In the previous blog post, we have discussed seven out of fourteen things that one should know about the Knights Templar. This blog post is to reveal other seven things about Knight Templars.
There were female members in the Order
Originally, the Knight Templars began with a group of male monk-warriors. But as time progressed, some Templar chapters in Europe also included female members among the ranks.
We can call them “these sisters”. These female members did not join the battle but they played an important role in spiritual side of affairs. They would helped the priest-brothers with the praying tasks and even giving psychological counseling to warriors.
Reasons to join Templar
The common question that might pop up in our head when we read about the Knights Templar was about their motives. Why did they leave their lives to join the order advocating simple living and sexual abstience?
Well, the reasons varied. Some joined the ranks of Knights Templar to get rid of their personal tragedies – the loss of their beloved ones for example. Other joined the Order as they felt regretful for their sins. Some wanted to sacrifice for the protection of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land.
Some joined the Order only to provide themselves with daily meals. Others wanted to take the gamble to die for their religious belief, as a martyr.
The politics and demise of Knights Templar
According to some scholars, King Phillip V was in debt to the Templars. In the previous part we have discussed the financial power of the Templars. And probably because of the war with English, the debt began to pile up.
Accordingly, the King decided to outlaw the Templars in order to get rid of the debt. King Phillip V ordered the arrest of many Templars as well as the Grand Master Jacques de Molay. The day was on 13 October 1307 AD falling right on Friday. This gave a rise to the ssupersition of Friday the 13th. The King somehow persuaded Pope Clement to issue to Papal Bull to capture all of the knights living beyond France.
Charges during the mass arrests were numerous. They blamed the Templars for worshipping Satan, denying Christ, spitting on the cross, secrecy, cause for the failure in the Crusades. Many of them got burned on the stakes.
Symbol of Templars
Other than the Iron Cross the most famous Templar symbol, the Templar seal was also one of the interesting symbols to study. The symbol depicted two knights sitting on one single horse.
The most common explanation is how the two knights on a single horse symbolised the state of poverty. This was also what individual Templar advocated in their time. Another explanation was about the true brotherhood. A knight rescued the other who was injured and his horse was probably lost.
Vow never to surrender
The Knights Templar had a very strict set of rules when it came to warfare. The iron cross went along with them nearly everywhere, into battle as well. While the red cross still flew over the battlefield, they would never surrender.
A part of their oath was to lay down their lives for the order if necessary. It meant that the Templars would not lay down their weapons or retreat until all flags had fallen.
The desire and determination to fight until their last breath made the Templars the most fiercesome enemies in battle.
They once were above the laws
The Knight Templars who once were not only military genius but also major financial pillars had the perk of being above the laws. They only answered to the pope. The Knights could travel freely across the borders without dealing anything with the government. They did not have to pay any taxes. Simply, they were above the laws.
Active for roughly two centuries
From the humble beginning in 1119 CE, to the mass trials and executions in France in 1308. The final disbanding announcement of the Order was in 1312. The Templars were active for nearly two centuries.