"The Grand Masters were the leaders of the Knights Templar. The Hospitallers were also under a Grand Master, as were other Military Orders (the alternative term Grand Prior was sometimes used by the Hospitallers, and the term 'General Master' was also used). The leader of the Teutonic Knights was called the Hochmeister. The Term 'Grand Master' does not appear in the Templars' original rule (only 'Master') but it s generally understood to refer to the Order's leader.
The Grand Master was the spiritual, political and military leader of the Order. He was chosen by a complex electoral system similar to that used in Venice to elect the Doge. The Preceptors in the Holy Land would usually choose a provisional leader until an electoral college, drawn from the international Order's chapters, could be established. Eventually after a whittling down process, the next Grand Master, who was in theory supposed to be an experienced, professed brother of the Order, and not a partisan outsider. The Grand Master was supposed to be beyond the influence of Kings, and to answer only to the Pope. The Grand Master presided from Jerusalem. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 the main town became Acre. After the fall of Acre in 1292 the Order was presided from Cyprus.
Read the whole review by Gordon Napier here.
In an earlier contribution the basic plan of an 12th century Cistercian monastery was presented. This lay-out was applied in most abbeys. The present new contribution shows a YouTube 3D representation of the same. This allows for a virtual visit to an original Cistercian monastery.
Key quotes from the review by Theresa Welsh of The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians Of The True Identity Of Christ by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince.
"While I find much of the material illuminating and believable, the authors ultimately fall short of pulling it all together in the magnificent way of Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh in The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail."
"The Templar Revelation adds to the overall picture of the suppression of truth down through the ages, but it does not reveal any Great Truth. It's major contribution to this endless and wonderful debate is the Egyptian origins of Jesus' teachings. I previously assumed that Christianity began as a cult within Judaism, but these authors show that this may be a misperception, one fostered by the Church to hide its true, pagan origins. The original "holy family" was Osiris, Isis and Horus."
Read the whole review at www.theseekerbooks.com; illustration: Eqyptian madonna: Isis with Horus child (source wikipedia)
The individual Orders 'united' within this system are principally the Knights of the Temple (Knights Templar), the Knights of Malta, the Knights of St Paul, and only within the York Rite, the Knights of the Red Cross. The Order derives its name from the historical Knights Templar, but does not claim any direct lineal descent from the original Templar order.
The earliest documented link between Freemasonry and the Crusades is the 1737 oration of the Chevalier Ramsay. This claimed that European Freemasonry came about from an interaction between crusader masons and the Knights Hospitaller. This is repeated in the earliest known "Moderns" ritual, the Berne manuscript, written in French between 1740 and 1744.
Knights Templar can exist either as part of the York Rite within Free Masonry or as an independent organization outside of Freemasonry. Though the York Rite and the independent versions share many similarities there are key differences which are described below.
As a part of the Freemason York Rite a Knights Templar commandery is traditionally the final body that a member joins in the York Rite after the degree of the chapter of Royal Arch Masons and a council of Royal & Select Masters. The York Rite orders are: 1) The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, 2) The Passing Order of St. Paul, (or Mediterranean Pass), 3) The Order of the Knights of Malta (or simply Order of Malta) and 4) The Order of the Temple.
For the Knights Templar as an Independent Body outside the York Rite, membership is by invitation only. Candidates are required to be Master Masons, and Royal Arch Masons, and to sign a declaration that they profess the Doctrine of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Three degrees are administered in this system: 1) The Degree of Knight Templar (Order of the Temple), 2) The Degree of Knight of St. Paul (incorporating the Mediterranean Pass) and 3) The Degree of Knight of Malta (Order of Malta).
Despite Freemasonry's general disclaimer that no one Masonic organization claims a direct heritage to the medieval Knights Templar, certain degrees and orders are obviously patterned after the medieval Order. These are best described as "commemorative orders" or degrees. Nevertheless, in spite of the fraternity's official disclaimers, some Masons, non-Masons and even anti-Masons insist that certain Masonic rites or degrees originally had direct Templar influence.
source text wikipedia . Top illustration source; Bottom illustration source
William of Tyre (c. 1130 – 29 September 1186) was a medieval prelate and chronicler. As archbishop of Tyre, he is sometimes known as William II to distinguish him from a predecessor, William of Malines. He grew up in Jerusalem at the height of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which had been established in 1099 after the First Crusade, and he spent twenty years studying the liberal arts and canon law in the universities of Europe.