Monday, November 12, 2018

Development of Templar legistlation

"The legislative body by which the friars of the Temple govern themselves underwent many logical adaptations to suit the times, along its existence. In spite of this, they channeled themselves in two different and complimentary but equally valid points: on the one side papal bulls and on the other the general chapters.

  1. Aulic Synod of Nablus where the canonical congregation is formed or the Brotherhood of the Milithia Christi Ierosolimitana , on 16 January of 1120, where vows are sworn by a roomful of defenders of the faith, they are given a rule, uniformity, a dwelling and a certain charisma
  2.  Council of Troyes on 13 January of 1129, for the sole purpose of officially creating the Order of theTemple: Swearing of solemn vows, they fashion the primitive order based on the previous one, as of now they are friars of full right.
  3. The bull Omne Datum Optimum of Pope Innocent II of 29 March 1139 for the purpose of officially creating the Order of the Temple. In it, aside from recognizing the Order, granted its members any spoils won from the Saracens in the Holy Land and they were exempt from paying a tithe to the corresponding bishoprics, not having to explain their actions or behavior to any one save the Pope.The name of this bull corresponds to the first threewords of Chapter 1, Verse 17 of the Gospel of James: Omne Datum Optimum et omne donum perfectum de sursum est transmutatio nec vicissitudinis obrumbatio (All good presents and every perfect ability come from on high, from the Father of lights, in whom there is no shift or variation of shadows). Along with the bulls Milites Templi and Militia Dei, (this bull; TN) constitutes the lawful base of the Order.
  4.  The bull Milites Templi (Soldiers of the Temple) was pro-mulgated by Pope Celestine II in 1144 with the purpose of increasing the privileges of the Templars. In it the clergy was ordered to protect the knights of the Order and to the faithful, contributing to their cause, for which he allowed, once a year, an act of comparison of virtues. This measure had very little appeal to the secular community, and it very likely, increased the already heady dislike towards the Order. 
  5. The bull Militia Dei (Soldiers of God) was promulgated by Pope Eugene III in 1145 with the purpose of consolidating the privileges of the Order by reinforcing its independence with respect to the secular clergy. In it is recognized the Order’s right to collect tribute, to bury its dead in their own ceme: teries and to have their own churches. Many are the complaints of the bishops and thus they decried it, upon seeing their congregations flocking to Templar churches, with the resulting loss of tithes and donations and adding to this the non obedience from those whom they considered their inferiors."
This blog quotes from the paper "The First Templar Knight - The Origin of the Temple" by Josè Maria Fernandez Nuñez in The Grail Magazine, September 2015. Illustration Templar seal, source Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Noble legacies to the Knights Templar

"An astonishing enthusiasm was excited throughout Christendom in behalf of the Templars. Princes and nobles, sovereigns and their subjects, vied with each other in heaping gifts and benefits upon them, and scarce a will of importance was made without an article in it in their favour. Many illustrious persons on their deathbeds took the vows, that they might be buried in the habit of the order. And sovereigns, quitting the government of their kingdoms, enrolled themselves amongst the holy fraternity, and bequeathed even their dominions to the Master and the brethren of the Temple.

Thus, Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona and Provence, at a very advanced age, abdicating his throne, and shaking off the ensigns of royal authority, retired to the house of the Templars at Barcelona, and pronounced his vows (A.D. 1130) before brother Hugh de Rigauld, the Prior. His infirmities not allowing him to proceed in person to the chief house of the order at Jerusalem, he sent vast sums of money thither, and immuring himself in a small cell in the Temple at Barcelona. He there remained in the constant exercise of the religious duties of his profession until the day of his death. 

At the same period, the Emperor Lothaire bestowed on the order a large portion of his patrimony of Supplinburg. And the year following (A.D. 1131,) Alphonso the First, king of Navarre and Arragon, also styled Emperor of Spain, one of the greatest warriors of the age, by his will declared the Knights of the Temple his heirs and successors in the crowns of Navarre and Arragon. A few hours before his death he caused this will to be ratified and signed by most of the barons of both kingdoms. The validity of this document, however, was disputed, and the claims of the Templars were successfully resisted by the nobles of Navarre. But in Arragon they (The Knights templar, TN) obtained, by way of compromise, lands, and castles, and considerable dependencies, a portion of the customs and duties levied throughout the kingdom, and of the contributions raised from the Moors."

This blog quotes from The History of the Knights Templar, by Charles G. Addison [1842] published on; illustration statue in Barcelona of Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, source

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Templar hospitals normal features in medieval France

"The care of hospitals also falls within the remit of the military order of the Knights Templar. (...) Alms are one of the concerns of their rules. To the poor one must give broken and unfinished bread during meals; the old robes of the brothers belonged by right to the lepers. The meat ration of two knights is calculated so that there would be enough to feed two poor.
The early rivalry between the Templars and the Hospitable people made it clear that the former had not neglected the care of the hospices. And, in fact, in many places, tradition attributes to them institutions of this nature. (...) 

Hospices spread everywhere, monastic hospitals, cathedral hospices, parish hospices. We find some in Dijon, in Autun, in Chalon, in Màcon, in Auxerre, in Langres as in Cluny, in Saulieu very formerly, in Châtillon whose commercial importance becomes very large in the twelfth century, in Seraur which, at the end in the twelfth century the Duke of Burgundy freed men from the house of God from various royalties. Beaune already has at the gates of the city his Maison-Dieu, which later on was named St. Peter's Hospital. Vezelay, an important center of prayer and exchange, on the threshold of the duchy, has a similar establishment from the eleventh century, and Sens, also on the confines of the duchy, and Aigueperse and Cersy in the twelfth century."

English translation from the paragraph "Maison des Templiers de Dijon" on Illustration The Hotel Dieu in Beaune, source

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Diversity and multiculturalism in medieval times (2) - quotes

"(...) During the Crusades, coexistence manifested itself in another way. Richard the Lionheart (king of England, 1189–1199) attempted to arrange a marriage between his sister and the brother of Saladin (the most famous hero of the Counter-Crusade and founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty). Intermarriage between Christians and Muslims was commonplace in Anatolia, and it was quite frequent between the Seljuk Turkish (who had conquered Byzatium in 1071, TN) and Byzantine elite.

At the same time, recent scholarship (...) has uncovered that many Byzantine women who married into the Seljuk Dynasty maintained their Christian religious practices and passed them onto their children (future Seljuk sultans), many of whom were baptized at the Hagia Sophia, the main cathedral in Constantinople. A consciousness of conversion did develop in the medieval period, but a thirteenth-century Cilician Armenian law code suggests that conversions to Islam were reversible."

This blog quotes from "Diversity in the Medieval Middle East - Inclusions, Exclusions, Supporters, and Discontents" by Rachel Goshgarian, Chapter 9 in Lucia Volk's The Middle East in the World: An Introduction (Foundations in Global Studies) (Routledge, 2015) on;; source illustration