally honorable institution of the Red Cross Knights. The original design of this order, was to watch the road and keep open the communication between Europe and the Holy Land. At first they were fed and clothed by the Hospitallers, and to indicate their poverty, adopted a seal with the figures of two men on one horse. They bound themselves to the three great monastic virtues, and added some austerities, which were supposed to give them power with God and man. They were originally styled Milites Christi, but when Baldwin I. assigned them a residence in the royal palace, adjacent to the Temple of Solomon, they assumed the title of Templars, or Knights of the Temple. They wore linen coifs with red caps close over them, shirts and stockings of twisted mail, sapra vests and broad belts with swords inserted, and over the whole was a white cloak touching the ground. This order, too, rose into dignity and power ; and the military friars of the Hospital, and the Red Cross Knights of the Temple, soon became the bulwark of Christendom, " the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise." Acquainted with the roads, the Templars led the way to Damascus, and îccnstomed to succor the weak,the Hospi-tallers brought up the rear of the Christian army. The eastern and southern quarters of the city of Damascus were defended by impregnable walls ; but the north and west were faced by fields and gardens, and protected only by towers and ditches. Here the crusaders pitched their camps ; and numerous and long-continued were the en-gagein^ents between the Christians and Moslems. They succeeded in driving in the outposts of the Infidels and seizing several fortifications looked upon Damascus as their own. But now a more serious contest arose. Should Da- 144 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.

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