ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Knights Templar

Updated on December 19, 2009

Knights Templar were a military order of the time of the Crusades. It was founded in Palestine in 1119 by a group of French knights to protect pilgrims to the Holy Places. The name derives from the fact that King Baldwin II of Jerusalem gave the knights quarters in his palace on the site of Solomon's Temple. Templars took the usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and were divided into four grades: knights, chaplains, esquires, and menial servants. St. Bernard of Clairvaux is said to have drawn up their rule. The Templars spread rapidly through Latin Christendom and eventually numbered about 20,000 knights. Their fighting abilities were highly valued by the kings of Jerusalem, who were glad of their help in view of the chronic manpower shortage in the Crusading states.

The Templars early made enemies. The other military order, the Hospitalers or Knights of St. John, strongly disliked them. The two were often found on opposite sides in the quarrels and intrigues among the Crusaders, and in 1241 they nearly came to blows in Palestine, to the scandal of Christendom. Because they were under the direct authority of the pope, the Templars were exempt from royal and episcopal control, a privilege that many of the clergy resented. The recipients of lavish gifts of land and money, they grew wealthy enough to act as the bankers of kings. Their military power enabled them to convoy bullion from the East to Europe, and the Temples in Paris and London contained strongrooms where royal treasure was stored.

As long as their services were required in Palestine, they were in no danger. But in 1291 Acre fell, and the Templars and other Crusaders retired to Cyprus. The Templars also felt threatened by the possibility of amalgamation with the Hospitalers. Now reports charging the Templars with immoralities and blasphemies began to circulate through Europe, the mildest accusation being that they spat on the cross at their secret initiation ceremonies.

In 1307, Philip IV the Fair of France suddenly ordered the arrest of all Templars in his dominions, and torture extracted confessions of innumerable crimes, heresies, and witchcraft. The King, who was desperately short of money, either simply sought an excuse to seize their wealth or honestly regarded them as a dangerous secret society.

Pope Clement V, also a Frenchman and under strong pressure from Philip, set up commissions to investigate the charges. In 1312 the order was dissolved by papal decree but never formally condemned, though many individual members were tried and executed. Its vast property was in part handed over to the Hospitalers, in part confiscated by the state. In 1314 the last grand master, Jacques de Molay, and several of his associates were burned outside Notre Dame in Paris. It was popularly believed that at the stake Molay repudiated his confession and summoned king and pope to meet him at the judgment seat of God. The guilt of the Templars has been the subject of much controversy.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Dan H  

      7 years ago

      We need a new order of the Knights Templar to fight for the rights of Christians in the middle East and Jerusalem and the the Temple Mount .... We have a right to pray and worship the God of the Bible on the Temple Mount !!

      I'm willing to start that order this Day 2011

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      This is a really fascinating topic!

    • philosophos profile imageAUTHOR

      philosophos 

      8 years ago

      It's a fascinating part of history. I see that George Lucas 'borrowed' from it heavily for his Star Wars Episode III when Order 66 was carried out against the Jedi Knights.

    • bearclawmedia profile image

      bearclawmedia 

      8 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

      As always, you touch on the right points for the story, then I get up from my desk and go to the book shelf. You always do that to me. Those damn penguin classics can be elusive some times. They are hidden in the shelf and what you just wrote in your hub makes me want to read them again. Nice one simple and good. Bearclaw

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)