While the Holy Land was thus at peace, crusaders were also being drawn elsewhere by the needs of the Latin empire of Constantinople, or the attractions of the Albigensian Crusade.2 But Innocent could never consent to forget Jerusalem, as long as his right hand retained its cunning.
Destined originally for the Church, he had preferred to become a knight, and in forty years of tournaments and fights he had won himself a considerable reputation, when in 1208 envoys came from the Holy Land to ask Philip Augustus, king of France, to select one of his barons as husband to the heiress, and ruler of the kingdom, of Jerusalem.
He stayed in the Holy Land little more than a month after his coronation; and leaving in May he soon overcame the papal armies in Italy, and secured absolution from Gregory IX.
In the winter of 1190-91 certain pious merchants from Bremen and Lubeck (towns with which the Order was still to be connected in the days of its later history) laid the foundations of a hospital in a vessel which they had drawn ashore.(fn2) Within a few years the foundation apparently became attached to the German Church of St Mary the Virgin at Jerusalem; and in March 1198 (there being present in the Holy Land a number of Germans, the relics of Henry VI.'s projected crusade), the great men of the army and the kingdom raised the brethren of the German Hospital of St Mary to the rank of an order of knights.
She now commanded the route to the Holy Land and could supply the necessary transport, and from the Crusades her growing aristocracy reaped large profits.
They then took the vows of poverty and chastity, and pledged themselves to go to the Holy Land as missionaries or for the purpose of tending the sick; or if this design should prove impracticable, to go to Rome and place themselves at the disposal of the pope for any purpose.
They rode incessantly to battle over burning sands, in full armour 1 For instance, the abbey of Mount Sion had large possessions, not only in the Holy Land (at Ascalon, Jaffa, Acre, Tyre, Caesarea and Tarsus), but also in Sicily, Calabria, Lombardy, Spain and France (at Orleans, Bourges and Poitiers).
Bavarian For clerical accounts of Charles's voyage to the Holy Land see the Chronicon (c. 968) of Benedict, a monk of St Andre, and Descriptio qualiter Karolus Magnus clavum et coronam Domini.
With the advance of the Saracens the knights of St Lazarus, when driven from the Holy Land and Egypt, migrated to France (1291) and Naples (1311), where they founded leper hospitals.
Ture, and in 1343 made a journey to the Holy Land in disguise, and on his way took part in an expedition of the knights of the Teutonic Order against the infidel Wends and Lithuanians.