Ancient history

The Templars in history

The Knights Templar, unlike the Knights Hospitaller, that at one time tried to trace their origins to St. John, They never tried to rebuild their "legend".despite this, centuries later, born gradually, enriching, a Templar legend.
It never ceases to amaze the most serious historians of the Order, come Régine Pernoud (1909-1998), who published years ago a very valuable synthesis in the pocket collection "What do I know?”, O Alain Demurger, professor in Paris, author of the latest study and documented.
Other deserving authors depth, I'm Georges Bordonove, M. Barber, P. Partner, P. Dupuis, J. Gmelin, M. Melville, Laurent Dailliez, Marco Tangheroni, Franco Cardini, Barbara Frale, Simonetta Cerrinius e Jean Leclercq particularly the figure of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.
Of course, we aim to enrich the proposed bibliography in the spirit of uncompromising historical record with an address book ad hoc.

The proposed article here, that sums up admirably and succinctly the history of the Templars, We were kindly submitted for publication on our site by Matteo Passerini – President of the Cultural Association Commandery San Giorgio – as a harbinger of a fruitful cultural cooperation.


The Templars were a monastic military order that marked the history Medieval, greatly influencing the culture of the time and left indelible traces. They were born with the aim to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land.

The Templars were absolutely devoted to Christianity and the Church, to which they remained faithful to the end, even when it betrayed them. Their origins can be understood only if you know and analyze the history of the First Crusade led by the famous Godfrey of Bouillon.

call of Pope Urban II al Council of Clermont (1095) for "Unfaithful war", They answered many, from every region and all walks of life; pilgrims, poor people, traders, principles and noble knights. The the Barons' CrusadeHe managed to reach in the Holy Land to liberate Jerusalem.
A demonstration of "spiritual" and not economic goodness of this adventure you can look at the conduct of Godfrey of Bouillon after the conquest of the Holy City: It could become King of Jerusalem, but he rejected the charge, wanting to be only "Defender of the Holy Sepulcher".
Anyway, Once reconquered Jerusalem, the Crusaders, since they were not a regular army, but only Christians who defended their right to go to pray in the Holy Land, for the most part they returned to Europe, to their homes and their families, thus leaving Jerusalem almost without protection.

Just at this time come into play the Templars. Hugues de Payns along with eight other riders (Bysol Saint Omer, Archambaud Saint Aignan, Gondemar, Rossal, Jacques Montignac, Philippe de Bordeaux, Nivar Montdidier, Montbard Andrè uncle of St. Bernard of Clairvaux) depart from France to go to the Holy Land in order to defend the pilgrims from attacks by Muslim gangs. They were initially called "Poor Knights of Christ" and they were a monastic order and warrior. The Templars joined the grace of monaco the warrior's will.
The monks, so-called traditional, They pronounced three votes, obedience, poverty and chastity. The Templars, in addition to these three helpful, They also pronounced a quarter, ie the "Staying in arms", always ready to armed combat. They were real warrior monks.

These nine Knights, They presented themselves in the year Domains 1119 (much more likely to view the French custom to begin the year 25 March, the date is to stand between the 14 January and 13 September 1120) the King of Jerusalem Baldovino II making themselves available for the protection of pilgrims and patrol the roads in and around Jerusalem. They, Unlike in many other, They not stood before the king dressed in a sumptuous, but instead they were covered by a simple white coat with no other ornament or shiny armor. Hugues de Payns supported, before the king, who were not his clothes that were good and brave knights, but the heart.
After listening to them, Baldwin II offered them a home within their own palace, in the south of the Temple of the Lord, name given by the Franks to the Dome of the Rock.
At that time the king resided at mosque of al-Aqsa, in the southernmost part of 'Haram as-Sharif or plain of the Temple of Jerusalem; since the Crusaders they considered this place home to the Temple of Solomon, It is therefore an appropriate abode for the ruler. The canons of the Temple of the Lord granted an area near al-Aqsa where to play the monastic offices, while the sovereign, his nobles, the patriarch and other prelates agreed several benefits, whose revenues would be used to the food and to clothing. The nascent Order date accommodation will then change the name of the same in "Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Jerusalem", they were simply known as "Templars".

This first period of Templar history is marked by great difficulties, both from a military point of view (were relatively few) both from the economic point of view. These reasons combined with a probable order of Baldwin pushed Hugues de Payns a return to France in 1127 to seek reinforcements for the campaign of the king against Damascus, and for his moral and economic order. Right now it happens the turning point of 'Order of the Temple: Hugues de Payns get to Troyes after meeting in Rome with certainty Chancellor Aimerigo di Bourges, trusted adviser of Papa Onorio II, and perhaps the Pope himself.

It must be admitted that the creation of the new militia was unprecedented in Christian history, even the Pope himself showed obvious signs of embarrassment. sure, the Templars were not the first monks with purposes other than prayer and meditation.

I Knights of St. John also known as Hospitable O gerosolimitano approved by the pope in 1113, but they did not have the vote of weapons, They were concerned above all the care of the wounded, invalids and pilgrims. But later, example Templar also took up arms.

It was therefore necessary to find a clear and precise position, also looking for a "rule" that perfectly suit the job situation. It is no coincidence that from this moment on the scene in the Templars events, one of the most charismatic and influential of the time: St. Bernard of Clairvaux member of the monastic order was born in Cistercium (from which the Cistercian monks) and founder of 'Abbey of Clairvaux.

It was right in Council of Troyes who it was presented with the Rule and the Order. In addition to Pope Honorius II and at the same San Bernardo, Also present were the archbishops of Reims, Meaning, Chartres, Amiens e Tolosa, in addition to the bishops of Auxerre, Troyes e Payns.
All the Order's Statutes were approved and "Templar Rule" bloc was signed by all and was affixed thereto the papal seal, while Hugues de Payns, who was also present at the Council, he was appointed Grand Master of the Order. It is thought that 1136, year of the death of Hugues, the Cistercian abbot has presented its "In Praise of the new host of" (In Praise of the new militia), actual proclamation of the Templar requested of exaltation three times by the Grand Master and never made up for lack of confidence in their ability to create an effective composition for the purpose chiestigli, which it was no small importance for the subsequent development of the Order.

St. Bernard also he transmitted to the Knights devotion to Mary and the great respect for women. Even the last Grand Master, at the stake, He begged his executioners to tie him with his face to Notre Dame.

The Templar Rule original was formed by 72 articles (become 686 around the 1260) and it was very hard. In it was forbidden any contact with women (She could not even kiss his mother, He was fitting to greet her composure bowing his head), no animals besides the lion could hunt, They had banned the game of dice and cards, abolished mimi, jugglers and anything that is fun, He could not laugh sprawled, talk too much or screaming for no reason, the hair was short or shaved, in winter the alarm was to 4 of the morning, in summer to 2, She had to sleep "Up in arms" to be always ready for battle.
There were also rules on how to eat and how to dress. He had to really have a sincere vocation to submit to such strict rules!

After this official ecclesiastical approval, fame dell 'Order of the Temple It grew rapidly and so dizzy, with it also increased the power and the richness of the Order same, who received donations and voluntary donations from virtually all walks of life. In fact, every gift or donation was used to finance the war campaign in the Holy Land, and all, while not directly participating in the war, But they could make their contribution.

The Order also grew in prestige, so much so that the cadets of noble families vied to get into it, both for their accommodation (not being the first-born in the family had few rights) It is to have a Christian stronghold in the Holy Land. The bulk of the donations and gifts was such that Hugues de Payens had to leave in France several brothers who were able to administer the enormous wealth acquired, in order to meet the heavy expenses of the war campaigns in the Holy Land.

Very important was the bubble "Every good gift" of the 1139, of Pope Innocent II who granted the Order total independence, including exemption from payment of fees and taxes, in addition to the directive that The Order was not accountable to anyone for its actions, except directly to the Pope.

He became a body part with a very prime location. Hugues returned to Jerusalem in November 1129 with a large number of recruits, who became perfect knights templar fighters. Among the Crusaders, the Templars, They were always distinguished by their incredible determination in battle; They had almost inhuman discipline and a ruthless steadfastness in the face opponent. They not by chance were called by the Muslims "Bali buyud " i "White devils".
Their routes can be counted on the fingers of one hand, They were the last to leave the Holy Land and in the siege of Acre did not give up until the last, the defense of the fortress was clearly hopeless, without any danger you could save by sea, but the knights fought and died almost all. No longer able to lead the vanguard in the battle turned into rearguard and so sacrificed their lives, last Crusaders in the Holy Land.

They were feared and respected by their opponents with whom, in times of peace, had numerous acquaintances approaching their Christian mystic the knowledge and traditions of Islam. Perhaps it was this encounter between the Islamic East and the Christian West that made ripen utopia amalgam to reach a Universal Brotherhood that was called the "Great Dream of the Templars".

The common judgment of historians claims that because of these contacts, deemed dangerous for Christianity, but also for the enormous wealth accumulated, the Templars attracted the hatred of the French king Philip IV say "The Beautiful" that, in addition to receiving the refusal of entry of his son in the Order, It was also heavily in debt in respect of the "Temple". In 1307 he persuaded, his friend, Papa Clemente V to put under investigation accusing the Order of heresy. persecution, lengthy detentions and tortures of the Inquisition with the killing of many riders, They broke the forces of Order used to engage the enemy in combat, but unable to react to the petty "Reasons of state" and betrayals.

In Council of Vienne, after the bubble “Vox in Excelso” which suppressed the Order, it was enacted, in 1312, the bubble “Ad Providam Christi Vicari " with which the Pope destined goods to the Templars'Order S. John of Jerusalemalso known as Knights of Rhodes which, about two centuries later, will assume the name of Knights of Malta.

The Order of the Temple was, for the Church of Rome, in fact dissolved.

The Grand Master of the Templars Jacques de Molay, who had been imprisoned with other dignitaries and forced under torture to confess guilt ignoble, could hear the 18 March 1314 allegations that were moved on the basis of its "Confessions". He outraged retracted proudly every word so accepting the tragic consequence of being put to death at the stake along with the Preceptor of Normandy Geoffrey of Charnay.
The fire burned the same evening on an island of the Seine in Paris, according to the "official", this torture decreed the end of the Order.

Considering commented Raffaele Carboni on the bubble Vox in Excelso among the most valid, we invite our visitors to read.
Also we note the interesting document found in 2001 by Barbara Frale - the Chinon Parchment, dated 17-20 August 1308 - where there are extremes for a proper review of the epilogue Templar.