This study examines the work of the military and religious orders of the Knights Templar (founded 1120) and Knights Hospitaller (founded c.1099), both of whom were a driving force throughout the long history of the crusades. Using original charters to analyse their activities in their administrative heartland in south-west France, it sets them in the context of contemporary religious life and economic organization.;Recruitment, fundraising, farming, shipping, and communal life are all touched upon, and the orders' commitment to crusading through control and supply of manpower, money, arms and supplies is continually assessed. Selwood shows the orders at the centre of religious life, highlighting their success compared with other new orders, such as the Cistercians, and looking at their relationships with the secular and monastic church.;Other themes addressed include the orders' relationship to Occitanian society and to the laity, their involvement with pilgrimage to Jersusalem, their innovative administrative structures, and their logistical operations.