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Holy Warriors: The Templar Knights

Brief Templar History
Templar Related Links

Templar History - Templar Related Links

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Brief Templar History

   They got started right after the 1st Crusade ended, which was around 1119ad.  They were warrior monks whose mission was to protect the Christians in the Holy Land from the Saracens, because there was a shortage of permanent forces in the kingdom of Jerusalem.  They got their name because the king of Jerusalem gave them a place for their main headquarters which was the former Temple of Solomon.  At first they were called The Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon, and eventually they shortened it to Knights of the Temple, then Knights Templar.

   Soon they became extremely rich & powerful, owning lands all over Christendom, and acting as ambassadors and bodyguards between different Princes & Lords.  They also became the first bankers, starting the checking system and lending money to governments, among other things.  They were untouchable because they were answerable only to the Pope; they couldn't be taxed for property, they had diplomatic immunity and couldn't be brought on charges of any sort, etc.  Their trademark which made them instantly recognizable was short hair and bushy beards, and the Knights wore a white tunic signifying purity, and a red Maltese 8-pointed cross on the chest.  The Templar monks or workers wore different color tunics, but used the cross as well.  They all had vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

   Another brotherhood that was around were the Knights of the Hospital, or Hospitaller Knights; they had been formed before the Templars did, and their mission was to give free care & hospital help to christians in the Holy Land; they didn't become a military order until after the Templars got started.  They basically copied the Templars in everything; they even had a black tunic with a white maltese cross on the chest instead of white & red.  These 2 Orders, the Templars and the Hospitallers, became the 2 greatest Christian forces in the holy land.  They worked together often, but they were always rivals; as time went on, one could even see both members of the orders fighting each other on the streets.

   Many Crusades came and went over the course of generations, with power changing back and forth between the princes and orders, but the Saracens always had the upper hand.  The best the Christians ever did, which was ironically in the very first crusade, was to carve out a niche around the coast including the city of Jerusalem, but they were always surrounded by Saracens, who didn't appreciate them coming and massacring their people to take over their cities.  After the last Crusade was fought and lost right around 1300, and there were no Christian forces left on the Holy Land, it was the beggining of the end.  Without a Crusade going on, the reason for being of military Orders ceased to exist.  The Templar Grand Master De Molay tried to start up a new Crusade, but it was no use, people had lost interest in it.

   The French King Phillip hated the Templars because they were so rich & powerful, and he owed them too much money and needed even more to fund his war with England, so he made plans to crush them and take their wealth, so as to kill 2 birds with one stone.  He set up a corrupt Pope in Avignon, France instead of Rome, Italy to have him as his puppet.  Then he and the new Pope started talking about fusing both the Templars and Hospitallers into one order, with the Hospitaller Master as Grand Master of the new order.  To prevent that, De Molay traveled to Paris to have a conference with King Phillip and the Pope, but that never happened.  On Friday 13th, 1307, Phillip arrested all the Templars on long charges of Heresy, witchcraft, etc.  They were immediately subjected to inhumane torture to make them confess.  The torturers didn't use any restraint, and many Templars died, were permanently crippled, or became insane during the interrogations.

   Phillip though he had won, but he never got what he wanted besides shutting down the order; the bulk of the Templar treasure was never found, and only one-third of all the Templars were ever captured, the rest went into hiding underground.  After 7 years of interrogations and trials, the Order was disbanded in 1314, and the Grand Master and many Templars died at the stake, still shouting their innocence.  None of the charges brought against them were never proven.

   The only country where the Templars were persecuted with any degree of success was France; the others did a mediocre job on purpose to let them escape, or declared them innocent outright.  Many Templars joined other orders, others started new ones under a different name, like the Knights of Christ in Portugal.  When we talk about the rest is where History stops and speculation begins; some say that the Templars moved to Scotland where they wouldn't be persecuted because Robert the Bruce was already excommunicated by the Pope and was at war with England.  They seemingly helped Scotland gain its freedom with the battle of Bannockburn, where they charged against the English forces in full Templar regalia, and they English saw them and ran off the field.  As the years passed, the Templars married into the Scottish nobility, and they started a secret society based on the Templar ideals & customs, and this secret brotherhood was later called Freemasonry.  There's lots of speculation about where the Templar treasure ended up...whether it was a real treasure of gold coins, or a religious treasured artifact, like the Holy Grail, Turin Shroud, or Ark of the Covenant.

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Templar Related Links

Knights Templar THE coolest Templar website!
Templar Mysteries Some of the Templar mysteries
Templar Mythos A History & Mythos of Knights Templar
The Knights Templar A very cool Templar webpage
Templar History History of Templars & Grand Masters List
Templar Knights Templar info & other occult subjects

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