Knights Templar

Knights Templar-short history of Templar order. Rise and fall of Knights Templar. Templar history, uniforms, Templar seal and cross.

Knights Templar are known for their humble beginning, growth and tragic ending.

Templar order
The existence of the Templars was closely related to the crusades. This order was founded by a French nobleman Hugh De Payens with the assistance of 8 companions in Jerusalem in the year 1119.  These Templars formerly were the knights who used to protect the Christian pilgrims from the attacks of the Saracen pirates and the Brigands when the city of Jerusalem was captured by the crusaders.  The full name of the order was the Poor Fellow Soldiers Of Christ and the temple of Solomon.  The knights were provided with quarters near the temple. They used to wear a uniform of white tunics with a blood red cross. They became monks in 1129 and they took vows of chastity, obedience and poverty and claimed that they are ready to die in faith. Gradually, they became a part of the chivalric order and they fought during the crusades too.

Templars

Templars-in the middle

The Templars were divided into ranks, the noble knights, the sergeants and the chaplains. Grandmaster was head of the Order. There were no knighting ceremonies for the Templars. If someone wished to be a Templar knight then for that it is important for him to be knighted first.  These Templars used to wear white mantles as a sign of chastity and purity. Each Templar had 3-4 horses and 1-2 squires. The squires were the outsiders who were hired for a limited time.

After the noble knights came the sergeants. They had great trading skills and during the crusades, they used to fight with a knight’s shoulder by shoulder. They used to wear black or brown dresses.  The chaplains fell into the lowest rank and they used to help the Templars only.

The Knights Templar’s were often associated with legends of mysteries and secrets.  In the 19th century, with these legends, rumors and speculations of the writers made their stories fictional. Many popular novels hence were written on them. They had a combination of myths, fiction and a little bit of legendary fact.

End of Knights Templar
King Phillip IV, Pope Clement V were architect of end of the Templar order.

King Phillip IV of France set his sights on the fabled riches of the Knights Templar. His aim was to destroy the Templar Order and confiscate all their treasuries and properties in France, but he had to achieve it legally. King Phillip’s audacious plan was to arrest every Templar in France, charge them with heresy, and exact immediate confessions from them by torture before Pope Clement V or anyone else could protest on their behalf. By making the charges religious in nature, Phillip would be seen not as an avaricious thief, but as a noble servant of God.

Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, had been called to Poitiers, France, for the purpose of discussing with the new pope a new crusade to retake the Holy Land. For almost two years, he shuttled back and forth between the pope and King Phillip, essentially stamping out various diplomatic fires, such as the proposal to merge all the military orders.

The pope reacted just as Phillip had planned. His outrage over the arrests turned to dread and resignation as the “evidence” was presented to him. Phillip leaned on Clement to issue papal arrest warrants all across Europe, which were largely ignored or skirted by other monarchs. Very few show trials went on outside of France, and there were no cases (outside of the tortured knights in France) of Templars who admitted to the charges of heresy.

Knights Templar

Templars-execution of Jacques de Molay.

In 1312, Clement finally decided to end the situation at a council in Vienna. Just to make certain the decision went the way he intended, Phillip stationed his army on the outskirts of the city. The pliant pope officially dissolved the Order, without formally condemning it. All Templar possessions apart from the cash were handed over to the Knights Hospitaller, and many Templars who freely confessed were set free and assigned to other Orders. Those who did not confess were sent to the stake. Phillip, ever the cheap gangster, soothed his loss of the Templars’ tangible assets by strong-arming a yearly fee from the Hospitallers to defray his costs of prosecuting the Templars.

Templar seal
Two knights on a horse.

Templar seal

Templar uniforms
Templars use the red Templar cross of a various shapes on the white or on the white/black background.

Knights Templar

Templar Knight and St. John Knight

One Response to Knights Templar

  1. Templars surived in England and in Scotland.

    Odin71 September 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm Reply

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