As may easily be imagined, the Christians were deeply exasperated by such a peace; the Turks rejoiced, and only Saladin looked forward with anxiety to the future, and feared dangerous consequences from the duration of even the smallest Christian dominion in the East. The most active and friendly intercourse, rarely disturbed by suspicion, soon began between the two nations. On the very scene of the struggle mutual hatred had subsided, commercial relations were formed, and political negotiations soon followed. In the place of the mystic trophy which was the object of the religious war, Europe had gained an immense extension of worldly knowledge and of wealth from the struggle of a hundred years.
THEIR ORGANIZATION AND HISTORY
Scarcely less renowned than the Knights Templars, the Teutonic Knights carried the spirit and traditions of the great military religious orders of the Middle Ages far into the modern period. No earlier date for the foundation of the order than 1190 is given on recognized authority, its actual beginning, like that of the other orders of its kind, being humble and obscure.
It appears that about 1128 a wealthy German, having participated in the siege and capture of Jerusalem, settled there, and soon began to show pity for his unfortunate countrymen among the pilgrims who came, receiving some of them into his own house to be cared for. When the work became too great for him there, he built a hospital, in which he devoted himself to nursing sick pilgrims, to whose support he likewise gave all his wealth. Still the task outgrew the means at his command, and in order to increase his charity he began to solicit alms. While he took care of the men, his wife performed a like service for poor women pilgrims.
Soon they were joined by many of their wealthier countrymen who had come to fight for the Holy Land. Presently they “banded themselves together, after the pattern of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and united the care of the sick and poor with the profession of arms in their defence, under the title of Hospitalers of the Blessed Virgin.” These Teutonic Hospitalers continued their work, in hospital and field, until the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, and the conqueror, in recognition of their benevolent services, consented that some of them should remain there and continue their work. Out of these lowly beginnings grew one of the most powerful and widespread of the military religious orders.
It was during the siege of Acre, 1189-1191, that the Teutonic Order received its final and complete organization as one of the great military religious orders of Europe. The German soldiers suffered great miseries from sickness