Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Who Were The Knights Templar? (Sunday History Read)
www.templarhistory.com ^ | undated | Stephen Dafoe and Alan Butler

Posted on 07/21/2002 10:01:31 AM PDT by Hacksaw

The Knights Templar were a monastic military order formed at the end of the First Crusade with the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims on route to the Holy Land. Never before had a group of secular knights banded together and took monastic vows. In this sense they were the first of the Warrior Monks.

From humble beginnings of poverty when the order relied on alms from the traveling pilgrims, the order would go on to have the backing of the Holy See and the collective European monarchies.

Within two centuries they had become powerful enough to defy all but the Papal throne. Feared as warriors, respected for their charity and sought out for their wealth, there is no doubt that the Templar knights were the key players of the monastic fighting orders. Due to their vast wealth and surplus of materials the Templars essentially invented banking, as we know it. The church forbade the lending of money for interest, which they called usury. The Templars, being the clever sort they were, changed the manner in which loans were paid and were able to skirt the issue and finance even kings.

They were destroyed, perhaps because of this wealth or fear of their seemingly limitless powers. In either case, the order met with a rather untimely demise at the hands of the Pope and the King of France in 1307 and by 1314, "The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon" ceased to exist.

Although originally a small group of nine knights, they quickly gained fame largely due to the backing of Bernard of Clairvaux and his "In Praise of the New Knighthood". Bernard at that time was often called the Second Pope and was the chief spokesman of Christendom. He is also the one responsible for helping to draw up the order's rules of conduct.

In European political circles, they became very powerful and influential. This was because they were immune from any authority save that of the Papal Throne. (Pope Innocent II exempted the Templars from all authority except the Pope.) After the crusades were over, the knights returned to their Chapters throughout Europe and became known as moneylenders to the monarchs. In the process many historians believe they invented the Banking System. The Templars fought along side King Richard I (Richard The Lion Hearted) and other Crusaders in the battles for the Holy Lands.

The secret meetings and rituals of the knights would eventually cause their downfall. The King of France, Philip the Fair used these rituals and meetings to his advantage to destroy the knights. The real reason for his crushing the Templars was that he felt threatened by their power and immunity. In 1307, Philip, who desperately needed funds, to support his war against England's Edward I made his move against the Knights Templar.

On October 13th, 1307, King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the grounds of heresy, since this was the only charge that would allow the seizing of their money and assets. The Templars were tortured and as a result, ridiculous confessions were given. These confessions included:

Trampling and spitting on the cross

Homosexuality and Sodomy

Worshipping of the Baphomet

Philip was successful in ridding the Templars of their power and wealth and urged all fellow Christian leaders to do the same thing. On March 19th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake. De Molay is said to have cursed King Philip and Pope Clement as he burned asking both men to join him within a year. Whether he actually uttered the curse or if it is simply an apocryphal tale what remains as fact is that Clement died only one month later and Philip IV seven months after that.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: archaeology; catholic; christian; churchhistory; crusades; freemasonry; fremasons; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; knights; knightstemplar; masons; middleages; pilgrims; templar
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-157 next last
Looks like no good deed goes unpunished.

Templar BUMP

1 posted on 07/21/2002 10:01:31 AM PDT by Hacksaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
Did they not give rise to the Scottish Rite side of Freemasonry?
2 posted on 07/21/2002 10:04:13 AM PDT by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
...I have read a couple of books my stepson owns on freemasonry. I believe you are correct...By the way, thanks, the history is an absolutly fascinating read...
3 posted on 07/21/2002 10:12:33 AM PDT by gargoyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
Read all about it in Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto [Name of the Rose] Eco. Fascinating!!
4 posted on 07/21/2002 10:13:20 AM PDT by drjoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nutmeg
bump
5 posted on 07/21/2002 10:13:29 AM PDT by nutmeg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
How important were they in the founding of Switzerland?
6 posted on 07/21/2002 10:21:49 AM PDT by per loin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Like another religious group, The Cathars, goodness, love of God and service were no protection against the corruption of men.
7 posted on 07/21/2002 10:22:36 AM PDT by catonsville
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
Would you care to opine on any possible connection between the medieval Knights Templar and the current organization with same name [I belong to this].
8 posted on 07/21/2002 10:26:40 AM PDT by curmudgeonII
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
ping
9 posted on 07/21/2002 10:31:20 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
The Scottish Rite is a series of masonic degrees brought to this country [from France], originally in Charleston, SC in 1802. There is some thought that it might have been transferred to France from Scotland by some of the court officials of Mary Stuart. [The unfortunate Queen who was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth.]
10 posted on 07/21/2002 10:31:39 AM PDT by curmudgeonII
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: curmudgeonII
Would you care to opine on any possible connection between the medieval Knights Templar and the current organization with same name [I belong to this].

Never heard of the current org - they could use some Templars in Sudan...

I'd like to hear about your org.

11 posted on 07/21/2002 10:31:51 AM PDT by Hacksaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: drjoe
Very difficult book to read, but you're right, it was facinating.
13 posted on 07/21/2002 10:42:19 AM PDT by McGavin999
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
The moral of the story is never loan money to the powerful. They usually find it easier to kill you rather then repay you. The kings of Europe were pulling these kinds of stunts on their Jewish bankers long before the Templars came along.

a.cricket

14 posted on 07/21/2002 10:42:44 AM PDT by another cricket
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
thank you for mentioning the cathars. along with the templars, history tells us very little about the them. they dared to oppose the kings of france and the church hierarchy. southern france whispers secrets from aigues morte where the ships of the crusade set out for the holy land to albi and narbonne which were cathar strongholds.
15 posted on 07/21/2002 10:47:05 AM PDT by contessa machiaveli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
I love these kinds of histories.
16 posted on 07/21/2002 10:48:26 AM PDT by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: another cricket
Good lesson I wonder what will happen to the bankers when the government here in the US finally decides they can't pay( and they can't the national debt will never be paid off in a billion years).
17 posted on 07/21/2002 10:49:55 AM PDT by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: another cricket
Yep--exactly what Edward I (Longshanks of Braveheart) did to the Jews. In order to finance all of his wars, he borrowed heavily from the English Jews. He decided it would be much easier to expel them from the country, not pay them back, and confiscate their stuff to boot! Whatta plan!
18 posted on 07/21/2002 10:50:11 AM PDT by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
For Great Justice BUMP!
19 posted on 07/21/2002 10:52:20 AM PDT by jonatron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: per loin
Switzerland had already been founded before their persecutions began....however most of the monasteries, not all of them Templar, but certainly Templar friendly and already active money lenders were built on trade routes that looped around southern germany, austria, switzerland and italy. One of the mysteries that remained after the Templars were shut down, was the disappearance of all their apparent wealth...ie. "Show me the money". Switzerland seems like a good bet to me as well, particularly since they have always been independant.
20 posted on 07/21/2002 10:55:52 AM PDT by Katya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
Just another example of the old strategy: demonize it, then take the money.

Kinda like what's happening to tobacco companies lately.
21 posted on 07/21/2002 11:03:18 AM PDT by Age of Reason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Katya
The Knights Templer are seperate from the Scottish Rite. The Knights belong to the York Rite, and the Scottish Rite is the other branch of Masonry.

I belong to the York Rite.
22 posted on 07/21/2002 11:03:25 AM PDT by BooBoo1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Katya
I loved your brief synopsis of Templar history. I had a teacher who taught Masons their own symbolism, entrenched in Templar secrets. She is the only woman I know to have been given a 33degree ring.

There are so many rumors about the Templars. The seal of King Solomon, the coveted holy chalice at Chalice Well in England... One of my favorite states, they exist in secrecy today and their main goal is to protect and when the time is right, bring forth the true heir to Jesus.
23 posted on 07/21/2002 11:07:27 AM PDT by dubyaweluvya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Medieval History bump
24 posted on 07/21/2002 11:07:31 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy; gargoyle; Hacksaw
Did they not give rise to the Scottish Rite side of Freemasonry?

The Masonic organization for males under 21 is called The Order of DeMolay. I know, I was one, but even at 16, I could recognize idiotic mumbo-jumbo when I saw it, and I dropped out. =) I think I was the High Left Chamberlain, or some such ridiculous title. They have their degrees, and secret handshakes, and all that crap. Don't ask me to reveal the high secret handshake, though; I might have to report you and you'll be murdered under a bridge at the full moon or something. =)

Ah, the Masons, and the Knights Templar -- the Templars were the original conspiracy crowd. They would have had tinfoil helmets, if it was around in those days.

25 posted on 07/21/2002 11:08:15 AM PDT by SR71A
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Katya
What happened to the Templar Treasure and what happened to the Templar Navy are two of histories mysteries. My personal theory is that a lot of the Templar's ended up in Scotland.

Robert the Bruce got a lot of trained knights out of nowhere in a hurry about the time the Templars disappeared. And Scotland was one of the few places where the edict against the Templars was never enforced.

The Templar were also some of the worlds first archaeologists in that they excavated the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Whatever they took from the site has remained the subject of speculation to this day.

a.cricket

26 posted on 07/21/2002 11:12:08 AM PDT by another cricket
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: contessa machiaveli
My daughter gave me "The Perfect Heresy", by Stephen O'Shea, a beautifully written book on the slaughter of these heretical Christians by the Crusaders. How a corrupt Pope, afraid of their power, forced a war against this saintly group and those that protected them, that led to the genocide of 20,000 men, women and children and the burning of the city of Bezier.

And gave us that infamous quote by the Crusader's leader, "Kill them all, God will know his own".

Absolutely fascinating medieval history.

27 posted on 07/21/2002 11:16:07 AM PDT by catonsville
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: catonsville
How a corrupt Pope, afraid of their power, forced a war against this saintly group and those that protected them, that led to the genocide of 20,000 men, women and children and the burning of the city of Bezier.

The Pope's of those days were highly political leaders. In Dante's Inferno, there are several Popes in hell. I am amazed that he got away with writing it when he did.

28 posted on 07/21/2002 11:20:55 AM PDT by Hacksaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
It's good to be the king.

a.cricket
29 posted on 07/21/2002 11:20:57 AM PDT by another cricket
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
On October 13th, 1307, King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the grounds of heresy

Bit of trivia. I believe this was a Friday, and therefore is the direct link to the Friday 13 superstition.

30 posted on 07/21/2002 11:35:50 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dubyaweluvya
Another rumor is that some of the original knights were direct descendents of Jesus. I suppose that's how they'll be able to bring forth his true heir. A descendent.

Rumors abound and we'll never be able to separate fact from fiction unless they, themselves, decide to tell us. I kind of hope they don't. The mystery is part of the fascination.
31 posted on 07/21/2002 11:45:11 AM PDT by radu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
It would seem to me that the only time that I heard of The Knights Templar was in"The Maltese Falcon"!!Very interesting HISTORY READ!!!
32 posted on 07/21/2002 11:46:26 AM PDT by bandleader
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: one_particular_harbour
I still haven't been able to finish The Island of the Day Before
33 posted on 07/21/2002 11:54:16 AM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: one_particular_harbour
Well, according to the following scathing review on Amazon, its more than just something being lost in the translation:

From The Boston Review
If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a modicum may have even greater perils. Eco parades themes -- including the double, the direction of time, and the effects of modern science upon morality -- but his ostentatious presentation, coupled with his scant narrative powers, suggests nothing so much as a dumbed-down lecture for high-school students of selected problems in philosophy. A grab-bag full of cute Scholastic arguments, tinkering Jesuits, and cartoon historical figures, The Island of the Day Before sheds no new light on any of Eco's chosen themes.
Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved.

35 posted on 07/21/2002 12:07:01 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: Hacksaw
Christianity eats its own for the 1 billionth time in history.
37 posted on 07/21/2002 12:21:47 PM PDT by Jonathon Spectre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
On October 13th, 1307, King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the grounds of heresy, since this was the only charge that would allow the seizing of their money and assets. The Templars were tortured and as a result, ridiculous confessions were given.

The govenment misused the law as a tool for asset forfeiture? I'm glad that can't happen anymore. </sarcasm>

38 posted on 07/21/2002 12:43:40 PM PDT by KarlInOhio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dubyaweluvya
My interest in the Knights Templar, the monastic life, and knighthood has always been more pragmatic social history....ie. Knighthood and service as a rung to the middle class. The monasteries created towns, schools and the need for trained knights guaranteed a boy of modest means the avenue for progress and property. This was entirely a western invention not based on any caste system. I wonder how much of the persecutions were a result of the fear by the papacy/aristocracy of this rise of the individual.
39 posted on 07/21/2002 12:54:25 PM PDT by Katya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Hacksaw
If you have an interest in bizarre mideval conspiracy theory (and who doesn't) do a google search on "Rennes le chateau"

The story never ends but find out about how Mary Magdelen became the mother of the French royal house

40 posted on 07/21/2002 12:58:58 PM PDT by muir_redwoods
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KayEyeDoubleDee
LOL!!! I keep telling myself, "You bought it, now finish it!" Part of the reason is all those Italian names start to swarm together- "ini's" everywhere, and I get all the characters confused.
41 posted on 07/21/2002 1:06:41 PM PDT by stands2reason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SR71A
While feel similarly to you about secret handshakes and such, I am more positively disposed to the Masons. First, George Washington was a Mason and I am a devoted Washingtonian. Second, as an amateur historian of the American Revolution, it is enlightening to learn how much the ideas of 18th century Freemasonry contributed to the founding of this Republic.

The secret stuff does keep me from applying for membership however.

42 posted on 07/21/2002 1:11:47 PM PDT by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Katya
The monasteries created towns, schools and the need for trained knights guaranteed a boy of modest means the avenue for progress and property. This was entirely a western invention not based on any caste system. I wonder how much of the persecutions were a result of the fear by the papacy/aristocracy of this rise of the individual.

In its most basic sense, Christianity gives every individual worth and value they never had before in the ancient world, and the emigrant Irish monasteries were a way of recivilizing and rechristianizing Europe amid the Dark Ages.

43 posted on 07/21/2002 1:25:54 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: drjoe
Excellent book! Any freepers who haven't read it, one piece of advice: don't let the first fifty or so pages put you off. Eco starts a bit slow, but he'll make it up to you.
44 posted on 07/21/2002 1:35:39 PM PDT by Gwaihir
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
YORKRITE. Most Jews who become Masons go the Scottish rite. Because (as I understand it) to go Yorkrite you must absolutely swear to be of the CHRISTIAN faith. That is my next step as a Mason.
45 posted on 07/21/2002 2:06:23 PM PDT by ExSoldier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
Wait, I thought that legend ocurred because the French Revolution began on Friday the 13th in 13something and it started simultaneously all over France because the Masons/Templars had it preplanned that way. They had an old enemity with the Knights of Malta and those folks were specifically targeted in the initial round of fighting. I'm not a "world history" guy (although I have taught it in the past) when I teach core curriculum, I'm more of an American History person; and American Government.
46 posted on 07/21/2002 2:14:17 PM PDT by ExSoldier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: ExSoldier
Thanks for the clarification. Good luck on your Masonic pursuits.
47 posted on 07/21/2002 2:53:03 PM PDT by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: stands2reason; one_particular_harbour
I keep telling myself, "You bought it [The Island of the Day Before], now finish it!"

My copy was a gift from my father, whose recommendations are normally gospel, and the only reason it is not still half-read on my nightstand is because I got rid of the nightstand. Of course, he now claims that "Oh, no, Eco is a fraud", in response to my offering that "Eco is supposed to be a deep thinker, so maybe I missed something..."

Note that this is a man who thought that notes from Martin Heidegger's lectures weren't worth the paper he had written them on.

48 posted on 07/21/2002 2:55:08 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: SR71A
Ah, the Masons, and the Knights Templar -- the Templars were the original conspiracy crowd. They would have had tinfoil helmets, if it was around in those days.

It was. 2000+ years ago, it was exported from Southern Brittan.

49 posted on 07/21/2002 3:03:58 PM PDT by rightofrush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
First, George Washington was a Mason and I am a devoted Washingtonian. Second, as an amateur historian of the American Revolution, it is enlightening to learn how much the ideas of 18th century Freemasonry contributed to the founding of this Republic.

The majority of the Founding Fathers were Masons. The majority of the Presidents were Masons. One large advantage of becoming a Mason is that you move in very "connected" circles, both at the local level, and regional and national levels. As you saw by my smileys, I was being facetious -- don't underestimate the political and financial power of FreeMasonry. I just never had the interest to "push" myself forward that much.

50 posted on 07/21/2002 3:04:30 PM PDT by SR71A
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-157 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson