Philosophy and Christian context of the Crusades

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.

Merry Christmas with Medieval Carols

Merry Christmas


Medieval Carols, Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly
 
Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

 

Key qualities of the Cistercian Order: simplicity, practicality and self-sufficiency

"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: The Abduction of Rebecca



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.  

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books


 

The Knights Templar - bleuprint of militarized fraternities

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 to militarization of charitable fraternities. 

The objective of the 1st Crusade - the changing Crusaders point of view

"Crusaders in the East were for the time militia (to the Byzantine Emperor, TN) who were there to serve a purpose. The question of restituting the churches of the East to Rome was not in the crusader’s plans. This position changed drastically when (Emperor TN) 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. Alexius’ forces, however, turned back on their march to Antioch. 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, 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. The views expressed through the Crusaders words and actions placed Rome at the head of the pentarchy of Churches. From their position and for their immediate concerns Rome was to be the administrator of the biblical lands they were conquering. This sudden turn of events forced Crusaders to voice their views towards the Pope and the role he should play among Christians. The need for the Latin’s own clerics also signaled their will to institute a Western religious orthodoxy over the Eastern ‘heretic’ Christians. The crusading campaign was suddenly transformed into a campaign of conquest for Rome and the West."

This blog quotes adapted sections of the dissertation THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE AND THE TEMPLAR RITE: EDITION AND ANALYSIS OF THE JERUSALEM ORDINAL by Sebastián Ernesto Salvadó, August 2011, Stanford University. Illustration: Portrait of Emperor Alexios I (1048-1118), from a Greek manuscript; source Wikipedia.
 
Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

The Templar Chapter of 1147


In 1844 François-Marius Granet (1775-1849) painted the "Chapitre de l'Orde du Temple" (Chapter of the Order of the Temple), said to have taken place in Paris in 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 as a whole. It was also the internal court of appeal that dealt with serious disciplinary questions. 

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.
 
In his "THE HISTORY OF The Knights Templars, THE TEMPLE CHURCH, AND THE TEMPLE", (1842) Charles G. Anderson describes the Chapter as follows: 
 
"The Lord Robert, Master of the Temple, was at this period (A. D. 1146) succeeded by Everard des Barres, Prior of France, who convened a general chapter of the order at Paris, which was attended by Pope Eugenius the Third, Louis the Seventh, king of France, and many prelates, princes, and nobles, from all parts of Christendom. The second crusade was there arranged, and the Templars, with the sanction of the Pope, assumed the blood-red cross, the symbol of martyrdom, as the distinguishing badge of the order, which was appointed to be worn on their habits and mantles on the left side of the breast over the heart, whence they came afterwards to be known by the name of the Red Friars and the Red Cross Knights.[32] 
 
At this famous assembly various donations were made to the Templars, to enable them to provide more effectually for the defence of the Holy Land. Bernard Baliol, through love of God and for the good of his soul, granted them his estate of Wedelee, in Hertfordshire, which afterwards formed part of the preceptory of Temple Dynnesley. This grant is expressed to be made at the chapter held at Easter, in Paris, in the presence of the Pope, the king of France, several archbishops, and one hundred and thirty Knights Templars clad in white mantles.[33] Shortly before this, the Dukes of Brittany and Lorraine, and the Counts of Brabant and Fourcalquier, had given to the order various lands and estates; and the possessions and power of the fraternity continued rapidly to increase in every part of Europe."

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.
 
Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books 

What triggered the Crusades? - the Church's point of view

A major question keeps hovering above history: what triggered the Crusades? Today the Church's point of view.
 

The Knights Templar - probably Canons at first

In his famous 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.

Templars and wine making in Occitania

When in the 12th to 14th centuries Knights Templar returned from their Crusade, they settled also on the territory of Banyuls and Collioure,  (departement Pyrénées-Orientales, region of  Occitanie, Southwest France), and restored the noble grape varieties planted there by the Phoenicians centuries earlier.

The Knights Templar Commandery at Arville, France

This video, hosted by a very enthousiastic Frenchman, provides a nice introduction to the well preserved Knights Templar Commandery at Arville, Loir-et-Cher Department, France.


  

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

Map of medieval monasteries in the Netherlands published

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). 

"The Templars in Bretagne (France) during the Middle Ages"

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 Payns.

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). 

 Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

 

The Templars at sea

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".

"Groundbreaking Agreement Brings OSMTJ and OSMTHU Templars to the Table"

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

 

 

 

  

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

 

Geo-politics in 11th and 12th century Francia

For the purpose of TemplarsNow the medieval geo-political landscape of what is now France is important. The County of Champagne, especially the area around Troyes, was the native region of many an early knight Templar. This geo-political situation was fragmented to say the least, as the adjacent maps show.

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 

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

 

Templars in Switserland - then and now

As we have argued in an earlier post, certain historians and conspiracists alike suggest that the Knights Templar did in fact form Switzerland.  The evidence and likelihood seem pretty plausible. At the same time hard evidence is scarce and circumstantial at best. Historical fact is that the Order of the Temple counted on the current Swiss territory only two commanderies: La Chaux and Geneva.

 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.

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

Templar locations in France pinpointed

On the website templiers.net a host of templar sites in France and their history is described in great detail. The same is true for the Project Beauceant website on templiers.org. Regrettably, these websites differ in detail, number and location of commanderies presented. Furthermore, locating the indicated sites on modern maps is hardly possible in the first case and rather difficult in the second.

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:
  1. major actual Templar site which at present holds multiple important buildings and/or ruins
  2. actual Templar site which at present holds one or a small number of buildings and/or ruins
  3. historical Templar site where as yet no remains are found but of which the former presence can be inferred from toponymes etc
  4. historical Templar site which is mentioned in the sources but whereof no traces whatsoever in the field are known today
The symbols used for each category are:

category 1
category 2
category 3
category 4

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.

920th Anniversary First Crusade Siege of Jerusalem

The Siege of Jerusalem took place from June 7 to July 15, 1099, during the First Crusade. This successful siege saw the Crusaders take Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate and laid the foundations for the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

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
 
Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

Reliable books on the Crusades

TemplarsNow is always looking to identify, promote and (re)distribute sources of reliable information on the Knights Templar and their time. Therefore this blog quotes the valuable list of "the 15 most important Books on the Crusades" prepared in 2017 by Andrew Holt PhD.

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.


 Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

The subsurface of Temple Mount, Jerusalem

The subterranean part of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem contains a lot of acheological information mirroring its intensive use during many centuries. Part of this archeological information is documented bij artefacts from the Stone and Bronze Age up to and including the 20th century found by the Temple Mount Sifting Project (TMSP).

The fall of Muslim Jerusalem to the Muslims 1098

In the Crusader story, a strange event just prior to the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusader army in July 1099, seems to be scarcely mentioned. This is the taking of Jerusalem from its Muslim Seljuk Turkish ruler (since 1073) by the Muslim Fatimid rules of Egypt.

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.

Making the Crusades possible: craft, trade and organisation


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.

Genetic Admixture from the Crusaders in the Near East

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.

Templar churches and chapels

According to some authors the religious Templar churches and chapels were built in a way specific to the Order and arranged for the exercise of secret and mysterious rites. Hence the existence of a Templar architectural symbolism, the famous "Templar architecture", whose models would be octagonal buildings or rotunda, like the rotunda of the Temple of Paris.

Making the Crusades possible: the agricultural revolution

A series of revolutions in economic and political life transformed Northern Europe. Technology (tools) drove the process, and it was the entrepreneurial spirit of inventive farmers, craftsmen, and what we call today business that triggered change.

Crusading for the sake of commerce - the Genoa case

"There were another body of crusaders, outside the knightly class, to whom it is worth turning in any discussion of the economic gains and losses of the First Crusade. By the end of the eleventh century a growing social milieu was beginning to assert itself in parts of Europe: the urban manufacturer and merchant. (...)

March 18, 2019, the 705th anniversary of the death of Jacques de Molay

On March 18, 2019 we commemorate the 705th anniversary of the death of the last official Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay. De Molay, born in 1244 was put to death in Paris by the King of France on 18 March 1314. He was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from 20 April 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1307.

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
As European support for the Crusades had dwindled, other forces were at work which sought to disband the Order and claim the wealth of the Templars as their own. King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Templars, had De Molay and many other French Templars arrested in 1307 and tortured into making false confessions. When de Molay later retracted his confession, Philip had him executed by burning upon a scaffold on the Paris Ile des Juifs in the River Seine on 18 March 1314.

source text and illustrations wikipedia.org

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

Numbers of participants of the First Crusade

"The most thorough discussion of the number of combatants on the First Crusade is that offered by John France and this study cannot improve on his painstaking assembly of the relevant data and the plausible manner in which it assessed. However, the estimates of the size of the Crusader army vary considerably.

Crusading, an "act of love"

"Upon leaving for the crusade, very many property owners made substantial donations to the church, in return for ready coin with which to finance their involvement on the expedition. These transactions were recorded and churches and monasteries preserved the charters throughout the centuries, being ever diligent on such matters.

Prologue of the Crusades: Jerusalem and the Seljuks

"When the Muslim Seljuks, a Turkish steppe tribe, spectacularly defeated an army of the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Manzikert in ancient Armenia in August 1071 CE, a series of events followed which would lead to centuries of East-West warfare couched in religious terms: the Crusades.

Modern Templars at Relic Pilgrimage, Maastricht, the Netherlands

 
"Participants in a historic religious procession during the 2018 Heiligdomsvaart (Relics Pilgrimage) in Maastricht, Netherlands. 
The history of this seven-yearly catholic pilgrimage goes back to the Middle Ages. The first 'modern' version took place in 1874. On both Sundays of the 10-day festival, a procession is held in which the main relics and other devotional objects are exhibited. 
This photo was taken at Het Bat during the (second) procession on Sunday 3 June 2018. This particular group consists of members of the interdenominational OSMTH Order of the Knights Templar. They are followed by a group representing the nearby parish of Houthem-Sint Gerlach, where Saint Gerlachus is venerated."

Source text and illustration Wikimedia. Photo by Kleon3 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

The Knights Templar: orthodox or heretics?

"(...) Local (14th Century TN) chroniclers in England ‘supported the French version of the Templars’ heresy’, although King Edward II and his prelates did not. This raises the question of whether local chroniclers were aware of irregularities in the Templars’ religious beliefs that were not known to the higher authorities.

890 Years Knights Templar Rule - 1129 - 2019

The Latin Rule, also known as the Primitive Rule, was the result of the discussions that took place at the Council of Troyes, which was under the heavy guidance of Bernard of Clairvaux, the new rising star of the Church. This Council took place in January 1129.

The original Latin Rule, from the Council of Troyes, was actually written by the council’s scribe, John Michael, though the credit for its contents goes to St Bernard; ‘At the very least he must have been a major influence on the framing of the Latin Rule, for it is clear that the later Templars valued their Cistercian links above all’.

The structure of the text is strikingly similar to that of ‘Carta Caritatis’ and the Rule of St Benedict, which implies a replication of Cistercian organisation and values. What is very interesting to note is that it was at the Council of Troyes that the Knights Templar came to follow the Rule of St Benedict; ‘At the time of the Council, the Templars had been following the Rule of St. Augustine, however, this changed in 1129 with the direct influence of the Cistercian abbot St. Bernard of Clairvaux.’

The Rule itself describes procedures that the Templar brothers should adhere to on a day-to-day basis. The description of procedures -in particular clause three, which relate to clothing- resonates the tone of both the Cistercian ‘Charter of Charity’ and also the Rule of St Benedict. In fact much of the Rule appears to have strong monastic overtones, rather than a military aspect and the detail that is given to food and drink is very similar to that of the Cistercians.

Buy your own Rule here.  For the original Latin Rule in French visit templiers.org.free.fr 

This blog is in part based on the thesis by Lori Firth, Hull University (2012):  "A Comparison of the Cistercian and Knights Templar Orders, And the Personal Influence of Bernard of Clairvaux", to be found here

The Primitive Rule in English is quoted below in its entirety. Source: www.templiers.org


Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books