Home Society and HistoryHistoryKnights Templar Secret: Priest Knights or Political Pawns?
Knights Templar Secret: Priest Knights or Political Pawns?

Knights Templar Secret: Priest Knights or Political Pawns?

More than 700 years have passed but the name and the secret of Knights Templar still survive to modern time. With some modern adaptation, the name of Templar has reached a new level of fame. The more people want to know about these knights, the more they find out that they know nothing about them. No one could ever answer the purpose of the Knights Templar. This blog post is about some secrets and controversies of these great Christian soldiers.

The Knights Templar was a group of religious men in the military. They were all Christians living around the 12th century. A French knight Hugh de Payens founded the Order. In the beginning, there were only nine of them all from French sharing the same purpose – to protect the pilgrim traveling to Jerusalem the Holy Land.  After two centuries of existence, the Templars built up their power thanks to their commitment to the cross and their military and finance prowess.

A Knight Templar submitted themselves to the cross and the organization was founded to protect the pilgrim to Jerusalem

Some depicted the Knights Templar as the warriors who knew to wield swords only. Historians believe that the majority of the Templar members were monks and they were good at finance. The organization of the Templar was wealthy but each Knight was not. They promised to live a life of a monk without money, marriage, yet with all their hearts loyal to God and to the Christian community.

The Knights Templar hardly surrendered in any battle unless the enemies outnumbered them three against one. When a knight fell in battle, his soul was pure and he was believed to be sent immediately to heaven.

At the peak of their time, there were estimated to be up 15000 Templar houses from England to Egypt. The center of the Templar power still located in the heart of the medieval heart, France.

The Order quickly evolved into a medieval banking system stretching around Europe
The Order quickly evolved into a medieval banking system stretching around Europe

At first, the Templar would protect the pilgrims outside the Holy Land to travel to Jerusalem. Because these pilgrims often became the prey for the bandits and the highwaymen. Later, they evolved into a kind of medieval banking. Specifically, the pilgrim would travel without any cash inside. The Templar would issue a banknote to the travellers and when they arrived, they would exchange the banknote for the valuables and cash. This was the early phase of banking in the medieval time.

Quickly, the Templars offered loans to those who needed it. Because this organization was the monk-soldier organization that made a promise with poverty. it guaranteed the borrowers of the trustworthiness of the Templar. And they became the most prominent bankers in the medieval time. Big figures like princes and commoners also came to borrow cash from the Templar. Many became indebted to the Templar.

But the dark days finally came to find the Templar. Around the end of the 12th century, Christians lost their power in Jerusalem to the hand of the Muslims. The Templar accordingly lost their founding purpose and became the target for their debtors.

White Mantle and Red Cross - symbol of the Templar
White Mantle and Red Cross – symbol of the Templar

The financial and political power that Knights Templar held posed a threat to the power structure.

The early of the 14th century witnessed the decline of the Templars. In 1302, King Phillip IV of France who was so much in financial debt with the Templars, waged a campaign to suppress the power of the Templars.

On Friday, 13th October 1307, King Phillip IV managed to capture all of the Knights Templar in France. Being thrown into the prison, the Templars were tortured to make false confessions relating to homosexuality, dishonest business activities, or pagan-related worship. Many confessions made no sense but the order finally disbanded in 1312 by the Papal Bull “A voice from on high”. There were some theories that the Knights were and are still active. Knights Templar secret has been with us ever since.

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