The Knights Templar, also known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, were a legendary Christian military order founded in the 12th century.
The order became a powerful force in medieval Europe, with members serving as fierce warriors, skilled administrators, and shrewd financiers. However, the Templars were also the subject of many myths and legends, and their history is often shrouded in mystery.
“The Templars were a unique and influential organization in medieval Europe, with a complex history that is still being studied and debated by historians today.”Dr. Helen Nicholson, Professor of Medieval History at Cardiff University.
In this article, we will explore ten shocking facts about the legendary Christian Templar Knights!
The Templars were founded in 1119 by a French nobleman named Hugh de Payens. At the time, the Holy Land was under the control of the Muslim Seljuk Turks, and Christian pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem were often attacked and robbed.
De Payens and his comrades pledged to protect these pilgrims and secure safe passage for them to the holy city. They adopted the monastic rule of St. Benedict and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The order quickly gained popularity, and new members joined from all over Europe.
“The Templars were much more than just a group of warrior monks. They were also skilled administrators and financial experts who played a major role in the economic and political landscape of medieval Europe.” –Dr. Malcolm Barber, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading.
As the Templars grew in size and influence, they acquired vast amounts of land and wealth. They established banks in major European cities, where they provided loans to kings and nobles.
They also built fortresses and castles throughout Europe and the Holy Land, and their knights were feared for their skill in battle.
By the 13th century, the Templars had become one of the most powerful organizations in Europe, with branches in England, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
In 1307, King Philip IV of France, who was deeply in debt to the Templars, began a campaign to discredit and destroy the order. He accused the Templars of heresy, blasphemy, and other crimes, and he had hundreds of members arrested and tortured.
Many Templars were forced to confess to crimes they did not commit, and some were burned at the stake. The Pope eventually disbanded the order, but some Templars continued to operate in secret, and their legacy lives on today.
The Holy Grail is a legendary artifact that is said to have been used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. It is said to possess miraculous powers, and many have searched for it over the centuries. According to some legends, the Templars discovered the Grail while excavating under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
They allegedly brought it back to Europe and kept it hidden in one of their castles. While there is no solid evidence to support this claim, it has captured the imagination of many people over the years.
During their trials, the Templars were accused of worshiping a mysterious idol called Baphomet. The origin of this name is unclear, but it may have been a corruption of the word “Mohammed,” which was used as a pejorative term for Muslims at the time.
Some historians believe that the accusations of Baphomet worship were part of a smear campaign by King Philip IV to discredit the Templars and seize their wealth.
The Templars are often credited with inventing modern banking practices. They established a system of credit and debt that allowed them to lend money to kings and nobles, and they developed a system of checks that allowed people to transfer funds without the need for physical currency.
They also developed a form of traveler’s checks that could be cashed in at any of their banks, which allowed travelers to avoid the risk of carrying large sums of money with them.
The Templars had their own code of conduct, which was known as the Rule of the Temple. This code emphasized the importance of chivalry, humility, and obedience to authority.
The order was led by a Grand Master, who was elected by the members of the order. Beneath him were various other ranks, including knights, sergeants, and chaplains. Each rank had its own duties and responsibilities, and members were expected to follow a strict hierarchy.
“The Templars were accused of heresy and blasphemy by their enemies, but the truth behind these charges remains shrouded in mystery. It is likely that their downfall was due to a combination of political and financial factors, rather than any theological or moral failings.”Dr. Alan Forey, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Durham.
The Freemasons are a fraternal organization that traces its roots back to the medieval stonemasons’ guilds. Some historians believe that the Templars may have had an influence on the founding of the Freemasons.
They point to similarities in the rituals and symbols used by both organizations, as well as the fact that many early Freemasons were also members of the Templars. However, the exact nature of this relationship is still a matter of debate.
“The Templars have captured the popular imagination for centuries, and their legacy continues to inspire people today. Whether as heroic warriors or mysterious conspirators, their story is a fascinating and enduring part of Western history.”Dr. Dan Jones, Historian and author.
The Templars were the subject of many myths and legends, and some people believed that they possessed supernatural powers. Some claimed that they could communicate with demons, while others believed that they had the ability to perform miracles.
These rumors were fueled by the order’s mysterious rituals and symbols, as well as their reputation as fearsome warriors.
The Templars have captured the imagination of people all over the world, and their legacy has inspired countless works of fiction. From Dan Brown’s bestselling novel “The Da Vinci Code” to the popular video game series “Assassin’s Creed,” the Templars have been the subject of numerous books, movies, and video games.
While many of these portrayals are highly fictionalized, they have helped to keep the memory of the Templars alive.
In conclusion, the Templars were a legendary Christian military order that played a significant role in medieval Europe. They were feared as fierce warriors, admired for their administrative and financial skills, and accused of heresy and blasphemy.
Their legacy lives on today, and they continue to inspire people around the world with their mysterious rituals, symbols, and legends. While much of their history remains shrouded in mystery, their impact on the world cannot be denied.
“The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors” by Dan Jones
This book provides a detailed and engaging account of the Templars, from their origins as a small band of knights to their eventual downfall at the hands of the French King Philip IV.
“The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple” by Malcolm Barber
This comprehensive history of the Templars by one of the world’s leading scholars on the subject provides a detailed look at the order’s origins, development, and eventual demise.
“The Templars and the Shroud of Christ” by Barbara Frale
This fascinating book explores the connection between the Templars and the Shroud of Turin, which some believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
“The Templars: Knights of Christ” by Regine Pernoud
This well-researched and accessible history of the Templars explores their religious beliefs, military prowess, and impact on the wider world of medieval Europe.
“The Templars and the Grail: Knights of the Quest” by Karen Ralls
This book delves into the enduring legends surrounding the Templars and their supposed quest for the Holy Grail, exploring the historical and cultural roots of these myths.