Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Templar Nobility via Henry the Lion (of Brunswick), His wife Matilda of Angevin (Anjou)

Henry the Lion (of Brunswick)

Henry the Lion became a major player in the Crusades and the Templar.
He was heir of Anjou. The first and second Grandmasters of the Templar were of this Angevin Dynasty (Anjou). These first two Grandmasters were fully operating the Templar Order without any consent of the pope. The House of Anjou founded and led the Templar for generations, long before there was any endorsement by the pope.
As Henry the Lion's, son Henry V, was their successor, it makes the house of Brunswick a worthy topic of interest for any who call themselves Templar.
Henry the Lion founded numerous Templar Commanderies in Brunswick Germany. It is also noteworthy that Henry the Lion's third son via Matilda of Anjou was Otto IV, and he became Holy Roman Emperor.
One of the most elite of our forbears was Henry the Lion. (d. 1195), duke of Saxony and Bavaria from 1156, the leader of the Welf family, the most powerful princely dynasty in Germany after the Staufen imperial family. He is the most prominent forefather of the House of Brunswick (Braunschweig-Wolfenbeuttel).
He had made great accomplishments on behalf of the Templars and regular Pilgrims at the Christian lands of Jersalem and at home.
He had also founded Templar military houses all over Germany. Within Brunswick alone there are numerous examples. The Templar houses at Brunswick in Osphalia and at Supplingenburg and Bodenrode, at Brunswick Castle, at Emmerstedt, at Hagen, Kattreppeln, Küblingen, at Königslutter and many more Brunswick Imperial, Ducal and Princely sites!
On his way to the holy lands he would take passage through Constantinople. Frederick I Barbarossa had reopened diplomatic negotiations with Byzantium and so it was the best option. He was highly respected by Emperor Manuel I Komnenos at Constantinople.
At the Holy Land his caravan was attacked by Saracen troops. So while he was there only on Pilgrimage and for diplomacy, it did happen he participated in some pitched battles. However these were not considered any of the larger official battles. On his arrival at Jerusalem he was met with considerable pomp, and received in state by the Crusader King Amalric.
In an extended account of the journey, Arnold of Lubeck in his "The Chronica Slavorum" described how Henry was met outside the gates of the holy city by the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller. He gave three eternal lamps to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: one for the Holy Sepulchre, one for Golgotha and one for the relic of the Cross.
Arnold goes on to relate how Henry gave arms and a thousand marks to each order to help pay for lands that would support their troops. The Templars accompanied him to Bethlehem and Nazareth and bade farewell to him at Antioch.
From Antioch, despite an offer of safe-conduct from the Armenian ruler of Cilicia, the duke preferred to travel by sea to Tarsos (mod. Tarsus, Turkey) on ships provided by Bohemund III, prince of Antioch. From there he was escorted by Turkish troops to meet Qilij Arslān II, sultan of Rûm, near the latter’s capital of Ikonion (mod. Konya, Turkey), where again he was received with great respect and laden with presents. Henry subsequently returned via Constantinople and the route through the Balkans by which he had come, reaching Bavaria by December 1172.
The most significant consequence of his visit was the establishment of friendly relations with the Saljûq sultan of Rûm. These diplomatic contacts set a precedent for Frederick Barbarossa’s negotiations with QilijArslān II in 1188-1189 as he attempted to secure an unopposed passage for his army across Asia Minor during the Third Crusade (1189-1192).
According to legend, Henry witnessed a fight between a lion and a dragon while on pilgrimage. He joins the lion in its fight and they slay the dragon. The faithful lion then accompanies Henry on his return home. After its master's death, the lion refuses all food and dies of grief on Henry's grave. The people of Brunswick then erect a statue in the lion's honour.[12][13][14] The legend of Henry the Lion also inspired the Czech tale of the knight Bruncvík, which is depicted on a column on Charles Bridge in Prague.

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