Grand Master (order)

Grand Master (Latin: Magister generalis; German: Großmeister) is a title of the supreme head of various orders, including chivalric orders such as military orders and dynastic orders of knighthood.

The title also occurs in modern civil fraternal orders such as the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows, and various other fraternities. Additionally, numerous modern self-styled orders attempt to imitate habits of the former bodies.


Medieval era

In medieval military orders such as the Knights Templar or the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, the Grand Master was the formal and executive head of a military and feudal hierarchy, which can be considered a "state within the state", especially in the crusader context lato sensu, notably aimed at the Holy Land or pagan territories in Eastern Europe, as well as the reconquista in the Iberian peninsula.

If an order is granted statehood and thus widely considered sovereign, the Grand Master is also its Head of State. If within the Holy Roman Empire, a Reichsfürst and Head of Government, and thus a true territorial Prince of the church, as was the case with the Teutonic Knights and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Modern era

Except the modern continuation of the organisations of medieval foundation, the title of Grand Master has been used by the heads of Grand Lodges of Freemasons since 1717, and by Odd Fellows since the 18th century.

The title of Grand Master is also used by various other fraternities, including academic ones associated with universities. The national leader of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity goes by the title "Worthy Grand Master".[1] The heads of local chapters use the title of "Grand Master".

Other Languages
aragonés: Gran Mayestre
asturianu: Gran Maestre
català: Gran Mestre
español: Gran maestre
한국어: 기사단 총장
Bahasa Indonesia: Mahaguru (ordo)
italiano: Gran maestro
македонски: Голем мајстор
norsk: Stormester
norsk nynorsk: Stormeister
português: Grão-mestre
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Veliki majstor
українська: Магістр ордену