"The Assassins were a radical group of Shi'ite Muslims who practiced terrorism against their enemies. If a leader, usually Muslim, opposed them, they murdered him. In 1173, the Old Man of the Mountain, leader of the Assassins, sent a peace envoy to Amalric, the Crusader King of Jerusalem, proposing an alliance. On his way back from the conference with the King, the Assassin envoy was attacked and killed by a band of Templars who were led by a one-eyed knight named Walter de Mesnil. What was the background of this event?
"The initial Latin Rule, and its companion piece, In Praise of the New Knighthood, was public. Later translations and revisions of the Rule were not. During its first translation, in the 1140's, the Rule was removed from the public eye and revised, from then on, only within the Order. (...) The most likely reason for secrecy was military security; most of the changes involved specific military tactics and infrastructure. (...)
"The first ten years of the Temple were difficult. According to a later chronicler (they were ignored by contemporary chroniclers in Palestine), the original Templars were so poor that they had to rely on local charity for food, clothing, and supplies. They had no specific uniform. Everything from their clothes to their quarters on the Temple Mount consisted of dilapidated handme-downs.
"The nature of the earliest Templars' duties in Palestine made them a more mobile and disciplined group than the Frankish military forces. The Templars' original purpose was "that, as far as their strength permitted, they should keep the roads and highways safe from the menace of robbers and highwaymen, with especial regard for the protection of pilgrims. (...)" For that they developed their own, Oriental military tactics, very unlike normal Western practises.