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The Templar Knights Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

The Templar Knights were a monastic order, formed near the end of the First Crusade to protect Christian pilgrims on the route to the Holy Land, they were also called the Poor Knights of Christ, the Temple of Solomon, and la Milice du Christ. This was the first time a group of secular knights banded together and took the monastic vows. In this sense they were the first of the Warrior Monks. The Templars fought along side King Richard I (Richard The Lion Hearted) and other Crusaders in the battles for the Holy Lands.In two centuries, they became powerful enough to defy all but the Papal throne. The fear they instilled on the battlefield their wealth and their generosity with it were the main ...view middle of the document...

The King of France, Philip the Fair used the secretive nature and mysterious rituals of the Order to destroy the knights. However the true reason for disbanning the knights was the threat of their powers and immunity and their ever growing funds. Philip desperately needed the money for his war on England and King Edward I so in 1307, he disbanned the knights.On October 13th, 1307, King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the grounds of heresy, since this was the only charge that would allow the seizing of their money and assets. The Templars were tortured and as a result, ridiculous confessions were given. These confessions included:Trampling and spitting on the crossHomosexuality and SodomyWorshipping of the Baphomet (A goat like creature, related to Satanists)Philip managed to decapitate the Order and sent a message to all other Christian leaders to disban the remnants of the knights. On March 19th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake. De Molay is said to have cursed King Philip and Pope Clement, as he burned, asking both men to join him within a year. Whether he actually uttered the curse or if it is simply an apocryphal tale; what remains as fact is that Clement died only one month later and Philip IV seven months after that.The wardrobe of the Templars is best known as a white mantle emblazoned with the Red Cross of the crusaders. However this cross was not part of their original dress and didn't come to be until later. Pope Eugene III gave the Red Cross to them in 1147 or 1148. It was to be worn above every Templar's heart as a symbolic shield. The purpose of which was so they would not escape in front of the Moslems. Their white mantle was said to be a symbol of purity and a reflection of the knight's vow of chastity.Templars by their rule of order were required to wear sheepskin under garments that were never to be removed. This was a symbol of their vow of chastity. They were also encouraged to never bathe, lest another Templar see their naked body. As in all male societies, homosexuality was a concern. For this reason, the Templars were made to sleep with lamps burning, to stave the darkness that may entice such homosexual...

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