The philosophy of the crusades is summarized by Christopher Tyerman as follows:
"The crusades were wars justified by faith conducted against real or imagined enemies deﬁned by religious and political elites as perceived threats to the Christian faithful. The religious beliefs crucial to such warfare placed enormous significance on imagined awesome but reassuring supernatural forces of overwhelming power and proximity that were nevertheless expressed in hard concrete physical acts: prayer, penance, giving alms, attending church, pilgrimage, violence.
The philosophy of the crusades is summarized by Christopher Tyerman as follows:
"The promotion of the tenets of their faith on one hand and desire to return to the simplicity of early monasticism on the other, permitted the Cistercians (...) art and architecture. (...) As St Bernard envisaged the Earth as the work of Divine Architect, he himself as a head of his order, actively participated in many practical aspects of founding new Cistercian monasteries, including solving concrete architectural problems. (...)
Templars in Art: Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) Rébecca enlevée par le Templier (The abduction of Rebecca, 1858)
Throughout his career, Delacroix was inspired by the novels of Sir Walter Scott, a favorite author of the French Romantics. This painting depicts a scene from Ivanhoe: the Jewish heroine Rebecca, who had been confined in the castle of Front de Boeuf (seen in flames), is carried off by two Saracen slaves commanded by the covetous Christian knight Bois-Guilbert. The contorted, interlocking poses and compacted space, which shifts abruptly from the elevated foregound to the fortress behind, create a sense of intense drama. Apart from the still life at lower left, the only element of calm is Rebecca herself.
The painting is kept at Metropolitan Museum of Art, (Met Fifth Avenie in Gallery 801). The present picture is Public domain published by the MetMuseum. Text from the same website. Another version is kept at the Musée du Louvre.
Formed in the setting of the Chapter of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem from a brotherhood of Champenois and Burgundian knights, the Templars received their rule at the Council of Troyes in 1129. They inspired all the foundations that followed by showing the way of militarization to charitable fraternities.
This position changed drastically when Alexius abandoned the Crusaders in view of the impending Muslim backlash. When Antioch was captured, Crusaders sent notice for Alexius to come to the Levant and take official control of the city.
During this time the unfortunate death of Adhémar in the summer of 1098 created an important political and religious void for the Crusaders. Urban had sent Adhémar with the Crusaders to insure the stipulations agreed upon by the two Churches were maintained. When Crusaders learned that Alexius’ forces had turned back on their march to Antioch, the previous religious and political plans were discarded as void.
Alexius’ abandonment and the sudden death of Adhémar left the Crusaders in an unexpected and little prepared for position. Alone in the Levant and confident of their military might, Crusaders acted as an autonomous group which would carry out their own will irrespective of the Byzantines.
Crusaders interpreted Alexius’ actions as the submission of Antioch to the Latins, and immediately sent a petition to Pope Urban. (...) The letter sent by the Crusaders demonstrates how they understood their own actions in the Levant. Their obedience to Adhémar and the restitution of territories back to the Byzantines was done to honor the Pope’s wishes. Without the papal legate and the Byzantine’s betrayal, the work Crusaders were doing took on an entirely new meaning."
Source: dissertation Sebastián Ernesto Salvadó, August 2011, Stanford University. Illustration: Portrait of Emperor Alexios I (1048-1118), from a Greek manuscript; source Wikipedia.
The first piece is from François-Marius Granet (1775-1849), who in 1844 painted the "Chapitre de l'Orde du Temple" (Chapter of the Order of the Temple), said to have taken place in Paris on 22 April 1147.
Every five years, the Chapter of the Templar Order convened, bringing together the high dignitaries of the order. They debated political questions and decided acts which engaged the order. It was also the internal court of appeal that dealt with serious disciplinary problems.
On April 27, 1147, eight days after Easter, a general chapter of the Order of the Temple in France was gathered in the Commandery of the Temple of Paris. Before Pope Eugene III, the King of France, Louis VII, and many prelates, the Knights Templar and their master Evrard des Barrès engaged for the first time for the second Crusade. At this meeting Pope Eugene III granted the Templars the right to wear a red cross on their white coat.
The painting is kept at the Versaille Palace, France. Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot. Published with permission under the rules of T&C of rmngp.fr Text inspired by Wikipedia.
"In March 1095, the devastation incurred by the onstorming Seljuk Turks in the Byzantine territories forced Emperor Alexius I to ask Pope Urban II for help. This request inspired Urban’s preaching of the crusades later that year at the church council of Clermont. Urban’s crusading plans were in great part a striving to restore good relations with the Byzantine church and was not one which had premeditated plans for expanding the Latin Church. So the expressed goal of Urban’s call was to help Alexius I regain Byzantine territories lost to Seljuk forces.
During the first Crusade the papal legate Adhémar of Le Puy was present among the Crusaders to enforce Alexius’ desire that those lands re-conquered would be given back to the Byzantines. An additional condition was that any other lands gained through their efforts would likewise become part of the Byzantine empire.
The seemingly carte blanche Urban offered Alexius through the Crusader’s unconditional help was a result of the papacy’s views of the Eastern church. At this time both Rome and Constantinople were still seen as a single church in communion with each other. The Crusader’s had no other stipulated goals than to restore the Byzantine sees to the holiest sites of Christianity.
The West’s intentions of goodwill were demonstrated when Crusaders conquered portions of North Syria in 1097. When Antioch was taken the patriarch Symeon II was restituted to the position. This appointing of a Byzantine to the see confirms Rome’s intentions. The joint statement issued by Adhémar and Symeon II further points to the cooperation of both churches. Rome and Constantinople were acting as one body."
Source: dissertation Sebastián Ernesto Salvadó, August 2011, Stanford University. Illustration: A mitred Adhémar de Monteil carrying the Holy Lance in one of the battles of the First Crusade; source Wikipedia.
In his book The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple Malcom Barber reconstructs in detail the birth of the Order.
He argues that it is probable that, prior to their recognition by King Baldwin II sometime after Spring 1118, the brotherhood that later became the Knights Templar existed in another form. Prior to settlement on the former royal palace at the Temple Mount and becoming "The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon" (in Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), this brotherhood probably already existed for some years as one of the brotherhoods of the Holy Sepulcher.
Researching on this TN found that one of the possible groups was the Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre. Originally, a canon was a cleric living with others in a clergy house or, later, in one of the houses within the precinct of or close to a cathedral and conducting his life according to the orders or rules of the church. This way of life grew common (and is first documented) in the eighth century. In the eleventh century, some churches required clergy thus living together to adopt the rule first proposed by Saint Augustine that they renounce private wealth. Those who embraced this change were known as Augustinians or Canons Regular, whilst those who did not were known as secular canons.
The also Augustinian Order of the Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre was founded in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, then the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Order was recognised in 1113 by Papal bull of Pope Paschal II and therefore must have been established several years earlier.
According to the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Godfrey de Bouillon, who ruled Jerusalem between July 15, 1099 and his death on July 18, 1100, founded the Order of Canons of the Holy Sepulchre. According to accounts of the Crusades, in 1103 the first King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, assumed the leadership of this canonical order.
The Order’s members included not only the Regular Canons (Fratres) but also the Secular Canons (Confratres) and the Sergentes. The latter were armed knights chosen from the crusader troops for their qualities of valour and dedication. They vowed to obey Augustinian Rule of poverty and obedience and undertook specifically, under the command of the King of Jerusalem, to defend the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Places. This description seems a blueprint for the later Knights Templar Order.
The Order of the Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre was suppressed in 1489 by Pope Innocent VIII, but its history runs parallel to that of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (along with the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of the Custody of the Holy Land), with Grand Magistery vested in the Papacy since 1496.
sources Wikipedia 1 and 2, and LPJ. illustration Church of the Holy Sepulchre Wikipedia
Their settlement all over Europe, led them to discover very varied agricultural techniques. They applied these techniques (and techniques they had importerd themselves from the Orient; TN) in their Commanderies, in producing the cultures necessary for their subsistence and that of the neighboring populations. Through trading their produce they also acquired funds for the continuing occupation and protection of the Holy Land.
In the Banyuls and Collioure region, Templar knowledge revolutionized the management of the vineyard. Their techniques have been preserved for centuries thanks to generations of winemakers. In Banyuls and Collioure, it does not rain often but the showers are terrible. In order to avoid runoff of water on the plots, which takes everything in its path, the Knights Templar set up the terraced cultivation. This required more than 6,000 km of walls, and created a network of canals to guide the water, called Agulles" änd "Peu de Galls" in Catalan.
In 1258 the "mutage was discovered by the Catalan physician Arnaud de Villeneuve, who reported the principle of the distillation obtained during the Crusades. Mutage is the operation of stopping the alcoholic fermentation of a wine by the addition of vinous alcohol (wine having been distilled). In this way preserve some of the grape's natural sugar and aromas is preserved. This is how one gets the Banyuls wine.
Seduced by the unique taste of the Banyuls and its aromatic richness, the Templars wanted to have them discovered across Europe. It was during a transport by boat that they realized that the barrels of Banyuls that had rested some time in the sun, had developed richer and more complex aromas. It's since then that a part of the Banyuls wines is ripened outdoors.
source text (translated from French and adapted by TN) and illustration terresdestempliers.fr
On October 17, 2019 the Vrije Universiteit at Amsterdam, the Netherlands, published The Map of Monasteries. This map shows the monasteries of all orders which have
been represented in the present-day Netherlands during the Middle Ages
and Early Modern period (until 1800).
This Map of Monasteries is based on the Census, which has been composed at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and which contains basic information on all monasteries in the Netherlands until 1800. The Census may be accessed independently, but its records are also accessible via the Map. The map includes the settlements of Cistercians and Knights Templar in the Netherlands.
The Templars established themselves in the duchy of Brittany in the
second quarter of the twelfth century, perhaps as early as 1128, during
the travels in western Europe of the first master of the order, Hugh of
The Templars lived on well beyond the Middle Ages in the local collective memory, in spite of the poorness of the buildings which may be directly ascribed to them.
Even if the present paper is interested in the traditions and myths the Templars provoked in Brittany, it is based on medieval and modern sources which are not as scarce as scholars have often thought.
Thus, over a period of two hundred years, this study explains the Templars’ regional growth, violently broken by the trial of 1307, and it throws light on the establishment of a complete network of possessions organized at its peak, during the second half of the thirteenth century, in about ten commanderies and integrated in the province of Aquitaine.
This blog quotes the English abstract of the paper "Les Templiers en Bretagne au Moyen Âge : mythes et réalités" by Philippe Josserand published on journals.openedition.org. Illustration from the same sorce, showing the Chapel of the Commandery of Coudrie (cliché Chr. Renault).
Originally there was no reason for the Knights of the Temple to invest in maritime activities in the Mediterranean area. The foundation of the Temple did indeed have as only goal the pacification of "the roads and ways of the kingdom of Jerusalem".
The development of the order, however, led the Templars to survey the quays of Acre and Jaffa, where Western pilgrims landed on their voyage to the Holy Places. During the 12th century the Temple came into possession of some 20 coastal commanderies, which communicated with each by sea through other parties. Most of these Commanderies had direct access to the sea, such as Acre, Tripoli, Tortosa or Latakia.
The charter of Italian ships seems to have preceded the acquisition by the different congregations of ships capable of crossing the Mediterranean. We thus see the Temple to import some two tons of iron in Acre, in 1162, through Venitian merchants. In the following years the order acquired fleets in the Bay of Biscay and in La Manche, where the brothers specialize in the export of La Rochelle wine to destination in England.
At the start of the 13th century the port of Marseille receives the favor of the Templars and Hospitals because of its location at the mouth of the Rhone corridor that leads to the north of France. A "commander of the passage" watches on behalf of the Temple to tranship goods and fighters on their way to the Holy Land in times of tension.
This blog is based on papers in French by Pierre-Vincent Claveri on the Templar Navy, such as this one; illustration templar ship, fresque in trhe Templar Chapel, Cressac, Charente, France, source
In June 2019 the OSMTHU-blog The Templar Globe reported on an agreement signed between the OSMTJ and the OSMTHU. Both organizations aim to conteract fragmentation in the worldwide Templar movement. This movement, as the publication rightly states, "is characterized by many small groups of undetermined origin and frequent divisions in the main branches."
For the purpose of unification a Cultural Exchange Association between both branches was proposed. Efgorts are undertaken to elect Vila Nova da Barquinha – of the Castle of Almourol, location of the Templar Interpretation Center (CIT), as the official seat of this Association.
Illustration left shows the adopted declaration. source the OSMTHU-blog
In 987, Hugues Capet was elected king. The monarchy becomes hereditary, and the Capetians reign over France for more than 800 years. Nevertheless, the first Capetian kings only directly control a very small portion of the French territory, called the royal domain, and some of their vassals are much more powerful than them.
In the twelfth century, royal power began to assert itself against the princes of the kingdom, but faced from the 1150s to the birth of a "Plantagenet empire" grouping together in England and the western third of France.
The Capetian kingdom reached its peak in the 13th century, with the monarchy regaining the power it had lost while French art and culture asserted in Europe.
Philip Augustus (1180-1223) managed to conquer most of the French possessions of the Plantagenets, temporarily putting an end to the English threat and considerably enlarging the royal domain at the same time.
Louis IX (1226-1270) behaves as a referee of Christendom and participates in the seventh and eighth crusades, which will lead him to be canonized very quickly by the Catholic Church
Source text (translated from French by TN) and illustrations (1: situation 1030; 2: situation 1180) www.cartesfrance.fr
La Chaux in Cossonay is attested in 1223 and Geneva (district of Rive) is quoted in 1277. These had other dependent houses, particularly in Cologny, Bénex (commune of Prangins) and Entremont (commune of Yvonand). All these establishments belonged to the baillie (or preceptory) of Burgundy, subdivision of the Templar province of France.
La Chaux Commanderie was given by the lords of Cossonay to the Knights Templar before 1223. This commandery does not seem to have been particularly profitable, because in 1277 part of the possessions was sold to the Franciscan order to pay debts. After the dissolution of the Order, it passed in 1315 to the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The commandery depended the hospices of Orbe, Villars-Sainte-Croix and Montbrelloz.
After the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century, the commandery was secularized, subordinated to the last commander, then in 1539 to the brothers of the reformer Guillaume Farel, finally sold in 1540 to Robert du Gard.
In Geneva there is a Ruelle de Templiers. This name comes from a house and a chapel of the Knights Templar who were there. At the suppression of this order, in 1312, they passed, as everywhere, to the Hospitallers of Saint John. This establishment was destroyed in 1534 with the suburbs of the left bank.
Modern Swiss Knights Templar (probably part of the OSMTH.net branch, though this Order is not referred to directly on the website) are organized in the Commandery Bertrand de Blanquefort, situated in the hart of Geneva, and the Commandery André de Montbard at Kanton Vaud (no town mentioned).
Illustrations show La Chaux Commanderry and the location of the two historic commanderies in Switserland. Source of the illustrations and part of the text (translated and adapted) from Wikipedia and sources mentioned therein.
Therefore, TemplarsNow has started a project which will pinpoint the geographical location of Templar sites in France. TemplarsNow has earlier done a similar job for The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
The French maps will be constructed by combining the information of both websites mentioned above and plotting it on modern Google-satellite maps, one per Department. In the process, the geographical location of each site is checked on the Cassini-map and other sources on the internet. Primary source is the templiers.net website. Additional information is used from the templiers.org website and from other sources on the internet. The site description on the maps uses snippits of text (for now in French) and photographs, mainly from the templiers.net website. If other information is presented, the sources are indicated. The illustration above presents a part of the resulting map for the Creuse Department (23). All completed maps will be summed up on the page on France.
On the maps four types of Templar sites are distinguished:
- major actual Templar site which at present holds multiple important buildings and/or ruins
- actual Templar site which at present holds one or a small number of buildings and/or ruins
- historical Templar site where as yet no remains are found but of which the former presence can be inferred from toponymes etc
- historical Templar site which is mentioned in the sources but whereof no traces whatsoever in the field are known today
Obviously these new TemplarNow maps could not be made without the information provided by the websites http://templiers.net and http://templiers.org and additional sources. Therefore these maps should be seen as the elaborated and augmented representation of the great work of others.
Only one year earlier, in the summer of 1098, the (Muslim) Fatimid Emir (commander) al-Afdal Shahinshah had taken Jerusalem from the (also Muslim) Seljuk Turks after a 40-day siege, on orders of the Fatimid Vizier (Minister of State) al-Musta’li, ruler of Egypt. Many months of political and diplomatic maneuvering with the Franj (Franks–the Arabic term used for all Western European Crusaders) and the Rumi (Romans–actually the Greeks of the Byzantine Empire) had not gotten the vizier the concessions he wanted, so he simply had sent Emir al-Afdal to seize the city the Crusaders were coming to capture, thereby presenting the Franj invaders with a fait accompli.
These 1098 events indicate that the negotiations between the Byzantine and Franj on the one hand, and the Muslim Fatimid rulers of Egypts on the other hand on combined efforts against their common enemy, the Muslim Seljuk Turcs that controlled the eastern part of the Byzantine Empire as well as Jerusalem, had turned sour.
These negotiations may have been one of the reasons why the Crusader army, after the successful siege of Antioch in June 1098, remained in that area for the rest of the year. Other reasons being disagreement between the leaders of the army on what to do next. Bohemond of Taranto had claimed Antioch for himself and wanted to remain there. Baldwin of Boulogne remained in Edessa, captured earlier in 1098. By the end of the year 1098, the minor knights and infantry were threatening to march to Jerusalem without their leaders. Eventually, on January 13, 1099 Raymond of Toulouse began the march south, down the coast of the Mediterranean, followed by Robert of Normandy and Bohemond's nephew Tancred, who agreed to become his vassals.
The 1099 siege and conquest of Jerusalem is notable for the mass slaughter of Muslim and Jewish perpetrated by the Christian crusaders, which contemporaneous sources suggest was savage and widespread. Atrocities committed against the inhabitants of cities taken by storm after a siege were normal in ancient and medieval warfare by both Christians and Muslims. The Crusaders had already done so at Antioch, and Fatimids had done so themselves at Taormina, at Rometta, and at Tyre. However, the massacre of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may have exceeded even these standards. Historian Michael Hull has suggested this was a matter of deliberate policy rather than simple bloodlust, to remove the "contamination of pagan superstition" (quoting Fulcher of Chartres) and to reform Jerusalem as a strictly Christian city.
Sources text historynet.com and Wikipedia. Illustration a 13th-century miniature depicting the siege, Wikipedia
Dr Holt reported on his project to identify the "most important" books on the Crusades. He asked 34 leading medieval historians to provide their own preferential list. Their replies resulted in a list of some 150 titles. Analyzing this as to the number of times each title had been mentioned by the scolars, Dr Holt identified "the 15 most important Books on the Crusades". The titles are shown below, including the number of times each title was mentioned.
The summer of 1098 saw the much-fought-over fortress city in Egyptian hands. The Fatimid Emir (commander) al-Afdal Shahinshah had taken Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks after a 40-day siege, on orders of Vizier (minister of state) al-Musta’li, ruler of Egypt.
The agricultural revolution described in an earlier blog resulted in a change in the land use that allowed the subsistence farmer to go with his surplus crop to the market, originally at the local church, to buy and sell.
During the medieval period, hundreds of thousands of Europeans migrated to the Near East to take part in the Crusades, and many of them settled in the newly established Christian states along the Eastern Mediterranean coast. This changed the genetic codes of the region.
Though little is known of his actual life and deeds except for his last years as Grand Master, he is the best known Templar, along with the Order's founder and first Grand Master, Hugues de Payens (1070–1136). Jacques de Molay's goal as Grand Master was to reform the Order, and adjust it to the situation in the Holy Land during the waning days of the Crusades.
|Death-site plaque of Jaques de Molay on Isle des Juifs, Paris|
source text and illustrations wikipedia.org