Rise[ edit ] After Europeans in the First Crusade captured Jerusalem inmany Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was relatively secure under Christian control, the rest of Outremer was not.
See Article History Alternative Titles: Knight Templar, Knights Templar, Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon Templar, also called Knight Templar, member of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, a religious military order of knighthood established at the time of the Crusades that became a model and inspiration for other military orders.
Originally founded to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, the order assumed greater military duties during the 12th century.
Its prominence and growing wealth, however, provoked opposition from rival orders. TemplarOverview of the Templars also called Knights Templar. Most Crusaders returned home after fulfilling their vows, and Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem suffered attacks from Muslim raiders.
Baldwin IIking of Jerusalem, gave them quarters in a wing of the royal palace in the area of the former Temple of Solomon, and from this they derived their name. Templar chapelTemplar chapel in Chwarszczany, Pol. Beginning inHugh undertook a tour of Europe and was well received by many nobles, who made significant donations to the knights.
The Templars obtained further sanction at the Council of Troyes inwhich may have requested that Bernard of Clairvaux compose the new rule. Bernard also wrote In Praise of the New Knighthood c. In Pope Innocent II issued a bull that granted the order special privileges: The Knights Templar swore an oath of poverty, chastity, and obedience and renounced the world, just as the Cistercians and other monks did.
Like the monks, the Templars heard the divine office during each of the canonical hours of the day and were expected to honour the fasts and vigils of the monastic calendar.
They were frequently found in prayer and expressed particular veneration to the Virgin Mary.
They were not allowed to gamble, swear, or become drunk and were required to live in community, sleeping in a common dormitory and eating meals together. They were not, however, strictly cloistered, as were the monks, nor were they expected to perform devotional reading most Templars were uneducated and unable to read Latin.
The Templars gradually expanded their duties from protecting pilgrims to mounting a broader defense of the Crusader states in the Holy Land. They built castles, garrisoned important towns, and participated in battles, fielding significant contingents against Muslim armies until the fall of Acrethe last remaining Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land, in By the midth century the constitution of the order and its basic structure were established.
It was headed by a grand master, who was elected for life and served in Jerusalem. Templar territories were divided into provinces, which were governed by provincial commanders, and each individual house, called a preceptory, was headed by a preceptor.
General chapter meetings of all members of the order were held to address important matters affecting the Templars and to elect a new master when necessary. Similar meetings were held at the provincial level and on a weekly basis in each house.
The Templars were originally divided into two classes: The knight-brothers came from the military aristocracy and were trained in the arts of war. They assumed elite leadership positions in the order and served at royal and papal courts. The sergeants, or serving-brothers, who were usually from lower social classes, made up the majority of members.
They dressed in black habits and served as both warriors and servants. The Templars eventually added a third class, the chaplains, who were responsible for holding religious services, administering the sacraments, and addressing the spiritual needs of the other members.
Although women were not allowed to join the order, there seems to have been at least one Templar nunnery. The Templars eventually acquired great wealth. The kings and great nobles of SpainFrance, and England gave lordships, castles, seigniories, and estates to the order, so that by the midth century the Templars owned properties scattered throughout western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Holy Land.
Templar castle at Tomar, Port.
They had long engaged in a bitter rivalry with the other great military order of Europe, the Hospitallersand, by the late 13th century, proposals were being made to merge the two contentious orders into one. Philip accused the Templars of heresy and immorality; specific charges against them included idol worship of a bearded male head said to have great powersworship of a cat, homosexualityand numerous other errors of belief and practice.
The charges, now recognized to be without foundation, were calculated to stoke contemporary fears of heretics, witches, and demons and were similar to allegations Philip had used against Pope Boniface VIII. The reasons why Philip sought to destroy the Templars are unclear; he may have genuinely feared their power and been motivated by his own piety to destroy a heretical group, or he may have simply seen an opportunity to seize their immense wealth, being chronically short of money himself.
At any rate, Philip mercilessly pursued the order and had many of its members tortured to secure false confessions. Although Pope Clement Vhimself a Frenchman, ordered the arrest of all the Templars in Novembera church council in voted overwhelmingly against suppression, and Templars in countries other than France were found innocent of the charges.
Brought before a commission established by the pope, de Molay and other leaders were judged relapsed heretics and sentenced to life in prison. The master protested and repudiated his confession and was burned at the stakethe last victim of a highly unjust and opportunistic persecution.
An illustration of Templar grand master Jacques de Molay being led to the stake.Many great history lessons in this book.
Recounts the schism between the Pope and the Knights Templar, leading to the mass arrest of Templars in France in Welcome to the Grand Priory of The Knights Templar Order: Nine hundred years after the founding of the Original Order of the Temple, and seven hundred years since it destruction, the Grand Priory of the Knights Templar Order (THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR ORDER) is the leading Order among the several Templar organisations keeping alive the noble and ancient Knights Templar traditions in the present day.
Jul 13, · Watch video · The Knights Templar Today. The Catholic Church has acknowledged that the persecution of the Knights Templar was unjustified. King Edward I (–) had accorded the Knights Templar a slighter role in public affairs, financial issues often being handled by Italian merchants and diplomacy by mendicant initiativeblog.com, Edward I raided the treasury in When Philip IV, King of France suppressed the order in , King Edward II of England at first refused to .
In or , the military orders (the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller) and their leaders, including Jacques de Molay, Otton de Grandson and the Great Master of the Hospitallers, briefly campaigned in Armenia, in order to fight off an invasion by the Mamluks.
Persecution of the Knights Templar Many of the Templars who escaped arrest were given refuge in Scotland by King Robert the Bruce and these knights fought with him .