A military order latin militaris ordinis is a chivalric order with military elements western military orders were originally established as catholic religious societies the first orders originated during the medieval crusades with the stated purpose of protecting christians against violent persecution by islamic conquests in the holy land which later evolved into serving as a standing . A chivalric order order of chivalry order of knighthood or equestrian order is an order confraternity or society of knights typically founded during or in inspiration of the original catholic military orders of the crusades circa 1099 1291 paired with medieval concepts of ideals of chivalry. The importance acquired by the military orders during the course of the middle ages may be measured by the extent of their territorial possessions scattered throughout europe in the thirteenth century nine thousand manors formed the portion of the templars thirteen thousand that of the hospitallers. During the middle ages there were military orders indigenous throughout europe while sharing many similarities also had its own characteristics due to circumstances marked by the confrontation between muslims and christians spain in the initiation and expansion of these orders was due to prog ress known as the christian reconquest. The knights hospitaller also known as the hospitallers or order of hospitallers and the knights of st john or order of st john were among the most famous of the western christian military orders during the middle ages
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