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It is a basic feature of human existence that we engage in acts of mobility and hospitality and thereby seek to infuse liminal moments marked by ambiguity or disorientation with symbolic meaning. Considerable instances from pre-modern history can be found in the communal acts of the Teutonic Order. The current article seeks to show how the dual social identity of the Teutonic Knights, that is, their belonging to the estate of the praying as well as that of the fighting or ruling, was incorporated and embodied in their rituals of mobility and hospitality. By adopting and adapting practices from the world of monasticism while also taking on practices reflective of courtly-noble culture, the Teutonic Knights sought to justify and lay claim to their dual status and function in medieval society. The study investigates the Order’s rituals under the rubric of mobility and hospitality, as they are counted among the most perceptible and striking means of symbolic embodiment known to date. Such rituals galvanised and instilled a shared identity and functioned as collective means of communication.

In: East Central Europe