Everywhere, the commanderies also developed special relationships with the worlds of trade and crafts. Some examples.

In Manosque, the Hospitallers sold wool and hired out the services of their paroir in return for a fee called a parature. In Perpignan, the Knights Templar, who owned property in the heart of the commercial districts, also rented stalls to butchers and oil merchants, as well as land and workrooms in their Saint-François housing estate.

With wool, hides and meat, the military orders, which had developed speculative livestock farming, controlled both the supply of raw materials and the sale of processed products. Links with the urban working classes were all the closer as the new towns built by the militias were mainly inhabited by craftsmen, as has been established in Avignon and Perpignan. Finally, in the port cities, the two military orders were particularly close to the circles of Mediterranean pre-capitalism. However, these relationships, which are obscured by the commanderies' own archives, can only be identified in the rare towns with early notarial series, such as Marseille.

By renting out production and sales premises, it is easy to see how the commanderies benefited from the general increase in demand for food and manufactured products. But the commanderies also sold their own surpluses on the markets, an activity that is often only hinted at in the documentation. The urban commanderies were therefore fully integrated into the monetary economy. In 1264, for example, the Temple of Perpignan provided 43% of the cash income of the Mas Déu commandery, i.e. of all the houses in Roussillon.

This blog presents quotes, translated from French by TN, from Damien CARRAZ, Les ordres militaires et le fait urbain en France méridionale (XII e-XIII e siècle), dans les Cahiers de Fanjeaux 44, source ufr3.univ-montp3.fr, consulted 2023-07-25. Illustration working the land, from the Luttrell Psalter, British Library, Public Domain

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