The ORDER OF THE DRAGON

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The ORDER OF THE DRAGON

Postby webmaster » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:50 am

"THE HISTORY OF THE ORDER
OF THE DEFEATED DRAGON


The Order of the Defeated Dragon ( German: Drachenorden; Latin: Societas Draconistrarum )
was formally established in the year 1418 by charter of the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund,
and his second wife (Barbara Cilli) after the Council of Constance, to defend the Church
against the heretics, especially the Hussites. The defeated dragon is a symbol of the
destruction of heresy. The Order flourished in Germany, and Italy, Members of the Order
were known as draconists.

In the second half of the fourteenth century, many kings founded their own orders of
knights to support their thrones. Notable examples are: the Order of the Garter in
England, the Order of Jug in Aragon, the Order of Scarf in Bohemia etc. Unlike the famous
military orders of the Templars or the Hospitallers these orders were secular in nature.

After Sigismund's decisive victory in Bosnia, the king decided to found his own secular
order. The members were important political allies and vassals, the pillars of Sigismund
power. The name of the order refers to St. George. The sigils of the order were an ouroborus
and the flaming cross.

On December 13, 1418, the charter for the Order was publicly announced, dedicating the
Order to the defense of the cross from its enemies, particularly the Ottomans and
Hussites. The founding twenty-four members were inducted in 1418, including:

Sigismund of Luxembourg , King of Hungary
Stefan Lazareviæ of Serbia
King Alfonso of Aragon and Naples
King Ladislaus II of Poland
Grand Prince Vytautas of Lithuania
Duke Ernst of Austria
Christopher III , Duke of Bavaria and King of Denmark
Pipo of Ozora
Despot Stefan Lazarevic of Serbia
King Vladislav Jagello of Poland
Thomas de Mowbray , Duke of Norfolk (after 1439)
Vlad Tsepesh , Duke of Wallachia (after 1431)

The University of Bucharest annotation to the original edict which establishes the
Order reads O Quam Misericors est Deus, Pius et Justus, which may be part of the emblem.

In 1431, Sigismund chose to expand the ranks of the Order. To achieve this, he invited
a number of politically influential and militarily useful vassals and nobles for
indoctrination into the Order. Included in this ceremony was Vlad II Dracul, father of
Vlad Þepeº, who was serving as frontier commander guarding the passes from Transylvania
to Wallachia. (The post-title Dracul refers to being invested with the Order of the Dragon.)

The addition of new members caused the creation of many classes within the Order.
Each class had a slight variation on the symbol of the order, although the dragon
motif was dominant in each variation. Common changes included the addition of
inscriptions like O Quam Misericors est Deus ("Oh, how merciful God is") and Justus
et Paciens ("Justifiably and peacefully"). The order remained prominent until the
death of Sigismund in 1437. Without a strong sponsor, the Order quickly lost
influence and prestige.

Few historical artifacts of the Order remain today, although the symbol of the Order
has been adopted for many family crests throughout Europe. A copy, dating to 1707,
of the edict forming the Order is the oldest historical artifact of the Order and is
stored at the University of Bucharest.

The Order was revived by Imperial Decree of His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Karl
Friedrich of Germany, in His formal capacity as the de jure Holy Roman Emperor Charles
VIII, on the 1st of August, 2001. His Imperial Highness, formally assumed the postion
of Sovereign Grand Master of The Order of the Defeated Dragon and Supreme Dragon
Knight Universal.

His Imperial Highness, has assumed the Sovereign Grand Mastership of the
Order of the Defeated Dragon and is held under His personal protection.
___________
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