The Knights Templar was a sworn order of Catholic knights who were charged with the protection of pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Crusades. Founded in 1118 CE, they rose to power and influence over the next two centuries before being disbanded by Pope Clement V in 1312 CE. Though they no longer exist as an organization, the Templars have left a fascinating legacy that is still studied and debated today.
Fascinating Facts about the Knights Templar
1. The full name of the Knights Templar is The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.
2. The Templars were founded in 1118 CE by Hugh de Payens, a French knight, and eight other noblemen from Champagne, France.
3. The mission of the Templars was to protect Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Muslims by the First Crusade (1095-1099 CE) in 1099 CE.
4. Based at their headquarters in Jerusalem – known as the Temple Mount – they soon began acquiring land and wealth throughout Europe and became one of the most powerful organizations of their time.
You may also be interested in:
5. One of their most famous symbols is the red cross they wore on their white tunics; this was originally to distinguish them from Muslim soldiers but later became associated with the Order itself.
6. The Templars acquired a reputation for excellence in battle and were greatly feared by their enemies; one Saracen chronicler even described them as `demons incarnate`.
7. In addition to being skilled warriors, the Templars were also accomplished bankers and financers, operating a highly efficient system across Europe which resulted in them becoming phenomenally wealthy.
8. One of their most famous events is when, during the Siege of Acre (1291), they rode out from behind Christian lines on white horses to challenge the Egyptian Mamluk forces to single combat; this so unnerved their enemy that they abandoned their siege engines and fled in panic.
9. In 1307 CE King Philip IV of France – who was deeply in debt to the Templars – initiated charges against them accusing them of mishandling religious relics, denying Christ, gnostic heresy, idol worship (of Baphomet), sodomy, numerous financial crimes, and more; hundreds of Templars were arrested, tortured into confessing (their `confessions` later retracted), and burned at the stake while many others fled Europe; Pope Clement V then disbanded the Order in 1312 CE under pressure from King Philip IV despite there being no evidence against them whatsoever beyond forced confessions extracted through torture.
10. Although officially disbanded, many Templars escaped execution or imprisonment and regrouped under various guises such as The Order of Christ in Portugal or The Order of Montbrizardin Germany/Hungary; others chose to blend back into society while some are believed to have gone `underground` where they would eventually be demonized as diabolical conspirators through popular works such as Dante Alighieri`s Inferno (c 14th century CE) and Christopher Columbus`s letter describing his voyage to America (1492 CE).
The Knights Templar have long captivated imaginations with their chivalrous mission, skilled fighting abilities, and sudden disappearance early in the 14th century CE following persecution by King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V who acted on behalf of the king despite there being no evidence whatsoever against them besides forced confessions extracted through torture.
Though no longer an official organization, many groups have since claimed descent from the original Templars while others maintain that some members went underground where they would eventually be demonized as satanic conspirators through works such as Dante Alighieri`s Inferno (c 14th century CE)and Christopher Columbus`s letter describing his voyage to America (1492 CE). The legacy left by these fascinating knights continues to be studied and debated today.