The Knights Templar: The Special Forces Of The Medieval World & Much Much More
These are the top 10 facts about the Knights Templar, one of the most feared groups of Medieval knights in history. Hollywood has given the Knights Templar kind of a bad rap, specifically in the film ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. In that particular film, they portrayed the Templar’s as ignorant blood thirsty brutes who had no respect for anything, except slaughtering innocent Muslims.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The Knights Templar, were the special forces of the medieval world, they were fearless in combat and made the roads safe for pilgrims to travel to and from the Holy Lands. Even the great Muslim warlord Saladin, both feared and respected he Templar’s fearlessness and fighting prowess.
Each Templar was a warrior-monk, who at the time of his consecration gave away all of his lands and wealth to the order and swore an oath of poverty and loyalty. To this end, they were not even permitted to retreat from a fight unless the odds against them were at least three to one. The order was founded in 1119 and active from about 1129 to 1312.
The order, which was among the wealthiest and most powerful, became a favored charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking and building fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.
Their wealth and considerable power made some people very nervous and even some very powerful enemies. It was King Philip of France, who was already deeply in debt to the Templar’s from his war with the English, Philip decided to seize upon the rumors of strange and satanic rights that the Templar’s practiced for his own purposes. He began pressured the Pope to take action against the order, as a way of freeing himself from his debts. Philip had all of the Templar’s arrested and tortured into confessing to trumped-up, false charges and burned them at the stake.