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Knights Templar
Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon
Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici
Templarsign.jpg
A Seal of the Knights Templar, with their famous image of two knights on a single horse, a symbol of their early poverty. The text is in Greek and Latin characters, Sigillum Militum Χρisti: followed by a cross, which means "the Seal of the Soldiers of Christ".
Active c. 1119–1314
Allegiance Papacy
Type Western Christian military order
Role Protection of Pilgrims
Size 15,000–20,000 members at peak, 10% of whom were knights[1][2]
Headquarters Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Nickname Order of the Temple
Patron St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Motto Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam (Not to us, Lord, but to Your Name give the glory)
Attire White mantle with a red cross
Mascot 2 Knights riding one horse
Engagements The Crusades, including:
Siege of Ascalon (1153),
Battle of Montgisard (1177)
Battle of Hattin (1187),
Siege of Acre (1190-1191),
Battle of Arsuf (1191),
Siege of Acre (1291)
Reconquista
Commanders
First Grand Master Hugues de Payens
Last Grand Master Jacques de Molay

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici), commonly known as the Knights Templar or the Order of the Temple (French: Ordre du Temple or Templiers), were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders.[3] The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages.

Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129, the Order became a favoured charity throughout Christendom, and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades.[4] Non-combatant members of the Order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, innovating financial techniques that were an early form of banking,[5][6] and building many fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.

The Templars' existence was tied closely to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded. Rumors about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created mistrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, took advantage of the situation. In 1307, many of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake.[7] Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312. The abrupt disappearance of a major part of the European infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the "Templar" name alive into the modern day.

Contents

History

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Rise

The first headquarters of the Knights Templar, Al Aqsa Mosque, on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The Crusaders called it the Temple of Solomon, as it was built on top of the ruins of the original Temple, and it was from this location that the Knights took their name of Templar.

After the First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099, many Christian pilgrims traveled to visit what they referred to as the Holy Places. However, though the city of Jerusalem was under relatively secure control, the rest of the Outremer was not. Bandits abounded, and pilgrims were routinely slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, as they attempted to make the journey from the coastline at Jaffa into the Holy Land.[8]

Around 1119, two veterans of the First Crusade, the French knight Hugues de Payens and his relative Godfrey de Saint-Omer, proposed the creation of a monastic order for the protection of these pilgrims.[9] King Baldwin II of Jerusalem agreed to their request, and gave them space for a headquarters on the Temple Mount, in the captured Al Aqsa Mosque. The Temple Mount had a mystique, because it was above what was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon.[4][10] The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al Aqsa Mosque as Solomon's Temple, and it was from this location that the Order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or "Templar" knights. The Order, with about nine knights, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse, emphasizing the Order's poverty.

"[A Templar Knight] is truly a fearless knight, and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armour of faith, just as his body is protected by the armour of steel. He is thus doubly armed, and need fear neither demons nor men."
Bernard de Clairvaux, c. 1135, De Laude Novae Militae—In Praise of the New Knighthood[11]

The Templars' impoverished status did not last long. They had a powerful advocate in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading Church figure and a nephew of one of the founding knights. He spoke and wrote persuasively on their behalf, and in 1129 at the Council of Troyes, the Order was officially endorsed by the Church. With this formal blessing, the Templars became a favored charity throughout Christendom, receiving money, land, businesses, and noble-born sons from families who were eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land. Another major benefit came in 1139, when Pope Innocent II's papal bull Omne Datum Optimum exempted the Order from obedience to local laws. This ruling meant that the Templars could pass freely through all borders, were not required to pay any taxes, and were exempt from all authority except that of the Pope.[12]

With its clear mission and ample resources, the Order grew rapidly. Templars were often the advance force in key battles of the Crusades, as the heavily armoured knights on their warhorses would set out to charge at the enemy, in an attempt to break opposition lines. One of their most famous victories was in 1177 during the Battle of Montgisard, where some 500 Templar knights helped to defeat Saladin's army of more than 26,000 soldiers.[13]

Although the primary mission of the Order was military, relatively few members were combatants. The others acted in support positions to assist the knights and to manage the financial infrastructure. The Templar Order, though its members were sworn to individual poverty, was given control of wealth beyond direct donations. A nobleman who was interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away. Accumulating wealth in this manner throughout Christendom and the Outremer, the Order in 1150 began generating letters of credit for pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land: pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory before embarking, received a document indicating the value of their deposit, then used that document upon arrival in the Holy Land to retrieve their funds. This innovative arrangement was an early form of banking, and may have been the first formal system to support the use of cheques; it improved the safety of pilgrims by making them less attractive targets for thieves, and also contributed to the Templar coffers.[4][14]

Based on this mix of donations and business dealing, the Templars established financial networks across the whole of Christendom. They acquired large tracts of land, both in Europe and the Middle East; they bought and managed farms and vineyards; they built churches and castles; they were involved in manufacturing, import and export; they had their own fleet of ships; and at one point they even owned the entire island of Cyprus. The Order of the Knights Templar arguably qualifies as the world's first multinational corporation.[13][15][16]

Battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1187, the turning point in the Crusades

Decline

In the mid-1100s, the tide began to turn in the Crusades. The Muslim world had become more united under effective leaders such as Saladin, and dissension arose among Christian factions in and concerning the Holy Land. The Knights Templar were occasionally at odds with the two other Christian military orders, the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights, and decades of internecine feuds weakened Christian positions, politically and militarily. After the Templars were involved in several unsuccessful campaigns, including the pivotal Battle of the Horns of Hattin, Jerusalem was captured by Saladin's forces in 1187. The Crusaders retook the city in 1229, without Templar aid, but held it only briefly. In 1244, the Khwarezmi Turks recaptured Jerusalem, and the city did not return to Western control until 1917 when the British captured it from the Ottoman Turks.[17]

The Templars were forced to relocate their headquarters to other cities in the north, such as the seaport of Acre, which they held for the next century. But they lost that, too, in 1291, followed by their last mainland strongholds, Tortosa (in what is now Syria), and Atlit. Their headquarters then moved to Limassol on the island of Cyprus,[18] and they also attempted to maintain a garrison on tiny Arwad Island, just off the coast from Tortosa. In 1300, there was some attempt to engage in coordinated military efforts with the Mongols[19] via a new invasion force at Arwad. In 1302 or 1303, however, the Templars lost the island to the Egyptian Mamluks in the Siege of Arwad. With the island gone, the Crusaders lost their last foothold in the Holy Land.[13][20]

With the Order's military mission now less important, support for the organization began to dwindle. The situation was complex though, as over the two hundred years of their existence, the Templars had become a part of daily life throughout Christendom.[21] The organization's Templar Houses, hundreds of which were dotted throughout Europe and the Near East, gave them a widespread presence at the local level.[2] The Templars still managed many businesses, and many Europeans had daily contact with the Templar network, such as by working at a Templar farm or vineyard, or using the Order as a bank in which to store personal valuables. The Order was still not subject to local government, making it everywhere a "state within a state"—its standing army, though it no longer had a well-defined mission, could pass freely through all borders. This situation heightened tensions with some European nobility, especially as the Templars were indicating an interest in founding their own monastic state, just as the Teutonic Knights had done in Prussia[14] and the Knights Hospitaller were doing with Rhodes.[22]

Arrests and dissolution

King Philip IV of France (1268–1314)

In 1305, the new Pope Clement V, based in France, sent letters to both the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and the Hospitaller Grand Master Fulk de Villaret to discuss the possibility of merging the two Orders. Neither was amenable to the idea, but Pope Clement persisted, and in 1306 he invited both Grand Masters to France to discuss the matter. De Molay arrived first in early 1307, but de Villaret was delayed for several months. While waiting, De Molay and Clement discussed charges that had been made two years prior by an ousted Templar. It was generally agreed that the charges were false, but Clement sent King Philip IV of France a written request for assistance in the investigation. King Philip was already deeply in debt to the Templars from his war with the English and decided to seize upon the rumors for his own purposes. He began pressuring the Church to take action against the Order, as a way of freeing himself from his debts.[23]

On Friday, October 13, 1307 (a date sometimes incorrectly linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition)[24][25] Philip ordered de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested. The Templars were charged with numerous offenses (including apostasy, idolatry, heresy, obscene rituals and homosexuality, financial corruption and fraud, and secrecy).[26] Many of the accused confessed to these charges under torture, and these confessions, even though obtained under duress, caused a scandal in Paris. After more bullying from Philip, Pope Clement then issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.[27]

Templars being burned at the stake

Pope Clement called for papal hearings to determine the Templars' guilt or innocence, and once freed of the Inquisitors' torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310 Philip blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris.[28][29]

Convent of Christ in Castle Tomar, Portugal. Built in 1160 as a stronghold for the Knights Templar, it became the headquarters of the renamed Order of Christ. In 1983, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[30]

With Philip threatening military action unless the Pope complied with his wishes, Pope Clement finally agreed to disband the Order, citing the public scandal that had been generated by the confessions. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, he issued a series of papal bulls, including Vox in excelso, which officially dissolved the Order, and Ad providam, which turned over most Templar assets to the Hospitallers.[31]

As for the leaders of the Order, the elderly Grand Master Jacques de Molay, who had confessed under torture, retracted his statement. His associate Geoffrey de Charney, Preceptor of Normandy, followed de Molay's example and insisted on his innocence. Both men were declared guilty of being relapsed heretics, and they were sentenced to burn alive at the stake in Paris on March 18, 1314. De Molay reportedly remained defiant to the end, asking to be tied in such a way that he could face the Notre Dame Cathedral and hold his hands together in prayer.[32] According to legend, he called out from the flames that both Pope Clement and King Philip would soon meet him before God. Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.[33]

With the last of the Order's leaders gone, the remaining Templars around Europe were either arrested and tried under the Papal investigation (with virtually none convicted), absorbed into other military orders such as the Knights Hospitaller, or pensioned and allowed to live out their days peacefully. Some may have fled to other territories outside Papal control, such as excommunicated Scotland or to Switzerland. Templar organizations in Portugal simply changed their name, from Knights Templar to Knights of Christ.[34]

Chinon Parchment

In 2001, a document known as the "Chinon Parchment" was found in the Vatican Secret Archives, apparently after having been filed in the wrong place in 1628. It is a record of the trial of the Templars and shows that Clement absolved the Templars of all heresies in 1308 before formally disbanding the Order in 1312.[35]

It is currently the Roman Catholic Church position that the medieval persecution of the Knights Templar was unjust; that there was nothing inherently wrong with the Order or its Rule; and that Pope Clement was pressured into his actions by the magnitude of the public scandal and the dominating influence of King Philip IV.[36][37]

Organization

Templar building at Saint Martin des Champs, France

The Templars were organized as a monastic order similar to Bernard's Cistercian Order, which was considered the first effective international organisation in Europe.[38] The organizational structure had a strong chain of authority. Each country with a major Templar presence (France, England, Aragon, Portugal, Poitou, Apulia, Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, Anjou, Hungary, and Croatia[39] had a Master of the Order for the Templars in that region. All of them were subject to the Grand Master, appointed for life, who oversaw both the Order's military efforts in the East and their financial holdings in the West. No precise numbers exist, but it is estimated that at the Order's peak there were between 15,000 and 20,000 Templars, of whom about a tenth were actual knights.[1][2]

It was Bernard de Clairvaux and founder Hugues de Payens who devised the specific code of behavior for the Templar Order, known to modern historians as the Latin Rule. Its 72 clauses defined the ideal behavior for the Knights, such as the types of garments they were to wear and how many horses they could have. Knights were to take their meals in silence, eat meat no more than three times per week, and not have physical contact of any kind with women, even members of their own family. A Master of the Order was assigned "4 horses, and one chaplain-brother and one clerk with three horses, and one sergeant brother with two horses, and one gentleman valet to carry his shield and lance, with one horse."[40] As the Order grew, more guidelines were added, and the original list of 72 clauses was expanded to several hundred in its final form.[41][42]

One of the many reported flags of the Knights Templar

There was a threefold division of the ranks of the Templars: the aristocratic knights, the lower-born sergeants, and the clergy. Knights were required to be of knightly descent and to wear white mantles. They were equipped as heavy cavalry, with three or four horses and one or two squires. Squires were generally not members of the Order but were instead outsiders who were hired for a set period of time. Beneath the knights in the Order and drawn from lower social strata were the sergeants.[43] They were either equipped as light cavalry with a single horse[44] or served in other ways such as administering the property of the Order or performing menial tasks and trades. Chaplains, constituting a third Templar class, were ordained priests who saw to the Templars' spiritual needs.[45]

The knights wore a white surcoat with a red cross and a white mantle; the sergeants wore a black tunic with a red cross on front and back and a black or brown mantle.[46][47] The white mantle was assigned to the Templars at the Council of Troyes in 1129, and the cross was most probably added to their robes at the launch of the Second Crusade in 1147, when Pope Eugenius III, King Louis VII of France, and many other notables attended a meeting of the French Templars at their headquarters near Paris.[48][49][50] According to their Rule, the knights were to wear the white mantle at all times, even being forbidden to eat or drink unless they were wearing it.[51]

Initiation,[52] known as Reception (receptio) into the Order, was a profound commitment and involved a solemn ceremony. Outsiders were discouraged from attending the ceremony, which aroused the suspicions of medieval inquisitors during the later trials.

New members had to willingly sign over all of their wealth and goods to the Order and take vows of poverty, chastity, piety, and obedience.[53] Most brothers joined for life, although some were allowed to join for a set period. Sometimes a married man was allowed to join if he had his wife's permission,[47] but he was not allowed to wear the white mantle.[54]

The red cross that the Templars wore on their robes was a symbol of martyrdom, and to die in combat was considered a great honor that assured a place in heaven.[55] There was a cardinal rule that the warriors of the Order should never surrender unless the Templar flag had fallen, and even then they were first to try to regroup with another of the Christian orders, such as that of the Hospitallers. Only after all flags had fallen were they allowed to leave the battlefield.[56] This uncompromising principle, along with their reputation for courage, excellent training, and heavy armament, made the Templars one of the most feared combat forces in medieval times.[57]

Grand Masters

Starting with founder Hugues de Payens in 1118–1119, the Order's highest office was that of Grand Master, a position which was held for life, though considering the martial nature of the Order, this could mean a very short tenure. All but two of the Grand Masters died in office, and several died during military campaigns. For example, during the Siege of Ascalon in 1153, Grand Master Bernard de Tremelay led a group of 40 Templars through a breach in the city walls. When the rest of the Crusader army did not follow, the Templars, including their Grand Master, were surrounded and beheaded.[58] Grand Master Gérard de Ridefort was beheaded by Saladin in 1189 at the Siege of Acre.

The Grand Master oversaw all of the operations of the Order, including both the military operations in the Holy Land and Eastern Europe and the Templars' financial and business dealings in Western Europe. Some Grand Masters also served as battlefield commanders, though this was not always wise: several blunders in de Ridefort's combat leadership contributed to the devastating defeat at the Battle of Hattin. The last Grand Master was Jacques de Molay, burned at the stake in Paris in 1314 by order of King Philip IV.[29]

Legacy

Temple Church, London. As the chapel of the New Temple in London, it was the location for Templar initiation ceremonies. In modern times it is the parish church of the Middle and Inner Temples, two of the Inns of Court. It is a popular tourist attraction.

With their military mission and extensive financial resources, the Knights Templar funded a large number of building projects around Europe and the Holy Land. Many of these structures are still standing. Many sites also maintain the name "Temple" because of centuries-old association with the Templars.[59] For example, some of the Templars' lands in London were later rented to lawyers, which led to the names of the Temple Bar gateway and the Temple tube station. Two of the four Inns of Court which may call members to act as barristers are the Inner Temple and Middle Temple.

Distinctive architectural elements of Templar buildings include the use of the image of "two knights on a single horse", representing the Knights' poverty, and round buildings designed to resemble the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Modern Templar organizations

By papal decree, the property of the Templars was transferred to the Order of Hospitallers, which also absorbed many of the Templars' members. In effect, the dissolution of the Templars could be seen as the merger of the two rival orders.[60]

The story of the secretive yet powerful medieval Templars, especially their persecution and sudden dissolution, has been a tempting source for many other groups which have used alleged connections with the Templars as a way of enhancing their own image and mystery. [61] Since at least the 1700s the Freemasons have incorporated some Templar symbols and rituals,[4] most of which being found within a Masonic body referred to as the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, or simply the Knights Templar. This organization exists either independently or as a part of the York Rite throughout much of the world. The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, founded in 1804, has achieved United Nations NGO status as a charitable organization.[62]

There is no clear historical link between the Knights Templar, which were dismantled in the 14th century, and any of these other organizations, of which the earliest emerged publicly in the 18th century. However, there is often public confusion and many overlook the 400-year gap.

Legends and relics

The Knights Templar have become associated with legends concerning secrets and mysteries handed down to the select from ancient times. Rumors circulated even during the time of the Templars themselves. Freemasonic writers added their own speculations in the 19th century, and further fictional embellishments have been added in popular novels such as Ivanhoe, Foucault's Pendulum, and The Da Vinci Code,[4] modern movies such as National Treasure and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as video games such as Broken Sword and Assassin's Creed.[63]

The Dome of the Rock, one of the structures at the Temple Mount

Many of the Templar legends are connected with the Order's early occupation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and speculation about what relics the Templars may have found there, such as the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant.[4][14][57] That the Templars were in possession of some relics is certain. Many churches still display holy relics such as the bones of a saint, a scrap of cloth once worn by a holy man, or the skull of a martyr; the Templars did the same. They were documented as having a piece of the True Cross, which the Bishop of Acre carried into battle at the disastrous Horns of Hattin.[64] When the battle was lost, Saladin captured the relic, which was then ransomed back to the Crusaders when the Muslims surrendered the city of Acre in 1191.[65] The Templars were known to possess the head of Saint Euphemia of Chalcedon.[66] The subject of relics also came up during the Inquisition of the Templars, as several trial documents refer to the worship of an idol of some type, referred to in some cases as a cat, a bearded head, or in some cases as Baphomet. This accusation of idol worship levied against the Templars has also led to the modern belief by some that the Templars practiced witchcraft.[67] However, modern scholars generally explain the name Baphomet from the trial documents as simply a French misspelling of the name Mahomet (Muhammad).[4][68]

There was particular interest during the Crusader era in the Holy Grail myth, which was quickly associated with the Templars, even in the 12th century. The first Grail romance, the fantasy story Le Conte du Graal, was written in 1180 by Chrétien de Troyes, who came from the same area where the Council of Troyes had officially sanctioned the Templars' Order. In Arthurian legend, the hero of the Grail quest, Sir Galahad (a 13th-century literary invention of monks from St. Bernard's Cistercian Order), was depicted bearing a shield with the cross of Saint George, similar to the Templars' insignia. In a chivalric epic of the period, Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach refers to Templars guarding the Grail Kingdom.[69] A legend developed that, since the Templars had their headquarters at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, they must have excavated in search of relics, found the Grail, and then proceeded to keep it in secret and guard it with their lives. However, in the extensive documents of the Templar inquisition there was never a single mention of anything like a Grail relic,[13] let alone its possession by the Templars. In reality, most scholars agree that the story of the Grail was just that, a fiction that began circulating in medieval times.[4][14]

One legendary object that does have some connection with the Templars is the Shroud of Turin. In 1357, the shroud was first publicly displayed by the family of the grandson of Geoffrey de Charney, the Templar who had been burned at the stake with Jacques de Molay in 1314. The shroud's origins are still a matter of controversy, but in 1988, a carbon dating analysis concluded that the shroud was made between 1260 and 1390, a span that includes the last half-century of the Templars' existence.[70] The validity of the dating methodology has subsequently been called into question, and the age of the shroud is still subject of much debate.[71][72]

See also

Templar Cross

This article is part of or related
to the Knights Templar series

Notes

  1. ^ a b Burman, p. 45.
  2. ^ a b c Barber, in "Supplying the Crusader States" says, "By Molay's time the Grand Master was presiding over at least 970 houses, including commanderies and castles in the east and west, serviced by a membership which is unlikely to have been less than 7,000, excluding employees and dependents, who must have been seven or eight times that number."
  3. ^ Malcolm Barber, The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple. Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-521-42041-5.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h The History Channel, Decoding the Past: The Templar Code, 7 November 2005, video documentary written by Marcy Marzuni
  5. ^ Martin, p. 47.
  6. ^ Nicholson, p. 4
  7. ^ Malcolm Barber, The Trial of the Templars. Cambridge University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-521-45727-0.
  8. ^ Burman, pp. 13, 19.
  9. ^ Read, The Templars. p. 91.
  10. ^ Barber, The New Knighthood, p. 7.
  11. ^ Stephen A. Dafoe. "In Praise of the New Knighthood". TemplarHistory.com. http://www.templarhistory.com/praise.html. Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
  12. ^ Burman, p. 40.
  13. ^ a b c d The History Channel, Lost Worlds: Knights Templar, July 10, 2006, video documentary written and directed by Stuart Elliott
  14. ^ a b c d Sean Martin, The Knights Templar: The History & Myths of the Legendary Military Order, 2005. ISBN 1-56025-645-1.
  15. ^ Ralls, Karen (2007). Knights Templar Encyclopedia. Career Press. pp. 28. ISBN 9781564149268. 
  16. ^ Benson, Michael (2005). Inside Secret Societies. Kensington Publishing Corp.. pp. 90. 
  17. ^ Martin, p. 99.
  18. ^ Martin, p. 113.
  19. ^ Demurger, p.139 "During four years, Jacques de Molay and his order were totally committed, with other Christian forces of Cyprus and Armenia, to an enterprise of reconquest of the Holy Land, in liaison with the offensives of Ghazan, the Mongol Khan of Persia.
  20. ^ Nicholson, p. 201. "The Templars retained a base on Arwad island (also known as Ruad island, formerly Arados) off Tortosa (Tartus) until October 1302 or 1303, when the island was recaptured by the Mamluks."
  21. ^ Nicholson, p. 5
  22. ^ Nicholson, p. 237
  23. ^ Barber, Trial of the Templars, 2nd ed. "Recent Historiography on the Dissolution of the Temple." In the second edition of his book, Barber summarizes the views of many different historians, with an overview of the modern debate on Philip's precise motives.
  24. ^ "Friday the 13th". snopes.com. http://www.snopes.com/luck/friday13.asp. Retrieved March 26, 2007. 
  25. ^ David Emery. "Why Friday the 13th is unlucky". urbanlegends.about.com. http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/historical/a/friday_the_13th_4.htm. Retrieved March 26, 2007. 
  26. ^ Barber, Trial of the Templars, p. 178
  27. ^ Martin, p. 118.
  28. ^ Martin, p. 122
  29. ^ a b Barber, Trial, 1978, p. 3
  30. ^ "Convent of Christ in Tomar". World Heritage Site. http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/tomar.html. Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
  31. ^ Martin, pp. 123–124
  32. ^ Martin, p. 125.
  33. ^ Martin, p. 140
  34. ^ Martin, pp. 140–142
  35. ^ "Long-lost text lifts cloud from Knights Templar". msn.com. October 12, 2007. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21267691/?GT1=10450. Retrieved October 12, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Knights Templar secrets revealed". CNN. October 12, 2007. http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/10/12/knights.pardon.ap/index.html. Retrieved October 12, 2007. 
  37. ^ Frale, Barbara (2004). "The Chinon chart—Papal absolution to the last Templar, Master Jacques de Molay". Journal of Medieval History 30 (2): 109–134. doi:10.1016/j.jmedhist.2004.03.004. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VC1-4CC314K-3&_user=1589142&_handle=V-WA-A-W-Z-MsSAYWW-UUA-U-AAVADBEZEV-AABEBWUVEV-ZBZVECBYZ-Z-U&_fmt=summary&_coverdate=06%2F30%2F2004&_rdoc=2&_orig=browse&_srch=%23toc%235941%232004%23999699997%23504102!&_cdi=5941&view=c&_acct=C000053912&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1589142&md5=cc8dc869d6bc4326929c25a42c118a60. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  38. ^ Burman, p. 28
  39. ^ Barber, Trial, 1978, p. 10
  40. ^ Burman, p. 43
  41. ^ Burman, pp. 30–33
  42. ^ Martin, p. 32
  43. ^ Barber, New Knighthood, p. 190
  44. ^ Martin, p. 54
  45. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "The Knights Templars" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  46. ^ Barber, New Knighthood, p. 191
  47. ^ a b Burman, p. 44
  48. ^ Barber, The New Knighthood, page 66: "According to William of Tyre it was under Eugenius III that the Templars received the right to wear the characteristic red cross upon their tunics, symbolising their willingness to suffer martyrdom in the defence of the Holy Land." (WT, 12.7, p. 554. James of Vitry, 'Historia Hierosolimatana', ed. J. ars, Gesta Dei per Francos, vol I(ii), Hanover, 1611, p. 1083, interprets this as a sign of martyrdom.)
  49. ^ Martin, The Knights Templar, page 43: "The Pope conferred on the Templars the right to wear a red cross on their white mantles, which symbolised their willingness to suffer martyrdom in defending the Holy Land against the infidel."
  50. ^ Read, The Templars, page 121: "Pope Eugenius gave them the right to wear a scarlet cross over their hearts, so that the sign would serve triumphantly as a shield and they would never turn away in the face of the infidels': the red blood of the martyr was superimposed on the white of the chaste." (Melville, La Vie des Templiers, p. 92.)
  51. ^ Burman, p. 46.
  52. ^ Martin, p. 52
  53. ^ Newman, Sharan (2007). The Real History Behind the Templars. Berkeley Publishing. pp. 304–12. 
  54. ^ Barber, Trial, 1978, p. 4
  55. ^ Nicholson, p. 141
  56. ^ Barber, New Knighthood, p. 193
  57. ^ a b Picknett, Lynn and Prince, Clive (1997). The Templar Revelation. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84891-0. 
  58. ^ Read, p. 137.
  59. ^ Martin, p. 58.
  60. ^ "The Knights Templars, Catholic Encyclopedia 1913". http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14493a.htm. Retrieved October 13, 2007. 
  61. ^ Finlo Rohrer (October 19, 2007). "What are the Knights Templar up to now?". BBC News Magazine. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7050713.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  62. ^ "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as at 31 August 2006" (PDF). United Nations Economic and Social Council. 31 August 2006. http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo/pdf/INF_List.pdf. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  63. ^ El-Nasr, Magy Seif; Maha Al-Saati; Simon Niedenthal; David Milam. "Assassin’s Creed: A Multi-Cultural Read" (PDF). pp. 6–7. http://journals.sfu.ca/loading/index.php/loading/article/viewPDFInterstitial/51/46. Retrieved 2009-10-01. "we interviewed Jade Raymond ... Jade says ... Templar Treasure was ripe for exploring. What did the Templars find" 
  64. ^ Read, p. 91.
  65. ^ Read, p. 171.
  66. ^ Martin, p. 139.
  67. ^ Sanello, Frank (2003). The Knights Templars: God's Warriors, the Devil's Bankers. Taylor Trade Publishing. pp. 207–208. ISBN 0-87833-302-9. 
  68. ^ Barber, Trial of the Templars, 1978, p. 62.
  69. ^ Martin, p. 133.
  70. ^ Barrett, Jim (Spring 1996). "Science and the Shroud: Microbiology meets archeology in a renewed quest for answers". The Mission. http://www.uthscsa.edu/mission/spring96/shroud.htm. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  71. ^ "Dating The Shroud". Advanced Christianity. http://www.advancedchristianity.com/DatingTheShroud/DatingTheShroud.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  72. ^ Relic, Harry Gove (1996) Icon or Hoax? Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud ISBN 0750303980

References

Further reading


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

TEMPLARS, The Knights Templars, or Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (pauperes commilitones Christi templique Salomonici), formed one of the three great military orders, founded in the 12th century. Unlike the Hospitallers and the Teutonic Knights it was a military order from its very origin.

Table of contents

Foundation

Its founders were a Burgundian knight named Hugues de Payns (Hugo de Paganis) and Godeffroi de St Omer, a knight from northern France, who in 1119 undertook the pious task of protecting the pilgrims who, after the first crusade, flocked to Jerusalem and the other sacred spots in the Holy Land. They were quickly joined by six other knights and soon afterwards organized themselves as a religious community, taking an oath to the patriarch of Jerusalem to guard the public roads, to forsake worldly chivalry, "of which human favour and not Jesus Christ was the cause," and, living in chastity, obedience and poverty, according to the rule of St Benedict, "to fight with a pure mind for the supreme and true King."

To this nascent order of warrior monks Baldwin I, king of Jerusalem, handed over a part of his royal palace lying next to the former mosque of al-Aksa, the so-called "Temple of Solomon," whence they took their name. They had at first no distinctive habit, wearing any old clothes that might be given to them. Nor was their community exclusive. Their primitive rule seems to have enjoined them especially to seek out excommunicated knights, and to admit them, after absolution by the bishop, to their order, and they thus served a useful purpose in at once disciplining and converting the unruly rabble of "rogues and impious men, robbers and committers of sacrilege, murderers, perjurers and adulterers" who streamed to the Holy Land in hope of plunder and salvation. It was this rule which led later to the most important privilege of the order, the immunity from sentences of excommunication pronounced by bishops and parish priests.(Fn3) This practice, as Prutz points out, might have brought them at once under the suspicion of the Church, and it soon became expedient to obtain the highest sanction for the new order and its rules. In the autumn of 1127 accordingly Hugues de Payns, with certain companions, appeared in Europe, where he was fortunate enough to secure the enthusiastic support of the all powerful abbot of Clairvaux. Grateful pilgrims had already begun to enrich the order; the De laude novae militae, a glowing panegyric of this new and holy conception of knighthood, addressed by Bernard to Hugues de Payns by name, insured the success of his mission. In 1128 the council of Troyes discussed and sanctioned the rule of the order which, if not drawn up by Bernard, was undoubtedly largely inspired by him.(Fn4)

Footnotes

  1. A fief in Champagne, near Troyes.
  2. Bernard of Clairvaux, De laude novae militae, cap. v. (in 1VIigne, Patrol. lat. 182, p. 928).
  3. Prutz, Templerherrenorden, p. 12. The Latin copy of the Rule (Bibliotheque Nationale) reads " Milites non excommunicatos" for chevaliers escomenies"; which means, according to Prutz, that when the Latin version was made the original significance of the rule had been forgotten. M. de Curzon (Règle du Temple, p. iv.), on the other hand, assumes that the Latin text represents the original rules drawn up in 1128 and that the French version is a corrupt copy. That Prutz is right would seem to be shown not only by the reasonableness of the rule in itself (why should the Templars be instructed to look out for gatherings of non-excommunicated knights?) but by the language of cap. v. of the De laude novae militae, in which Bernard extols the knights for turning the enemies of Christ into his soldiers (ut quos diu pertulit oppugnatores magis jam propugnatores habere incipiat; faciatque de hoste militem).
  4. Bernard was not present at the council. But the " humble escrivain " of the Regle du Temple, Johan Michiel, writes "par le comandement dou concile et dou venerable Pere Bernart abbes de Clerevaus."' Compare the rule also with the chapter (iii.) of the De laude: De militibus Christi.

Rule of the Temple

No manuscript of the original "French Rule of the Temple" (Regle du Temple) exists. Of the three extant manuscripts representing later recensions, one is preserved at the Accademia dei Lincei at Rome (Cod. 44,44, A 14), one at the Bibliotheque Nationale (fonds francais 1977), the third in the departmental archives at Dijon (H. 111). The last of these, probably intended for the use of the master of a subordinate house, is much abbreviated; it dates, however, from the early part of the 13th century, whereas the others are of the end of the century at earliest. In essentials these copies preserve the matter and spirit of the primitive Rule, and they prove that to the end the order was, in principle at least, submitted to the same strict discipline as at the beginning.(Fn1) The Regle du Temple in its final form as we now possess it contains the rules for the constitution and administration of the order; the duties and privileges of the various classes of its personnel; the monastic rules, regulations as to costume and as to religious services; rules for the holding of chapters, and a summary of offences and their punishment; the procedure at the election of a grand master and at receptions into the order; a definition of the relations of the order to the pope, and to other religious orders.

It must be borne in mind, however, that the organization of the order as described below was only gradually developed, not having been fixed at Troyes. At first the master of the Temple at Jerusalem was only one among many; the seneschal and marshal appear not to have existed; and it was not till the bull Omne datum optimum of Pope Alexander III. (1163), the great charter of the order, that its organization was definitively centralized.

Footnotes

  1. Of a secret Rule, in spite of the most diligent research, no trace has ever been found. It is now generally held that none ever existed. The legend of its existence, so fatal to the order, is probably traceable to the fact that the complete Rule was jealously guarded by the chief office-bearers of the order, only excerpts being given to the heads of the lesser houses (e.g. the Dijon MS.) and known generally to the knights.

Constitution

As finally constituted, the order consisted of (1) knights (fratres milites), (2) chaplains (fratres capellani), (3) serjeants or esquires (fratres servientes armigeri), (4) menials and craftsmen (fratres servientes famuli and officii). All were bound by the rules of the order and enjoyed its privileges. Women were not admitted to the order.(Fn1)

Grand Master

  1. At the head of the order was the master of the Temple at Jerusalem (in Cyprus after the fall of the Latin Kingdom), known as the grand master. His authority was very great - except in certain reserved cases his word was law - but he was not absolute. Thus in matters of special importance - alienation of the estates of the order, attack on a fortress, declaration of war, conclusion of an armistice, reception of a new brother - he had to consult the chapter, and was bound by the vote of the majority; nor could he modify or abrogate a decree of the council of the order without their consent. He had to obtain the consent of the chapter also to the nomination of the grand commanders of the provinces of the order; the lesser offices were absolutely in his gift.

He was elected by a complicated process, a chapter summoned ad hoc electing a "commander of the election" and one other brother who, after vigil and prayer, co-opted two more, these four choosing another two, and so on till the number of the twelve apostles had been reached. A chaplain, representing Jesus Christ, was then added to complete the electoral college (see Curzon, Regle du Temple, p. xxxv).(Fn2) The grand master was allowed four horses for his ordinary use. His household consisted of a frater capellanus, a cleric, a frater serviens with two horses, a Saracen secretary (ecrivain sarrazinois) as interpreter, a turcople, i.e. a soldier belonging to the light-horse attached to the order, a farrier and a cook, two footmen (garcons a pied) to look after his special Turcoman horse, only used in war time. He was further attended by two knights of the order of high rank. The ensigns of his presence on campaign were the large round tent and the gonfanon baucent, the black and white pennant, charged with the red cross of the order.

Seneschal

  1. The second officer of the Temple was the seneschal. He had a right to attend all chapters, even the most secret. His equipage, tent, banner and seal were the same as the master's. Attached to his person were two squires, a knight companion, a frater serviens, a secretary in deacon's orders to say the hours, a turcople, a Saracen secretary and two foot servants.

Marshal

  1. Third in order was the marshal, who was supreme military authority, and had under his charge the horses and arms. In the absence of master and seneschal he acted as locum tenens. His equipage and suite were much the same as those of master and seneschal.

Other Order Officials

The provincial marshals were absolute in their provinces, but subordinate to the marshal of the order.

The commander of the land and realm of Jerusalem was grand treasurer of the order, administered its estates in the province of Jerusalem, and was responsible for the lodging of the brethren. He also had charge of the fleet, the commander of the port of Acre being his subordinate. His equipage and suite were much the same as those of seneschal and marshal.

The commander of the city of Jerusalem was the hospitaller of the order. He was charged with the defence of pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, and with the duty of supplying them with food and horses. Ten knights were specially attached to him for this purpose, and to act as guard to the relics of the True Cross. Subordinate to him was a second commander for the city itself.

The commanders of Tripoli and Antioch enjoyed all the rights of the grand master within their provinces, except when he was present. They too had the round tent and the gonfanon. Besides these, the rule mentions the commanders of France, England, Poitou, Portugal, Apulia and Hungary, whose rights and privileges are analogous to those of the commanders above mentioned. (probably Fn1) Lastly, of the great officers of the order must be mentioned the drapier, who was charged with the supervision of the clothing of the brethren. He was closely associated with the commander of the kingdom of Jerusalem, his equipage was that of the commanders, but his suite included a number of tailors.

Below the great dignitaries there were in the provinces commanders of houses, under the provincial commanders, and the commanders of the knights, who acted as lieutenants of the marshals.

General Members

Turning to the general body of the order: the knights (milites) were entitled to three horses and a squire, or by special favour to four horses and two squires. They had two tents.

Of the serjeants (servientes) five occupied an exceptional position: the deputy-marshals (souz-mareschau), who looked after the arms and armour, the gonfanonier, who was responsible for the discipline and catering of the squires, the kitchener (cuisinier) and the farrier. These had two horses, a squire and a tent. All the others, even if commanders of houses, had but one horse. At the head of all the serjeants in time of war was the turcoplier, the chief of the turcopies. He had four horses in his equipage and certain special prerogatives; in battle he took his orders only from the master or seneschal.

Chaplains

Of peculiar importance were the chaplains (fratres capellani). These did not originally form part of the order, which was served by priests from outside. The bull Omne datum optimum of 1163 imposed on clerics attaching themselves to the order an oath of lifelong obedience to the grand master; by the middle of the 13th century the chaplains took the same oath as the other brothers and were distinguished from them only by their orders and the privileges these implied (e.g. they were spared the more humiliating punishments, shaved the face, and had a separate cup to drink out of). The order thus had its own clergy, exempt from the jurisdiction of diocesan bishops and parish priests, owing obedience to the grand master and the pope alone. By the rules, no Templar was allowed to confess to any save a priest attached to the order, if one were available, and such priest was formally declared to have received from the pope more power to absolve than an archbishop.2 It remains to be said that the brethren were admitted either for life or for a term of years. Married men were also received, but on condition of bequeathing one half of their property to the order (rule 69).

The chapters of the order were either secret, composed of such brothers as the master might esteem "wise and profitable for giving advice," or general assemblies of the order, at the discretion of the master, who was to listen to the counsel given and do what seemed best to him (rule 36).

Footnotes

  1. Rule 70. Perillouse chose est compaignie de feme, que le deable ancien par compaignie de fame a degete pluisors dou droit sentier de paradis. It is interesting to compare this with the more wholesome view of the best of the contemporary chivalrous poets, e.g. Walther von der Vogelweide or Wolfram von Eschenbach (Parzival), who hold up true love as the highest earthly incentive to noble deeds.
  2. The bull Omne datum optimum (1163) decreed that the master must be a knight of the order who had taken the vows, and vested the election exclusively in the knights.
  3. The titles varied. The provincial commander is "Master " or "Grand Prior" or "Grand Preceptor" under him are "priors" over large estates, and under them "preceptors" of houses. Preceptors took their name from the mandate of the master issued to them: "Praecipimus tibi."
  4. Rule 269. .. Car it en ont greignor povir de l'apostoile (i.e. the pope) d'eaus assoudre que un arcevesque (Curzon, p. 165).

Habit of the Order

The characteristic habit of the order was the white mantle, symbolic of purity, with the red cross, the ensign of the champions of the Church, first granted by Pope Eugenius III. (1145-53). Only the unmarried knights bound by life-long vows, however, were privileged to wear the white mantle, which was also given to chaplains in episcopal orders. The rest wore a black or brown mantle, the red cross being common to all. The chaplains were distinguished by wearing the mantle closed.

Conduct and Discipline

The brethren were to attend daily services; but the soldier outwearied with his nightly duties might on certain conditions absent himself from matins with the master's consent.

Two regular meals were allowed for each day; but to these might be added, at the master's discretion, a light collation towards sunset. Meat might be eaten thrice a week; and on other days there was to be a choice of vegetable fare so as to suit the tenderest stomach. Brethren were to eat by couples, each keeping an eye on his fellow to see that he did not practise an undue austerity. Wine was served at every meal, and at those times silence was strictly enjoined that the words of Holy Writ might be heard with the closest attention.(Fn1)

Special care was to be taken of aged and ailing members. Every brother owed the most absolute obedience to the master of the order, and was to go wherever his superior bade him without delay, "as if commanded by God."

All undue display in arms or harness was forbidden. Parti-coloured garments were forbidden. All garments were to be made of wool; but from Easter to All Souls a linen shirt might be substituted for one of wool. The hair was to be worn short, and a rough beard became one of the distinguishing marks of the order.

Hunting and hawking were unlawful; and the very allusion to the follies or secular achievements of earlier life was forbidden. A lion, however, being the type of the evil one, was legitimate prey.

Strict watch was kept on the incomings and outgoings of every brother, except when he went out by night to visit the Sepulchre of our Lord. No letter, even from the nearest relative, might be opened except in the master's presence; nor was any member to feel annoyance if he saw his relative's gift transferred at the master's bidding to some other brother. The brethren were to sleep in separate beds in shirts and breeches, with a light always burning in the dormitory. Those who lacked a mattress might place a piece of carpet on the floor; but all luxury was discouraged.

A term of probation was assigned to each candidate before admission; and a special clause discouraged the reception of boys before they were of an age to bear arms.(Fn2) Lastly, the brethren of the Temple were exhorted to shun the kiss of every woman, whether maid or widow, mother, aunt or sister.

For grievous offences, such as desertion to the Saracens, heresy, losing the gonfalon, murdering a Christian, or failing to account for all the property of the order in his possession, a Templar might be expelled (perdre la maison); for minor offences, such as disobedience, lowering the banner in battle, or killing a slave or a horse, he suffered a temporary degradation (perdre son abit). No member of another religious order was received by the Templars, and no Templar could leave the order without permission of the master, and then only on condition of joining a stricter monastic community. By mutual agreement the Templars and Hospitallers, despite their long and deadly feud, were bound not to receive ejected members of the rival order; and the Templar cut off in battle and defeat from all hope of rejoining his own ranks might rally to the cross of St John.

Footnotes

  1. The Bible was read in a French translation. A MS. of a Templar Bible, exhibiting curious touches of the critical spirit, is now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. See Prutz, Templerherrenorden, p. 116.
  2. This rule was not observed later on, postulants being admitted without any period of noviciate, and among the Templars arrested in 3307 were many young boys.

History

Long before St Bernard's death (1153) the new order was established in almost every kingdom of Latin Christendom. Henry I granted them lands in Normandy. They seemed to have been settled in Castile by 1129, in Rochelle by 1131, in Languedoc by 1136, at Rome by 1138, in Brittany by 1141, and in Germany at perhaps a still earlier date. Alphonso I. of Aragon and Navarre, if we may trust the Spanish historians, bequeathed them the third of his kingdom (Mariana, x. c. 9). Raymond Berengar IV., count of of the Barcelona, and Alphonso's successor in Aragon, whose order.(?) father had been admitted to the order, granted them the strong castle of Monzon (1143), and established a new chivalry in imitation of theirs. Louis VII in the latter years of his reign gave them a piece of marsh land outside Paris, which in later times became known as the Temple, and was the headquarters of the order in Europe.(Fn1) Stephen of England granted them the manors of Cressing and Witham in Essex, and his wife Matilda that of Cowley, near Oxford. Eugenius III, Louis VII, and 130 brethren were present at the Paris chapter (1147) when Bernard de Balliol granted the order 15 librates of land near Hitchin; and the list of English benefactors under Stephen and Henry II includes the noble names of Ferrers, Harcourt, Hastings, Lacy, Clare, Vere and Mowbray.

Relations with the Popes

Spiritual privileges were granted to them by the popes as lavishly as temporal possessions by the princes and people. Pope Adrian IV allowed them to have their own churches; Eugenius III added to these the right to have churchyards; and churches and churchyards, as in the case of the order generally, were exempted from the operation of ordinary excommunications and interdicts. Thus a person dying excommunicated, refused burial elsewhere, sometimes - like Geoffrey de Mandeville(Fn2) - found a resting place in the consecrated ground of the Templars. Eugenius III also granted the Templars the right to have interdicted churches opened twice a year for the purpose of making their collections. They were, moreover, as defenders of the Church, exempted from the payment of tithes. Finally, they were exempted from the action even of general censures and decrees of the popes, unless mentioned in them by name. Very soon the order refused to submit in any way to the ordinary jurisdiction of the diocesan bishops and formed in effect a separate ecclesiastical organization under the pope as supreme bishop. The result was that, scarce twenty-five years after its foundation, the order was at open feud with bishops and parish priests, and the popes found it necessary to issue decree after decree to protect it from violence and spoliation. The complaints of the secular clergy, on the other hand, came to a head in 1179 at the Lateran Council, when even Pope Alexander III had to consent to a series of decrees directed against the abuse of its privileges by the order (Prutz, p. 41).

So long, however, as the attention of the papacy and of Christendom was fixed on the problem of recovering and safeguarding the Holy Land, the position of the Templars was unassailable and all efforts to curb the growth of their power vain. The order as such had no European policy;(Fn3) the whole of its vast organization was maintained for the purpose of feeding the holy war against the infidels with recruits and with money; and its ultimate fate depended on its success or failure in the East. (W. A. P.) After the council of Troyes Hugues de Payns came to England and induced a number of knights to follow him to the Holy Land. Among these was Fulk, count of Anjou, who would thus seem to have been a Templar before assuming the crown of Jerusalem in 1131. Hugues de Payns died about the year 1136 and was succeeded by Robert de Craon, who is said to have been Anselm's nephew. Everard de masters Barris, the third master, was conspicuous in the second crusade. In the disastrous march from Laodicea to Attalia his troops alone kept up even the show of discipline; and their success prompted Louis VII to regulate his whole army after the model of the Templar knights.

In the French king's distress for money the Templars lent him large sums, ranging from 2000 silver marks to 30,000 solidi. When Conrad III of Germany reached Jerusalem he was entertained at their palace (Easter 1148); and in the summer of the same year they took part in the unsuccessful siege of Damascus. The failure of this expedition was ascribed by a contemporary writer to their treachery - a charge to which Conrad would not assent. This is the first note of the accusations which from this time were of constant recurrence.(Fn4) Henceforward for 140 years the history of the Templars is the history of the Crusades.

In 1149 the Templars were appointed to guard the fortress of Gaza, the last Christian stronghold on the way towards Egypt. Four years later their new master, Bernard de Tremelai, and forty of his followers, bursting into Ascalon, were surrounded by the Saracens and cut off to a single man. William of Tyre has preserved the scandal of the day when he hints that they met a merited fate in their eagerness to possess themselves of the city treasure. Next year the rumour went abroad that they had sold a noble half-converted Egyptian prince, who had fallen into their hands, to chains and certain death for 60,000 aurei. In 1166 Amalric, the Latin king of Jerusalem, hanged twelve Templars on a charge of betraying a fortress beyond the Jordan to an amir of Nur al-Din of Damascus. The military power of Nur al-Din (1145-73) was a standing menace to the Christian settlements in the East. Edessa had fallen to the prowess of his father (1144-45); Damascus was conquered by the son (1153), who four years earlier had carried his depredations almost to the walls of Antioch, and in 1157 laid siege to the Christian town of Paneas near the sources of the Jordan. In the disastrous fight that followed for the safety of the fortress of the Hospitallers, Bertrand de Blanquefort, the master of the Templars, and Odo de St Amand, one of his successors, were taken prisoners. Bertrand was released later when Manuel was preparing to march against Nun al-Din. The Templars do not seem to have opposed Amalric's early expeditions against Egypt. It was Geoffrey Fulcher, the Templar correspondent of Louis VII., who brought back (1167) to Jerusalem the glowing accounts of the splendour of the caliph's court at Cairo with which Gibbon has enlivened his great work.

Nor was the order less active at the northern limits of the Latin kingdom. Two English Templars, Gilbert de Lacy and Robert Mansel, "qui Galensibus praeerat," starting from Antioch, surprised Nur al-Din in the neighbourhood of Tripoli and put him barefooted to flight. But jealousy or honour led the Templars to oppose Amalric's Egyptian expedition of 1168; and the wisdom of their advice became apparent when the renewed discord on the Nile led to the conquest of Egypt by Asad al-Din Shirkuh, and thus indirectly to the accession of Saladin, in 1169. In 1170 they beat Saladin back from their frontier fortress of Gaza; and seven years later they shared in Baldwin IV.'s great victory at Ascalon. Meanwhile Saladin had possessed himself of Emesa and Damascus (1174-75), and, as he was already lord of Egypt, his power hemmed in the Latin kingdom on every side. In July 1173 Amalric was succeeded by his son Baldwin IV, a boy of twelve. Raymond III, count of Tripoli, a man suspected of being in league with the Saracens, was appointed regent, although in 1176 the masters of the Templars and the Hospitallers united in offering this office to the newly arrived Philip of Flanders. The construction of the Templar fortress at Jacob's ford on the upper Jordan led to a fresh Saracen invasion and the disastrous battle of Paneas (1179), from which the young king and the Holy Cross escaped with difficulty, while Odo de St Amand, the grand master, was carried away captive and never returned.

During Odo's mastership the Old Man of the Mountains sent to Amalric offering to accept the Christian faith if released from the tribute he had paid to the Templars since (according to the 4 Hist. Pontific., ap. Pertz, xx. 535-536. reckoning of M. Defremery) somewhere about 1149. The Templars murdered the envoys on their return (c. 1172). Amalric demanded that the offenders should be given up to justice. Odo refused to yield the chief culprit, though he was well known, and invoked the protection of the pope. Amalric had to vindicate his right by force of arms at Sidon, and died while preparing to take stronger measures. The connexion between the Templars and the Old Man was still vital eighty years later when the two grand masters rebuked the insolence of the Assassin envoys in the presence of Louis IX. Odo de St Amand was succeeded by Arnold de Torroge, who died at Verona on his way to implore European succour for the Holy Land. The power of Saladin was now (1184) increasing daily; Baldwin IV. was a leper, and his realm was a prey to rival factions. There were two claimants for the guardianship of the state - Raymond III. of Tripoli and Guy de Lusignan, who in 1180 had married Sibylla, sister of the young king. Baldwin inclined to the former, against the patriarch and Arnold de Torroge.

There is something Homeric in the story of the fall of the Latin kingdom as related by the historians of the next century.

Footnotes

  1. In August 1279, Philip IV. ceded to the Templars within the precincts of the Temple at Paris Templi), i.e. the whole fortified quarter on the right bank of the Seine, the right to exercise higher and lower justice (alta et bassa justicia), to retain all property usually escheated to the crown, and to guard their fortress " night and day " by means of their own servientes without interference. The king undertook, for himself and his successors, not to endeavour to levy any taille or other tax nor to exact any of the customary feudal services within the Temple. Text in Prutz, Templerherrenorden, p. 298.
  2. Illo autem, in discrimine mortis, ultimum trahente spiritum, quidam supervenere Templarii qui religionis sacre habitum cruce rubea signatum ei imposuerunt (Mon. Ang., iv. 142). There must be a slight error here on the part of the chronicler; for Geoffrey died in 1144 and the red cross was not granted to the Templars until the following year. This does not, however, affect the main fact that Geoffrey, though excommunicated, was buried in consecrated ground at the New Temple in London. This was in 1163, twentytwo years before the consecration of the Temple Church now standing. See Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 224.
  3. Finke, p. 42. Individual Templars, of course, acted from time to time as diplomats or as royal advisers; but they in no sense represented the order.

Kingdom. Siege of Jerusalem. Acre.

A French knight, Gerard de Riderfort or Bideford, Latin coming to the East in quest of fortune, attached himself to the service of Raymond of Tripoli, looking for the hand of some wealthy widow in reward. But on his claiming the hand of the lady of Botron he was met with a refusal. Angered at this, Gerard enrolled himself among the Templars, biding his time for revenge, and was elected grand master on the death of Arnold. Baldwin IV died (1185), leaving the throne to his young nephew Baldwin V, the son of Sibylla, under the guardianship of Raymond, whose office was not of long duration, as the little king died in September 1186. This was Gerard's opportunity. The Templars carried the body of their dead sovereign to Jerusalem for burial; and then, unknown to the barons of the realm, Gerard and the patriarch crowned Sibylla and her husband Guy. The coronation of Guy was the triumph of Raynald of Chatillon, once prince of Antioch, and Saladin's deadliest foe. It was at the same time the overthrow of Raymond's ambition; and both Latin and Arabic writers are agreed that the Christian count and the Mahommedan sultan now entered into an alliance. To break this friendship and so save the kingdom, the two grand masters were sent north to make terms with Raymond. But the rash valour of the Templars provoked a hopeless contest with 7000 Saracens. The grand master of the Hospitallers was slain; but Gerard made his escape with three knights to Nazareth (1st May 1187). In this emergency Raymond became reconciled with Guy; and Gerard placed the Temple treasures of Henry II at his king's disposal.

Once more it was the Templars' rashness that led to the disastrous battle of Hittin (4th July). Gerard and the king fell into the hands of Saladin, but were released about a year later; Raymond of Tripoli made his escape through treachery or fortune; and 230 Templars fell in or after the battle, for the fight was scarcely over before Saladin ordered all the Templars and Hospitallers to be murdered in cold blood. One after another the Christian fortresses of Palestine fell into the hands of Saladin. Jerusalem surrendered on 2nd-3rd October 1187, and the treasures of the Temple coffers were used to purchase the redemption of the poorer Christians, part of whom the Templar warriors guarded on their sad march from the Holy City to Tripoli. Part of their wealth was expended by Conrad of Montferrat in the defence of Tyre; but, when this prince refused to admit Guy to his city, both the Templars and the Hospitallers from the neighbouring parts flocked to the banner of their released king and accompanied him to the siege of Acre (22nd August 1189). In his company they bore their part in the two years' siege and the terrible famine of 1190-91; and their grand master died in the great battle of 4th October 1189, refusing to survive the slaughter of his brethren.

On the fall of Acre Philip Augustus established himself in the palace of the Templars, who are, however, stated to have sympathized with Richard. This king sold them the island of Cyprus for 100,000 besants; but, unable to pay the purchase money, they transferred the debt and the principality to Guy of Lusignan. The English king consulted them before deciding on any great military movement; and in June 1192 they advocated the bold plan of an advance on Egypt rather than on Jerusalem. In the disputes for the Latin kingdom of the East the Templars seem to have supported Guy, and, like Richard, were credited with having had a hand in the murder of Conrad of Montferrat (April 1192). It was in the disguise of a Templar and in a Templar galley that Richard left the Holy Land.

When Acre was recovered, the Templars, like the Hospitallers, received their own quarters in the town, which from this time became the centre of the order. On the death of Henry of Champagne (1197) they vetoed the election of Raoul de Tabarie; after the death of his successor Amalric they refused to renew the truce with Saladin's brother, Saif al-Din, and led an expedition against the Saracens before the arrival of the new king, John de Brienne, at whose coronation in 1210 William de Chartres, the grand master, was present. Seven years later, with the aid of Walter de Avennis and of the Teutonic Knights, they commenced the building of their fortress of Castle Pilgrim, near Acre, on a rocky promontory washed by the Mediterranean on every side except the east. This wonderful structure, whose ruins are still to be seen, was fortified with a strong wall, founded on the substructure of a yet more extensive one running from sea to sea, and was flanked by lofty towers of huge squared stones. Within was a spring of pure water, besides fishponds, salt-mines, woods, pastures, orchards, and all things fitted to furnish an abode in which the Templars might await the day of their restoration to Jerusalem.

It was from this castle that in May 1218 the fifth crusade started for the expedition against Egypt. The Templars were the heroes of the siege of Damietta, at which William Fifth de Chartres was slain. "First to attack and last to retreat," they saved the Christian army from annihilation on 29th August 1219; and when the city surrendered (5th November) the only one of its twenty-eight towers that had begun to give way had been shaken by their engines. On the other hand, it was largely owing to their objections that John de Brienne refused the sultan's offer to restore Jerusalem and Palestine.

From the very first the Templars seem to have been opposed to Frederick II, and when he landed at Acre (7th September 1228) they refused to march under the banners of an excommunicated man, and would only accompany his host from Acre to Joppa in a separate body. They were accused of notifying Frederick's intended pilgrimage to the Jordan to the sultan, and they were certainly opposed to Frederick's ten years' peace with Al-Kamil, the sultan of Egypt, and refused to be present at his coronation in Jerusalem. Frederick was not slow to avenge himself: he left Jerusalem abruptly, publicly insulted the grand master, demanded the surrender of their fortresses, and even laid siege to Castle Pilgrim. He left Acre on the 3rd of May 1229, and on landing in Apulia gave orders to seize the estates of the order and chase all its members from the land.

Kharizmian Invasion

Long before the expiration of Frederick's peace Europe was preparing for a fresh crusade against the now divided realm of the Ayyubids. Theobald of Navarre and his crusaders reached Palestine about August 1239. The Templars shared in the great defeat near Jaffa, an engagement which their temerity had done much to provoke (13th November 1239). If the king ever accepted the overtures of Salih of Damascus, he was supporting the policy of Hermann of Perigord, the grand master, who towards the summer of 1244 wrote a triumphant letter to England, telling how he had engaged this sultan and Nasir of Kerak to make an alliance against the sultan of Egypt and restore the whole of Palestine from the Jordan to the sea. Theobald, however, before leaving the Holy Land (27th September 1240), signed a ten years' truce with Salih of Egypt. The Hospitallers seem to have been won over to his view, and when Richard of Cornwall arrived (11th October) he had to decide between the two rival orders and their opposing policies.

After some hesitation he concluded a treaty with the sultan of Egypt, much to the annoyance of the Templars, who openly mocked his efforts. On his departure the three orders came to open discord: the Templars laid siege to the Hospitallers in Acre and drove out the Teutonic Knights " in contumeliam imperatoris." They were successful on all sides. The negotiations with Damascus and Kerak were reopened, and in 1244 Hermann of Perigord wrote to the princes of Europe that after a " silence of fifty-six years the divine mysteries would once more be celebrated in the Holy City." It was in this moment of danger that the sultan of Babylon called in the barbarous Kharizmians, whom the Mongol invasions had driven from their native lands. These savages, entering from the north, flowed like a tide past the newly built and impregnable Templar fortress of Safed, swept down on Jerusalem, and annihilated the Christian army near Gaza on St Luke's day (18th October) 1244. From this blow the Latin kingdom of the East never recovered; 600 knights took part in the battle; the whole force of the Templars, 300 in number, was present, but only 18 survived, and of 200 Hospitallers only 16. The masters cf both orders were slain or taken prisoners. Despite the admirable valour of the Templars, their policy had proved the ruin of the land. Jerusalem was lost to Christendom for ever; and, though the Kharizmians melted away in the course of the next three years, they left the country so weak that all the acquisitions of Theobald and Richard fell an easy prey to the sultan of Babylon.

Louis IX's Crusade

Recognizing the fact that the true way to Jerusalem lay through Egypt, Louis IX. led his host to the banks of the Nile, being accompanied by the Templars. Their master, William de Sonnac, attempted in vain to restrain the rash advance of the count of Artois at the battle of Mansura (8th February 1250), which only three Templars survived. St Louis, when captured a few weeks later, owed his speedy release to the generosity with which the order advanced his ransom-money. Shortly after his departure from Acre (April 12 54) they consented to an eleven years' truce with the sultans of Egypt and Damascus.

Successes

A new enemy was now threatening Mahommedan and Christian alike. For a time the Mongol advance may have been welcomed by the Christian cities, as one after another the Mahommedan principalities of the north fell before the new invaders. But this new danger stimulated the energies of Egypt, which under the Mameluke Bibars encroached year after year on the scanty remains of the Latin Kingdom. The great Frankish lords, fearing that all was lost, made haste to sell their lands to the Templars and Hospitallers before quitting Palestine for ever. In 1260 the former purchased Sidon and Beaufort; next year the Hospitallers purchased Arsuf. In 1267, by a skillful adaptation of the banners of both orders, Bibars nearly surprised Antioch.

The Templar fortress of Safed surrendered with its garrison of 600 knights, all of whom preferred death to apostasy (June 1266). Beaufort fell in 1268, Antioch six weeks later; and, though the two orders still made occasional brilliant dashes from their Acre stronghold, such as that to Ascalon in 1264 and that with Prince Edward of England to destroy Kakun in 1271, they became so enfeebled as to welcome the treaty which secured them the plain of Acre and a free road to Nazareth as the result of the English crusade of 1272.

Abandonment of Palestine

But, though weak against external foes, the Templars were strong enough for internal warfare. In 1277 they espoused the quarrel of the bishop of Tripoli, formerly a member of the order, against his nephew Bohemond, prince of Antioch and Tripoli, and began a war which lasted three years. In 1276 their conduct drove Hugh III, king of Cyprus and Jerusalem, from Acre to Tyre. In the ensuing year, when Mary of Antioch had sold her claim to the crown to Charles of Anjou, they welcomed this prince's lieutenant to Acre and succeeded for the moment in forcing the knights of that city to do homage to the new king. Thirteen years later (26th April 1290) Tripoli fell, and next year Acre, after a siege of six weeks, at the close of which (16th May) William de Beaujeu, the grand master, was slain. The few surviving Templars elected a new master, and, forcing their way to the seashore, sailed for Cyprus, which now became the headquarters of the order. A futile attempt against Alexandria in 1300 and an unsuccessful effort to form a new settlement at Tortosa about the same time (1300-2) are the closing acts of their long career in the western parts of Asia.

Power and Influence

For more than a hundred years the Templars had been one of the wealthiest and most influential factors in European politics. If we confine our attention to the East, we realize but a small part of their enormous power. Two Templars were appointed guardians of the disputed castles on the betrothal of Prince Henry of order. England and the French princess in 1161. Other Templars were almoners of Henry III of England and of Philip IV of France. One grand master was godfather to a daughter of Louis IX; another, despite the prohibition of the order, is said to have been godfather to a child of Philip IV. They were summoned to the great councils of the Church, such as the Lateran of 1215 and the Lyons council of 1274. Frederick II's persecution of their order was one of the main causes of his excommunication in 1239; and his last will enjoined the restoration of their estates.

Their property was scattered over every country of Christendom, from Denmark to Spain, from Ireland to Cyprus. Before the middle of the 13th century Matthew Paris reckons their manors at 9000, Alberic of Trois-Fontaines at 7050, whereas the rival order of St John had barely half the latter number. Some fifty years earlier their income from Armenia alone was 20,000 besants. Both in Paris and in London their houses were used as strongholds for the royal treasure. In the Temple in London Hubert de Burgh and the Poitevin favourites of Henry III. stored their wealth; and the same building was used as a bank into which the debtors of the foreign usurers paid their dues. From the English Templars Henry III borrowed the purchase money of Oleron in 1235; from the French Templars Philip IV exacted the dowry of his daughter Isabella on her marriage with Edward II. To Louis IX they lent a great part of his ransom, and to Edward I. of England no less than 25,000 livres Tournois, of which they remitted four-fifths. Jacques de Molay, the last grand master, came to France in 1306 with 150,000 gold florins and ten horse-loads of silver.(Fn1) In the Spanish peninsula they occupied a peculiar position, and more than one king of Aragon is said to have been brought up under their discipline.(Fn1)

Such were the power and wealth of the Templars at the time when Philip IV. of France accused them of heresy and worse offences, had them arrested (13th October 1307), and forced them to confess by tortures of the most excruciating kinds. Five years later (26th May 1312) the order was suppressed by decree of the council of Vienne and its goods transferred to the hospital of St John. (T. A. A.)

Never had the order of the Temple been to all appearance more powerful than immediately before its ruin. Sovereign power, in the sense of that of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia or the Knights of St John in Rhodes and later in Malta, it had never possessed; but its privileges and immunities constituted it a church within the church and - in France at least - a state within the state. Philip IV, indeed, in pursuance of his policy of centralizing power in the crown, had from 1287 onwards made tentative efforts to curtail the power and wealth of the order; in 1287 he commanded the sequestration of all its property acquired since the confirmation of its privileges by Louis IX in 1258; in 1289 the ordinance of Ferrieres in Gatinais was directed against its illegal acquisitions and its interference with the jurisdiction of the king and his vassals; in 1290 the parlement decided that the privileges of the order could only be enjoyed by those who actually wore its habit.

Soon, however, the king's necessities forced him to change his policy. In January 1293 the privileges of the order in and about Paris were confirmed and extended, and in 1297 Philip borrowed 5200 livres tournoises from the Paris Temple. Then came the great quarrel with Pope Boniface VIII, and on the 10th of August 1303 the king signed with Hugues de Peraud, the general visitor of the French Templars, a formal treaty of alliance against the pope. On the 6th of February 1304 Boniface's successor, Benedict XI, once more confirmed all the Templars' privileges; while Philip, for his part, appointed Hugues de Peraud receiver of the royal revenues and, under pressure of the disastrous campaign in Flanders, in June granted a charter exempting the order from all hindrances to the acquisition of property. Two years later the king took refuge in the Temple from the violence of the Paris mob,(Fn1) and so late as the spring of 1307 was present at the reception of a new Templar.(Fn2)

Yet for some two years past the king had been plotting a treacherous attack on the order. His motives are clear: he had used every expedient to raise money, had robbed and expelled the Jews and the Lombard bankers, had debased the coinage; the suppression of the Templars would at once rescue him from their unwelcome tutelage and replenish his coffers. He cherished also another ambition. The question of an amalgamation of the great military orders had often been mooted; the project had been approved by successive popes in the interests of the Holy Land; it had been formally proposed at the Lyons council of 1274, only to be rejected by the opposition of the Templars and Hospitallers themselves. To Philip this scheme commended itself as an opportunity for bringing the orders under the control of the French crown; there was to be but one order, that of the " Knights of Jerusalem," of which the grand master was always to be a prince of the royal house of France.(Fn3) Clearly, it only needed an excuse and a favourable opportunity to make him attack the Templars; and, once having attacked them, nothing short of their entire destruction would have been consistent with his safety. The excuse was found in the denunciation of the order for heresy and unspeakable immoralities by a venal informer; the opportunity was the election of a pope, Clement V, wholly devoted to the interests of the king of France.

Footnotes

  1. The wealth of the Templars was due not so much to their territorial possessions as to the fact that they were the great international financiers and bankers of the age. The Paris Temple was the centre of the world's money market. In it popes and kings deposited their revenues, and these vast sums were not hoarded but issued as loans on adequate security. Above all, it was the Templars who made the exchange of money with the East possible. It is easy, indeed, to see how they were the ideal bankers of the age; their strongholds were scattered from Armenia to Ireland, their military power and strict discipline ensured the safe transmission of treasure, while their reputation as monks guaranteed their integrity. Thus they became the predecessors, and later the rivals, of the great Italian banking companies. See L. Delisle, " Memoire sur les operations financieres des Templiers " in Memoires de l'Institut national de France, t. xxxii. To take interest (usury) was of course unlawful. The method of circumventing this seems to have been that the mortgages paid to the mortgagors a nominal rent which was used towards the reduction of the debt. The difference between this and the real rent represented the interest. See Ancient Charters, Pt. i. (Pipe Roll Soc., London, 1888), edited by J. H. Round, p. 94 note. A document throwing a vivid light on the banking methods of the Templars and Hospitallers is a charter of Margaret, queen of the English, A.D. 1186, from the abbey of Fontevrault, printed in Calendar of Documents, France (London, 1899), vol. i., ed. J. H. Round, No. 1084. (W. A. P.)
  2. The Templars in Aragon and the other kingdoms of the Spanish peninsula were far more subordinate to the crown than elsewhere. None but natives were admitted to their ranks, and there were very few exchanges of knights with foreign commanderies. They were bound to respond to demands of the grand master for consignments of men and money, but their main duty was to assist the king in his wars against the Moors at home (ad Sarracenorum Yspanie ofensionem), a duty they fulfilled with conspicuous success and courage to the last. See Finke i. 3, Papsttum and Untergang des Templerordens (p. 27), " Die Sonderstellung der aragonesischen (und spanischen) Templer." See also Prutz, Templerherrenorden, p. 61 seq. In Portugal the Templars were practically feudatories of the crown, the master taking an oath of fealty to the king and his heir (ib. p. 59). (W. A. P.)
  3. For details see Lavocat, p. 120.
  4. Finke i. 119.
  5. He himself was to be its first head, with the title of "King of Jerusalem." See the letter (No. 75) from Leget F. to Bernart F. in Finke ii. 114.

The Trial

For perhaps half a century there had been strange stories circulating as to the secret rites practised by the order at its midnight meetings, stories which probably had their origin in the extreme precautions taken by the Templars, originally perhaps for military reasons, to secure the secrecy of their proceedings, which excited popular curiosity and suspicion. Among the Templars alone of the religious orders the ceremonies of reception were conducted in strict privacy; chapters were held at daybreak with closely guarded doors, and no one participating was allowed to reveal what had passed, even to a fellow-member of the order, under pain of expulsion.

It was inevitable that, considering the temper of the age, all this should lead to stories of rites too repulsive to bear the light. It was said that on his initiation each member had to disavow his belief in Christ, to spit upon the crucifix, to submit to indecent ceremonies. When the mass was celebrated the consecrating words Hoc est corpus were omitted; on Good Friday the holy cross was trampled under foot; and the Christian duty of almsgiving had ceased to be observed. Even the vaunted chastity of the order towards women had, it was said, been turned into the formal obligation to commit more horrible offences. These evil practices were part of the secret statute law of an order which in its nightly assemblies worshipped an idol named Baphomet(Fn4) or the devil in the shape of a black cat. Devils, too, appeared in the form of beautiful women (succubi), with whom the brothers had carnal intercourse. In England the very children at their play bade one another beware of a Templar's kisses. Stranger stories yet were rife in England and gravely reported before bishops and priests - of children slain by their fathers because they chanced to witness the nightly orgies of the society; of one prior's being spirited away at every meeting of the general chapter; of the great preceptor's declaring that a single hair of a Saracen's beard was worth more than the whole body of a Christian man. In France they were said to roast their illegitimate children and smear their idols with the burning fat.

In the spring of 1304 or 1305 a certain Esquiu de Floyran of Beziers pretended to betray the "secret of the Templars" (factum Ternplariorum) to James II of Aragon. The pious king, who had every reason to think well of the order, did not affect to be convinced; but the prospect of spoils was alluring, and he seems to have promised the informer a share of the booty if he could make good his charges.(Fn5) Esquiu now turned to Philip of France, with more immediate success. For the purpose of collecting additional evidence the king caused twelve spies to find admission to the order, and in the meantime sought to win over the pope to his views. Bertrand de Got, archbishop of Bordeaux, who on the 5th of June 1305 became pope as Clement V, owed the tiara to the diplomacy of Philip's agents, perhaps to their gold; but though a weak man, and moreover a martyr to ill health, he was not so immediately accommodating as the king might have wished, expressing his disbelief in the charges against the order, and, though promising an inquiry, doing his best to procrastinate.

Philip determined to force his hand. All France was at this time under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, and the Inquisition could act without consulting the pope. The grand inquisitor of France, William of Paris, was Philip's confessor and creature. The way was thus open for the king to carry out his plan by a perfectly legal method. His informers denounced the Templars to the Inquisition, and the grand inquisitor - as was the customary procedure in the case of persons accused of heresy - demanded their arrest by the civil power. On the 14th of September 1307, accordingly, Philip issued writs to his baillis and seneschals throughout the kingdom, directing them to make preparations to arrest the members of the order on the following 13th of October.

The Templars had for some time past been aware of the charges against them. On the 6th of June 1306 Pope Clement had summoned Jacques de Molay, the grand master, from Cyprus to France, in order to consult him on the projected crusade. He had obeyed the call, and, in an interview with the pope, had taken the opportunity to demand a full inquiry. They had, however, taken no measures to defend themselves; the sudden action of the king took them wholly by surprise; and on the night of Friday, the 13th of October 1307, their arrest was effected without difficulty, Jacques de Molay himself with sixty of his brethren being seized in Paris. Next day they were haled before the university of Paris, to hear the recital of their crimes; on Sunday the populace was collected in the royal gardens, where preachers inveighed against the iniquities of the order.

The Templars were caught in toils from which there was no escape. To force them to confess, they were first tortured by the royal officials, before being handed over to the inquisitors to be, if need were, tortured again. In Paris alone thirty-six died under the process.(Fn1) The result was, at the outset, all that the king could desire. Of 138 Templars examined in Paris between the 10th of October and the 24th of November, some of them old men who had been in the order the greater part of their lives, 123 confessed to spitting on (or "near") the crucifix at their reception. Many of the prisoners, on the other hand, confessed to all the charges, however grotesque. But the most damning confession was that of the grand master himself, publicly made, with tears and protestations of contrition and embodied in a letter (October 25) sent to all the Templars in France. He had been guilty, he said, of denying Christ and spitting on the cross; the grosser charges he indignantly repudiated.(Fn2)

To the pope, meanwhile, the proceedings in France were to the highest degree unwelcome. He had, indeed, become convinced, if not of the general guilt of the order, at least of the guilt of some of its members. But the affair was one which he desired to reserve for his own judgment; Philip's action he interpreted, rightly, as an encroachment of the civil power on the privileges and property of the Church, and his fears were increased when the French king, without consulting him, sent letters to King James of Aragon, Edward II. of England, the German king Albert and other princes, calling upon them to imitate his example. On the 27th of October Clement issued letters suspending the powers of the Inquisition in France.

What followed is not clear, for the documentary evidence for these months is very defective. On the 17th of November James of Aragon wrote to Philip, in answer to his letter and the report of the proceedings in Paris forwarded to him,(Fn3) expressing his surprise at the charges against the Templars, who had done himself and his forefathers great service against the infidel, but promising to proceed against them since required to do so by the Church."(Fn4) In Portugal no action was taken at all. Edward II of England replied that he must first receive information as to the charges from his officials in Agen (whence the charges had originated), and on the 5th of December he wrote to the kings of Aragon, Castile, Portugal and Sicily begging them not to believe the evil reports against the order (Prutz, p. 1 59). But meanwhile, on the 22nd of November, Pope Clement had issued a bull calling on all kings and princes to arrest the Templars everywhere, his motive probably being (according to Finke) to forestall the probable action of the secular powers and keep the affair in his own hands.

All scruples and hesitations now vanished. In England the Templars were arrested on the 10th of January 1308, in Sicily on the 24th of the same month, in Cyprus on the 27th of May; in Aragon and Castile the process was less easy, for the knights, forewarned, had put their fortresses into a state of defence, notably their strong castle of Monzon, which was only taken after a long siege on the 17th of May, while the last of the Templars' strongholds, Castellat, did not fall until the 2nd of November.(Fn5) Meanwhile, on the 26th of May, Philip had made his solemn entry into Poitiers, where the pope and cardinals had already assembled for the purpose of conferring with the king on the matter. The debates that followed were protracted and stormy; but Philip was in to positon to back his argument for the suppression of the order by pressing other and more dangerous claims: the canonization of Celestine V, the condemnation of Boniface VIII for heresy, the absolution of Guillaume de Nogaret, the executer of the outrage at Anagni, the summoning of a general council, the settlement of the papacy at Avignon.

At last, on the 27th of June, an arrangement was come to. The king agreed to hand over to the papal commissioners the property(Fn6) and persons of the Templars; Clement, for his part, withdrew the sentence of suspension against the grand inquisitor of France (July 5) and ordered an inquisition into the charges against individual Templars by the diocesan bishops with assessors nominated by himself. The examination of the grand master, of the grand visitor of France, and of the grand preceptors of Cyprus, Normandy and Aquitaine he reserved to himself. Inquisition was to be made into the conduct of the order in each country by special papal commissions; and the fate of the order as a whole was to be decided by a general council.(Fn7)

These decisions were at once acted on. At Poitiers Clement had already heard the confessions of seventy-two Templars, carefully selected from the royal prisons (June 29 to July 1). (Fn8) The grand master and the three preceptors were re-examined at Chinon, and renewed their old confessions (10th August). Lastly, the bull Regnans in Coelo summoned a great council at Vienne for the 1st of October 1311, when the question of the guilt of the order might be considered. Meanwhile the pope and cardinals had elaborated the organization of the new inquisition. In this the actual inquisitors, though admitted, played a quite subordinate part: the commissions centred round the diocesan bishops, who had as assessors prelates, abbots, priors and canonists. These commissions were twofold, usually - though erroneously - distinguished as papal and episcopal (both were in fact papal); the first were charged with the inquisition into the accusations against the order itself and the grand preceptors of the various countries, the second with that into the accusations against individual Templars.

The papal commission in Paris began its sessions on the 9th of August 1309; on the 12th, citations were issued to those Templars who " of their own free will " were prepared to come and defend the order. There was much confusion and delay, however, and the actual public trial did not begin till the 11th of April 1310.(Fn1) Many Templars, trusting in the assurance implied in their citation, had volunteered to defend the order and withdrew their previous confessions. They were soon undeceived; the commission, presided over by the garde des sceaux of the king, the archbishop of Narbonne, was packed with creatures of the crown. The evidence given in Paris for or against the order was, it was soon found, used against the individual Templars on their return to the provinces; the retraction of a confession, under the rules set up for the diocesan inquisition, was punished with death by fire. On Tuesday the 12th of May, fifty-four Templars who had retracted their confessions before the commission were burnt in Paris by order of the archbishop of Sens; (Fn2) a few days later four were burnt at Senlis, and towards the end of May nine more, by order of the archbishop of Reims. Forty-six Templars now withdrew their defence, and the commissioners in Paris decided (30th May) to adjourn till November. The second examination lasted from the 17th of December 1310 to the 16th of May 1311.

Meanwhile (c. April 1311) Clement and Philip had come to terms. The pope condemned the Templars. The council of Vienne met in October 1311. A discussion arose as to whether the Templars should be heard in their own defence. Clement, it is said, broke up the session to avoid compliance; and when seven Templars offered themselves as deputies for the defence he had them cast into prison. Towards the beginning of March Philip came to Vienne, and he was seated at the pope's right hand when that pontiff delivered his sermon against the Templars (3rd April 1312), whose order had just been abolished, not at the general council, but in private consistory (22nd March). On .2nd May 1312 he published the bull Ad Providam, transferring the goods of the society, except for the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Portugal and Majorca, to the Knights of St John. The order was never formally pronounced guilty of the crimes laid to its charge; its abolition was distinctly, in the terms of Clement's bull Considerantes Dudum, "non per modum definitivae sententiae, cum super hoc secundum inquisitiones et processus super his habitos non possemus ferre de jure sed per viam provisionis et ordinationis apostolicae" (6th May 1312).

The final act of the stupendous tragedy came early in 1314. Jacques de Molay, the grand master, had not hitherto risen to the height of his great position; the fear of torture alone had been enough to make him confess, and this confession had been used to extract avowals from his brethren, subject as they were to unspeakable sufferings and accustomed to yield to the military chief. Humiliation on humiliation had been heaped on the wretched man, public recantations, reiterated confessions. Before the papal commission he had flamed into anger, protested, equivocated - only in the end to repeat his confession once more. The same had happened before the commission of cardinals at Chinon; the audience with the pope, which he demanded, he had never obtained. On the 6th of May 1312 Pope Clement issued his final decision as to the fate of the Templars in general; that of the five great offices of the order he reserved in his own hand.

With this a silence falls over the history of the Templars; (Fn3) the fate of the order had been decided, that of the individuals still under trial was of little interest to contemporary chroniclers. Then the veil is suddenly lifted. Jacques de Molay has found his wonted courage at last, and with him Gaufrid de Charney, the preceptor of Normandy; on the 14th of March 1314 they were brought out on to a scaffold erected in front of Notre Dame, there in the presence of the papal legates and of the people to repeat their confessions and to receive their sentence of perpetual imprisonment. Instead, they seized the opportunity to withdraw their confessions and to protest to the assembled thousands the innocence of the order. King Philip the Fair did not wait to consult the Church as to what he should do; he had them burnt " in the little island " of the Seine " between the Augustinians and the royal garden "; with them perished Guy (the Guido Delphini of the trials), the youthful son of the dauphin of Auvergne. After the deaths of the pope and king, which followed shortly, the people remembered that the grand master had summoned them with his dying breath before the judgment seat of God; but the sole recorded contemporary protest is that of the Augustinians against the trespass committed by the royal officers on their land!

On the question of the guilt or innocence of the Templars in respect of the specific charges on which the order was condemned opinion has long been divided. Their innocence was maintained by the greatest of all their contemporaries, Dante,(Fn4) and among others by the historian Villani and by the sainted Antoninus, archbishop of Padua. In more recent times a certain heat was introduced into the discussion of the question owing to its having been for centuries brought into the arena of party controversy, between Protestants and Catholics, Gallicans and Ultramontanes, Freemasons and the Church. Thus in 1654 Pierre Du Puy, librarian of the Bibliotheque Royale, published his work on the Templars to confute those who sought to establish their innocence in order to discredit a king of France. On the other hand, Nicolas Gurtler published his Historia Templariorum (Amsterdam, 1691, 2nd ed. 1703) to show, as a good Protestant, that the Templars had the usual vices of Roman Catholics, while, according to Loiseleur, the later editors of Du Puy (especially of the 1751 edition,(Fn5) ostensibly printed at Brussels) were Freemasons who, under false names, garbled the old material and inserted new in the interests of the supposed origin of their own order in that of the Templars.(Fn6) Several Roman Catholic champions of the order now entered the field, e.g. the Benedictine historian of Languedoc, Dom Dominique Joseph Vaissete, and notably the Premonstratensian canon R. P. M. Jeune, prior of Etival, who in 1789 published at Paris his Histoire critique et apologetique de l'ordre des chevaliers. dits Templiers, a valuable work directed specifically against Gurtler and Du Puy.

In the 19th century a fresh impetus was given to the discussion by the publication in 1813 of Raynouard's brilliant defence of the order.(Fn1) The challenge was taken up, among others, by the famous orientalist Friedrich von Hammer-Purgstall, who in 1818 published his Mysterium Baphometis revelatum,(Fn2) an attempt to prove that the Templars followed the doctrines and rites of the Gnostic Ophites, the argument being fortified with reproductions of obscene representations of supposed Gnostic ceremonies and of mystic symbols said to have been found in the Templars' buildings. Wilcke, while rejecting Hammer's main conclusions as unproved, argued in favour of the existence of a secret doctrine based, not on Gnosticism, but on the unitarianism of Islam, of which Baphomet (Mahomet) was the symbol.(Fn3) On the other hand, Wilhelm Havemann (Geschichte des Ausganges des Tempelherrenordens, Stuttgart and Tubingen, 1846) decided in favour of the innocence of the order. This view was also taken by a succession of German scholars, in England by C. G. Addison, and in France by a whole series of conspicuous writers: e.g. Mignet, Guizot, Renan, Lavocat. Others, like Boutaric, (Fn4) while rejecting the charge of heresy, accepted the evidence for the spuitio and the indecent kisses, explaining the former as a formula of forgotten meaning and the latter as a sign of fraternitel

Michelet, who in his history of France had expressed himself favourably to the order, announced his conversion to the opposite opinion in the prefaces to his edition of the Proces. This view was reinforced by the work in which Loiseleur endeavoured to prove that the order had secretly rejected Christianity in favour of an heretical religion based on Gnostic dualism as taught by the Cathari; (Fn5) it was crowned with the high authority of Ranke in the great Weltgeschichte (8 Theil, 1887, p. 621 ff.); it has been adopted in the later Weltgeschichte of Weber (8 Theil, 1887, p. 521 ff.). The greatest impulse to this view was, however, given by the brilliant contributions of Hans Prutz. The first of these, the Geheimlehre, in the main an expansion of Loiseleur's argument, at once raised up a host of critics; and, as a result of five years' study of the archives at Rome and elsewhere, Konrad Schottmailer published in 1887 his Untergang des Templerordens, in which he claimed to have crushed Prutz's conclusions under the weight of a mass of new evidence. The work was, however, uncritical and full of conspicuous errors, and Prutz had little difficulty in turning many of its author's arguments against himself. This was done in the Entwicklung and Untergang des Tempelherrenordens (1888), in which, however, Prutz modifies his earlier views so far as to withdraw his contention that the Templars had a " formally developed secret doctrine," while maintaining that the custom of denying Christ and spitting on the cross was often, and in some provinces universally, practised at the reception of the brethren, " as a coarse test of obedience, of which the original sense had partly been forgotten, partly heretically interpreted under the influence of later heresies." (Fn6)

This view was maintained by Mr T. A. Archer in the 9th ed. of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It was criticized and rejected by Dollinger in the last of his university lectures (19th Nov. 1889), and by Karl Wenck in several articles in the Gottinger Gelehrte Anzeigen; and it was further attacked by J. Gmelin (Schuld oder Unschuld, 2 Bd. 1893), whose work, in spite of its somewhat ponderous polemic, is valuable as a mine of learning and by reason of the sources (notably the tables of the evidence taken at the trials) which it publishes. H. C. Lea, in his History of the Inquisition (1888, vol. iii.), had already come independently to the conclusion that the Templars were innocent. Lastly appeared the fascinatingly interesting and closely reasoned book of Professor H. Finke (1907) which, based partly on a mass of new material drawn from the Aragonese archives, had for its object to supplement the work of Gmelin and to establish the innocence of the order on an incontrovertible basis.

In the opinion of the present writer, the defenders of the order have proved their case. Even the late Mr Archer, who took the contrary view, was inclined to restrict it to the Templars in France. " The opinion that the monstrous charges brought against the Templars were false," he wrote (Ency. Brit., 9th ed. xiii. 164), " and that the confessions were only extracted by torture is supported by the general results of the investigation (in almost every country outside France), as we have them collected in Raynouard, Labbe, and Du Puy. In Castile, where the king flung them into prison, they were acquitted at the council at Salamanca. In Aragon, where they held out for a time in their fortresses against the royal power, the council of Tarragona proclaimed in their favour (4th November 1312). In Portugal the commissioners reported that there were no grounds for accusation. At Mainz the council pronounced the order blameless. At Treves, at Messina, and at Bologna, in Romagna and in Cyprus, they were either acquitted or no evidence was forthcoming against them. At the council of Ravenna the question as to whether torture should be used was answered in the negative except by two Dominicans; all the Templars were absolved - even those who had confessed through fear of torture being pronounced innocent (18th June 1310). Six Templars were examined at Florence, and their evidence is for its length the most remarkable of all that is still extant. Roughly speaking, they confess with the most elaborate detail to every charge, - even the most loathsome; and the perusal of their evidence induces a constant suspicion that their answers were practically dictated to them in the process of the examination or invented by the witnesses themselves. In England, where perhaps torture was not used, out of eighty Templars examined only four confessed to the charge of denying Christ, and of these four two were apostate knights. But some English Templars would only guarantee the purity of their own country. That in England as elsewhere the charges were held to be not absolutely proved seems evident from the form of confession to be used before absolution, in which the Templars acknowledge themselves to be defamed in the matter of certain articles that they cannot purge themselves. In England nearly all the worst evidence comes at second or third hand or through the depositions of Franciscans and Dominicans," (Fn7)? i.e. the rivals and enemies of the order. But what is the nature of the evidence "too strong to be explained away" on which Mr Archer bases his opinion that certain of the charges were proved "at least in France"?

The modern practice of the English courts tends to discount altogether the value as evidence of confessions, even freely made. What is the value of these confessions of the Templars which lie before us in the Tables published by Gmelin? The procedure of the Inquisition left no alternative to those accused on "vehement suspicion" of heresy, but confession or death under lingering torture; to withdraw a confession meant instant death by fire. The Templars, for the most part simple and illiterate men, were suddenly arrested, cast separately into dark dungeons, loaded with chains, starved, terrorized, and tortured. They were told the charges to which their leaders had confessed, or were said to have confessed: to repeat the monotonous formula admitting the spuitio super crucem and the like was to obtain their freedom at the cost of a comparatively mild penance. The wonder is not that so many confessed, but that so many persisted in their denial. The evidence, in short, is, from the modern point of view, wholly worthless, as even some contemporaries suspected it to be.

A word must be added as to the significance of the work of the Templars and of the manner of their fall in the history of the world. Two great things the order had done for European civilization: in the East and in Spain it had successfully checked the advance of Islam; it had deepened and given a religious sanction to the idea of the chivalrous man, the homo legalis, and so opened up, to a class of people who for centuries to come were to exercise enormous influence, spheres of activity the beneficent effects of which are still recognizable in the world.(Fn8) On the other hand, the destruction of the Templars had three consequences fateful for Christian civilization: (1) It facilitated the conquests of the Turks by preventing the Templars from playing in Cyprus the part which the Knights of St John played in Malta. (Fn9) (2) It partly set a precedent for, partly confirmed, the cruel criminal procedure of France, which lasted to the Revolution. (3) It set the seal of the highest authority on the popular belief in witchcraft and personal intercourse with the devil, sanctioned the expedient of wringing confessions of such intercourse from the accused by unspeakable tortures, and so made possible the hideous witch-persecutions which darkened the later middle ages and, even in Protestant countries, long survived the Reformation. "If I were to name a day in the whole history of the world," said Ddllinger at the conclusion of his last public lecture, "which appears to me in the truest sense as a dies nefastus, I should be able to name no other than the 13th of October 1307."(Fn1)?

Footnotes

  1. Two of the - Templars examined at Carcassonne spoke of an idol named Baphomet or a piece of wood on which was represented a figure of Baphomet. A Templar at Florence called the idol Mahomet or Magomet. Baphomet was a common medieval corruption of Mahomet (Maphomet, Mahom, &c.), who was regarded, not as a false prophet only, but as a demon, a false god to whom human sacrifices were offered. Hence any unholy or fantastic rites came to be called baffumerie, mahomerie, mdmerie, i.e. " mummery." Hammer-Purgstall's derivation from 0aq Moroi's, i.e. the baptism of Metis (the supreme wisdom), has no trustworthy evidence to support it. See Loiseleur, Doctrine secrete, p. 97 seq.
  2. Finke ii. 83, No. 57, publishes a letter of Esquiu to the king, dated 21st January 1308, claiming his reward. Esquiu is the Squin de Florian of Villani; the other informer mentioned by him, Noffo Dei (Deghi) of Florence, had, however, nothing to do with the matter; he was in financial relations with the Temple at Paris, and was hanged for swindling. Nor was Esquiu's motive to save himself from execution, but purely mercenary. The existence of an informer, doubted by Lea (Inquisition iii. 255) and others, is now proved.
  3. Michelet, Proces, 36.
  4. Jacques de Molay's confession was partly due to fear of torture, partly to secure the withdrawal of a specific charge of unnatural crime brought against him by the Templar Guillaume de Giac (Gmelin ii., Tab. i. No. 12). But he continued to demand access to the pope, declaring that he could satisfactorily explain the practices of the order.
  5. Text in Finke ii. The writer, Romeus de Brugaria, of the university of Paris, boldly declares that the proceedings were taken domini papae assensu precedente.
  6. Text in Finke ii. 55.
  7. Finke i. 302 ff. Some of the Spanish Templars turned Mahommedan and joined the king of Granada in an invasion of Aragon (Finke ii. 188, No. 105).
  8. This was to be devoted to the cause of the Holy Land. In fact its administration fell into the hands of Philip's confidants and the greater part remained in his possession (Finke i. 227).
  9. For a detailed account of the negotiations see Finke i. 200 ff. He holds that Clement, though now convinced of the Templars' guilt, was anxious to treat them leniently and, if possible, to save the order (p. 215).
  10. See Gmelin ii., Tab. vii. and viii.
  11. This was, of course, only one of some twenty-five separate commissions in different countries. It was, however, the most important and is the best known.
  12. Philippe de Marigny, brother of Enguerrand de Marigny, the king's minister, had been appointed archbishop of Sens at Philip IV.'s instance in April, and was naturally full of zeal for the royal cause. The condemned Templars appealed to the papal commission, which was sympathetic, but replied that it had no authority to interfere with the archbishop's ordinary jurisdiction. (Raynouard, p. 92.) Finke devotes an interesting chapter to tracing what became of the property of the order and of the individual Templars. The
  13. (?) property was nominally handed over to the Hospitallers, but most of it actually remained in the hands of the sovereigns or their followers (Philip, e.g., claimed a vast sum for the expenses incurred in suppressing the order and torturing its members). In the Spanish peninsula the Temple castles and estates were in some cases handed over to other military orders; in Portugal to the new order of Christ, 1319; in Castile to those of Ucles and Calatrava; in Aragon one frontier castle with its domain, Montasia, was given to the knights of Calatrava; the rest - so far as they had not been annexed by the king and the ricos hombres - to the Hospitallers. As to the Templars: they were granted in most cases generous pensions; some continued to live in groups, though without organization, on their old property; others joined various orders; many married, on the plea that the suppression of the order had released them from their vows; while others, again, took service with the Moors in Africa. (Finke, i. cap. x.)
  14. Veggio it nuovo, Pilato si crudele, Che do nol sazia, ma, senza decreto, Porta nel tempio le cupide vele. - (Purg. xx. 92.)
  15. Histoire de l'ordre militaire des templiers, &c. The titles of the various editions differ.
  16. There is, of course, no foundation whatever for this claim. It is examined and refuted, inter alios, by Wilcke, iii. 383 seq. A delightfully absurd attempt to assert the continuity of the modern Order of Knights Templars, which still has a considerable organization in the United States, with the suppressed order, is made by Jeremy L. Cross in The Templars' Chart (New York, 1845); he actually gives a complete list of grand masters from Hugues de Payns to Sir Sidney Smith (1838), and asserts that " the Encampment of Baldwin which was established at Bristol by the Templars who returned with Richard I. from Palestine, still continues to hold its regular meetings, and is believed to have preserved the ancient costume and ceremonies of the order."
  17. F. J. M. Raynouard, Monuments historiques, relatifs a la condamnation des chevaliers du Temple, &c. (Paris, 1813).
  18. In vol. vi. of Fundgruben des Orients (Vienna, 1818). In reply to his critics Hammer published in 1855 his " Die Schuld der Templer " (K. Akad. zu Wien Denkschrift., vi.), in which he reproduced drawings of two remarkable caskets, sculptured with Gnostic pictures, from the former collection of the duc de Blacas, said to have been found on the sites of Temples. To the present writer the evidence that any of these objects had been connected with the Templars seemed singularly unconvincing even before he had seen the trenchant criticisms of Wilcke (ii. 290, ed. 1862, Beilage 22) and Loiseleur (Doctrine secrete, 4me partie, p. 97 seq.). If such objects existed, why were none brought up as evidence against the Templars at their trial ?
  19. Wilhelm Ferdinand Wilcke, Geschichte des Tempelherrenordens (3 vols. Leipzig, 1826 ff., 2nd ed., enlarged and revised 1860).
  20. Edgard Boutaric, La France sous Philippe le Bel (Paris, 1861), pp. 140 seq.
  21. J. Loiseleur, La Doctrine secrete des Templiers (Orleans, 1872).
  22. Prutz points out, with much truth, that the failure of the Crusades had weakened men's absolute belief in Christianity, at least as represented by the medieval Church (Kulturgeschichte der Kreuzziige, p. 268 ff.). Walther von der Vogelweide had merely accused the archangels of neglecting their duty (Pfeiffer's ed. 1880, p. 288); a Templar minstrel complained that God Himself had fallen asleep ! (Prutz, Terpelherrenorden, 126.)
  23. (footnote missing in the text?) See the evidence in full, ap. Loiseleur, pp. 172-212.
  24. G. Schniirer, quoted in Finke, i. 1.
  25. In his essay on the Templars (The Spanish Story of the Armada and other Essays, 1892) Froude says that the order lacked " the only support that never fails - some legitimate place among the useful agencies of the time." Was there no use for them against the advancing tide of Turkish conquest in the East? Or in Spain against the Moorish powers? If not, why did the Hospitallers survive? Froude's contribution is but a popular lecture, however, and, for all its beauty of style, characteristically careless (e.g. such mistakes as Hugh von Peyraud, Esquin von Florian).

Authorities

A great mass of original sources has now been published. Those given by Du Puy, though often valuable, were selected and edited with a purpose, as Jeune pointed out. A new departure was made with the publication of Michelet's Proces des Templiers (t. i. 1851, t. ii. 1861), an edition of the original minutes of the trial preserved at the Bibliotheque Nationale (it is specially interesting as the earliest complete and detailed record of a criminal trial in existence). This is elaborately analysed and the results tabulated in vol. ii. of Gmelin. Of documents published in other works the most important collections are those in Schottmiiller (possibly a scanning error: Schottmüller?) (mainly from the Vatican Archives) and Finke (Aragonese Archives). The Rule of the Temple has been several times published; the most accessible edition, giving the various Rules with critical commentary, is that of H. de Curzon, La Regle du Temple (Paris, 1886); see also Maillard de Chambure, Regle et statuts secrets des Templiers, prec. de l'hist. de cette ordre (Dijon - Paris, 1840).

A comprehensive bibliography of works is given by Ulysse Chevalier in his Repertoire des sources hist. Topo-biblio-graphie, s.v. " Templiers." Of the works not fully indicated in the text must be mentioned M. Lavocat, Proces des freres et de l'ordre du Temple (Paris, 1888); G. Schniirer, Die ursprüngliche Templerregel (1903); H. Finke, Papsttum and Untergang des Templerordens (Munster,-i.- W., 1907); C. G. Addison, The Knights Templars (London, 3rd ed. 1854), which contains a valuable account of the suppression of the order in England. For the order and its suppression in Ireland see Herbert Wood, " The Templars in Ireland," in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxvi. Section c. p. 327 (Dublin, 1906-1907). (W. A. P.)

Notes


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Noun

Templars

  1. Plural form of Templar.

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