Querimonia desolacionis terre sancte – The fall of Acre and the Holy Land in 1291 as an emotional element in the Teutonic Order tradition
Mirabilia, 15 (2012/2)
The fall of Acre to the Muslim forces in 1291 was one of the devastated events in the history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The fall of main Crusader city in fact the capitol of the Latin Kingdom, was the last military episode in long history of the Crusader resistance in the Holy Land. The fall of Acre had a decisive influence on the Christian population, the Church and the nobility throughout Europe. It created also a forceful impact on the Military Orders, affecting their capability and strength. This article will focus on one of the main Military Orders in the Holy Land – the Teutonic Order, and on the manner in which the fall of the Holy Land had influenced the empowering of its tradition. Major chronicles of the Teutonic Order, written in the first half of the fourteenth century by its brethren Peter von Dusburg and Nicolaus von Jeroschin show it clearly. This critical event in which the Teutonic Knights also participated is treated as a central event. Despite the time that elapsed from the fall of the Latin Kingdom and the long distance from the Teutonic fighting in the Baltic region, this crucial event in the Holy Land had become a symbol destined as a lament (Klage in German). This lament represented an emotional and sense of pain caused by the great loss the suffering associated with the fall of the Holy Land.
This article will further accentuate the assertion that even among the members of the Teutonic Order within the borders of Christianity in the Baltic region, well separated from Christian activity in the Mediterranean basin, the fall of the Holy Land had been fundamental. It had dominated the emotional state in the Teutonic order, affecting its evolving traditions. In had become the means through which the Teutonic Order had expressed solidarity with the pain caused by the loss of the Holy Land, the place where their traditions began and was further shaped their medieval heritage.