By: Jake Leath
WHO WERE THE TEMPLARS
The beginning role of the Templar Knights who were first known as “Poor fellow soldiers” was to protect pilgrims on the journey to the Holy land otherwise known as Jerusalem. Also protected the Temple of Solomon in the Holy Land. Two knights became founders of this order of knight and they were Hugh of Payns and Godfrey of SaintOmer. The order gained great recognition because of the great support it had from the church which started the rise of the great Knight Templars (Barber, Malcolm pg.5-6).
RISE OF THE TEMPLARS
A huge reason to the rise of the Knight Templars was their banking system the developed to allow pilgrims and crusaders deposit funds from their homelands and take it out when they arrived to the Holy Land. This gave them a financial influence and allowed them to gain money not just from donations. They grew in status, with status comes size. With more soldiers they started to highly train the knights and won a few big battles during the crusades like the battle of Montigrad and Hattin which gave them more status and established them as a deadly force of knights. With that they protected more and more crusader states. One of the biggest reasons for their rise was their strict set of rules know as “The rule of Templars” which you can see the translation of the original document here (Upton-Ward, Judith , trans). One of the most important and reason why they won battles was they never surrendered no matter what. Their symbol go the Red Cross represented how they would spill their blood for Christ than retreat and face fate (Barber, Malcolm. pg. 6-8).
FALL OF KNIGHT TEMPLARS
The fall of the Knight Templars started when the crusades ended. When they ended there was no reason for the group anymore, but it didn’t end there. Phillip IV was interested in the wealth the Knight Templars gained and wanted to gain their assets. He ordered the arrest of hundreds of Templars in France and used the rumors of decimating the cross, devil worshipping, and homosexuality as ways to arrest or kill them off. Phillip IV also used torture as a way to get the Templars to false confess to crimes and accusations to get rid of the group and attain the wealth. Lands of the templars were to be given over to the other knight orders like the Hospitallers but they were also destroyed in France for helping and protecting the Templar order. The templars have lived with this look Phillip IV gave them ever since. Some believe they discovered he Americas and left, others believe they had the holy grail and hid it so no one else could find it. The templars since have been a mystery and surrounding aura of what they became after the destruction from Phillip IV (Cavendish, Richard).
Cavendish, Richard . “The Order of Knights Templar Suppressed.” History Today 62 (3), 2012: 1.
Barber, Malcolm . “The Knights Templars.” Proquest , no. 60, 1998: 4–9.
Upton-Ward, Judith , trans. The Primitive Rule of the Templars. ORB Online Encyclopedia, The Boydell Press, 1992.