Knights of Christ of Prussia

General Information: 

Original Release: Scheduled for Q3, 2024 (English).

Estonian Translation: Scheduled for 2024.

By Maciej Dorna.

 

 

Format: Paperback

ISBN: TBD.

Length: TBD.

A Forgotten 13th Century Military Order.

The duke built a castle on the Vistula, called Dobrzyń, and provided enough resources and a manor farm, called Zcedelitz, and [the Knights of Christ of Prussia] came to be known as “from the castle of Dobrzyń”. And the Knights agreed with the duke: whatever land they gained from the heathens, they would divide equally.

Such was the description of the agreement made in 1228 between Duke Konrad of Mazovia and Kuyavia and Master Bruno of the Knights of Christ of Prussia in the 13th century chronicle of the Teutonic Order, so called Hermann von Salza’s Report on the Conquest of Prussia. Yet, the Knights of Christ would relinquish their autonomy only a few years later to join the Teutonic Order, giving up their hard-won privileges and territory. Was this because—as the chroniclers of the Teutonic Order would write—the Knights of Christ were poor fighters and unskilled in the art of war?

As an organization that did not thrive in the exigent winds of history, it would be easy to discount the “Order of Dobrzyn”. Yet, their origin in the wilds of 13th century Prussia and their two separate huge land grants, made by Duke Konrad, one of the most powerful men of the Poland of his day, speak of a brethren who had a vision of a bright future along with the strength of arms to carve it out. That it did not come to be, and that primary sources mention these knights for only approximately a dozen years (1228–1240) shows the impermanence of all things.

The short history of the Brothers of Dobrzyń left them little scope to carve out an architectural legacy. This title includes, in addition to a general history of the military order, summaries of the three castles they are known to have owned and numerous maps: the brothers’ known origins, the Order’s centers of power in modern Poland, and detailed views of the territory they ruled around Dobrzyń and Drohiczyn.

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