« Avitus, Alcimus Ecdicius Aviz, Order of Awakening »

Aviz, Order of

AVIZ, ā´´vîz´, ORDER OF: An association of knights founded about 1145 by King Alfonso I of Portugal to extend his dominions into Moorish territory to the south. They were originally called nova militia; when Alfonso captured Evora from the Moors (1166) he gave it to the knights as their seat and they took the name ” Brethren of St. Maria of Evora,” and after 1211, when Alfonso II gave them the town of Aviz (75 m. n.e. of Lisbon), they were known as the ” Brethren (or Knights) of Aviz.” Their constitution, which, besides the three customary vows, imposed also the obligation to fight against the infidels, was prepared in its main outlines by the Cistercian abbot Johannes Civita about 1162. Like the Order of Alcantara (q.v.) the Knights of Aviz were for a time dependent upon the Order of Calatrava (q.v.), but at the beginning of the fifteenth century they obtained their independence, and successfully resisted an attempt of the Council of Basel to restore the supremacy of the Calatrava Order. Toward the end of the Middle Ages they received dispensation from the vow of celibacy and were allowed to marry once. In 1789 the order was changed into one of military merit and the ecclesiastical vows were abolished.

O. Zöckler.

Bibliography: Helyot, Ordres monastiques, vi, 65-69; G. Giucci, Iconografia storica degli ordini religiosi e cavallereschi, i, 61-83, Rome, 1836; P. B. Gams, Die Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, iii, 57-58, Regensburg, 1876.

« Avitus, Alcimus Ecdicius Aviz, Order of Awakening »
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