Crusader Knight

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In the earlier entry, we talked about the knights and the sergeants. And quite intriguingly, some Templar chapters present in Europe also included female members among the ranks. And while they were obviously not expected to fight in battles, many of the nuns actively took part in the spiritual side of affairs — by helping the priest-brothers in their praying tasks and even offering psychological counseling to warriors. Furthermore, there were associate female members along with males who made donations and other contributions to the Order, in spite of not taking the full monastic vow required from regular members.

Whatever happened to the Knights Templar?

Well, the reasons were many, with some joining the ranks of the Knights Templar to escape their personal tragedies over at home, like the death of their loved ones. Relating to an odd parcel of Templar history, there were also instances when criminal or excommunicated knights were enlisted into the order as punishment for their deeds; though in a practical scenario this method also served as an effective conscription technique for bolstering the Templar ranks with experienced warriors.

Intriguingly enough, in spite of such fanatical belief systems, the Templars were renowned in contemporary times for their apparent long lives when compared to the average medieval life expectancy 25 — 40 years. Recent research into this seemingly paradoxical scope provided a hypothesis that the Templars on an average lived longer due to their controlled diets and better hygiene.

Unfortunately for the Templars, as noted by Prof.

These baleful situations were even more exacerbated for the Templars in the earlier Crusades because most of them were executed on being captured without mercy — as was the bloody scene after the Battle of Hattin circa AD. Such extreme actions on the part of the Muslims were probably instigated by bouts of savagery displayed by the Templar Order itself in various battles. Beyond just misleading narratives as was the case in most medieval societies, including Islamic ones , their uncompromising principles, like not surrendering until the red cross of martyrdom had fallen in battle, also added to unwarranted afflictions on the battlefield.

In that regard, many contemporary works allude to the fanaticism displayed by the Templars, like in the case of a few knights who were imprisoned until their ransom demands were met. But instead of paying ransoms, the Order just sent knives and belts to the captors — thus symbolizing how fighting was their ransom, and on being captured the knights would rather die than be paid for. However, as time went on, the practicality of military requirement triumphed over zealotry, and thus by the late 13th century, some high-ranking Knights Templar were indeed ransomed successfully.

Now in spite of the martial ability and prowess of the Christian military orders, by the late 13th century it was becoming increasingly clear that the Crusaders were fighting a losing battle discussed here at length in the Holy Land. The fall of Acre in AD rather underlined such a precarious geopolitical situation for the Christian polities in the Levant.

Knights Templar origins

However, as opposed to a complete military defeat by their Muslim foes , the Knights Templar were dissolved and almost destroyed by a Christian monarch — namely King Philip IV of France. According to some hypotheses, King Philip IV was possibly in debt to the Templars we already discussed the financial power of the Templar Order in continental Europe due to his wars with the English. Consequently, the French king may have decided to outlaw the Templars in a bid to remove his debts — and thus he ordered the arrest of many Templars, including their Grand Master Jacques de Molay, on 13 October AD which fell on a Friday, thereby possibly rise to the superstition of Friday the 13th.

The king also managed to either convince or pressurize Pope Clement to issue a Papal Bull that called for the arrest of all Templars residing in other parts of Europe beyond France. There were numerous charges laid down during the mass arrests, ranging from the sensational like idol worship, forced spitting on the crucifix during initiation, indecent kissing amongst themselves basically acts of homosexuality to the conventional like fraud, corruption, and even secrecy.

Subsequently, many of the Templars were forced to confess under torture and duress. And while a good many of them later recanted their confessions, including the Grand Master, the Pope was coerced to disband the entire order, after King Philip IV threatened to go to war over the issue.

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As a result, many senior Knights Templar, like the Grand Master and Preceptor of Normandy, were sentenced to death on charges of heresy — and they were unceremoniously burned at the stake in Paris, opposite Notre Dame in AD. A great many members from around Europe were also detained and arrested although without adequate charges , but most of them were either absorbed into other military orders or allowed to live peacefully with pensions. And officially, the property of the Knights Templar was transferred to the Knights Hospitaller.

Divine judgment or pure coincidence? As for the other remnants of the Knights Templar, some were given refuge in the Kingdom of Portugal their remaining properties were also left untouched in the Kingdoms of Aragon and Castile. And while the Templar Order was officially dissolved by the Catholic Church, in the course of just five years, bolstered by the shelter and aid provided in Portugal and parts of Spain, the Knights Templar simply adopted a new name and constitution — Military Order of Christ Ordem Militar de Cristo — secularized in and also a parallel Supreme Order of Christ of the Holy See.

Both of these organizations are functional, albeit in a limited capacity, even in our modern era. When Philip attacked the order his ministers produced a sexed-up dossier of allegations, accusing Templar brothers of spitting on images of Christ, having secret homoerotic induction ceremonies and worshiping statues. It was all phoney, but the CrookedTemplars idea took root and by the Pope had ordered the Templars to be wound up. Popular fascination with The Templars goes back to well before the age of cinema and video games.

It began around AD when a German poet called Wolfram von Eschenbach was writing his version of the King Arthur stories, and decided to include some knights called The Templeisen in his story, as guardians of a mysterious object called The Grail.

It was no more real than Spectre in the James Bond films. Apparently, early scripts referred to the Jedi Templars, rather than the Jedi Knights. George RR Martin borrowed heavily from medieval history in creating the world of Westeros. In the Night's Watch, he depicted an order of all-male warriors in eye-catching uniforms, sworn to chastity and devoted to a life defending the kingdom from a menace on its borders.

Plenty of people have tried to revive or reinvent the Templar movement, from Christian charities and the freemasons, to far-right, Islamophobic hate groups in eastern Europe. For six years the Mexican government has been fighting a drug cartel called Los Cabelleros Templarios The Knights Templar who model themselves on the medieval Templars, with their own code of conduct that governs how members should behave and a bracingly medieval approach to discipline and punishment.

GQ Hype. Templars Tunnel. However, many of these impressive structures have yet to give up all of their secrets. These discoveries continue to shed light on this fascinating period of Middle Eastern history. Remains of the Crusader-period Pisan Harbour. The Templars were a military religious order, originally founded to ensure the safety of the regular stream of pilgrims that made the arduous and dangerous journey from Western Europe to the Holy Land.

According to historian Dan Jones, they were so named because their original headquarters stood next to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, and in the 12th and 13th century they played an important role in defining the political and military successes and failures of the crusader states in the Levant. Pictures depicting the Knights Templar brother-servant, a brother-brother Knight and priest. In , however, the city of Jerusalem was lost after a decisive victory by the Ayyubid leader Salah ad-Din otherwise known as Saladin at Hattin.

The crusader states had lost their capital, and their shock defeat at the hands of a powerful Muslim army launched what would later be known as the Third Crusade. According to Jones, several large armies set out from England and France to provide aid to the beleaguered crusader kingdoms, with the goal of reconquering Jerusalem. This was a vain hope, and the armies of the Third Crusade, led amongst others by Richard the Lionheart, would eventually leave without reclaiming Jerusalem.

Monastic Military Orders