Saturday, January 23, 2010

Origin of the Templars

Crusaders to the Holy Land were beset by bands of thieves and vagrants as they made their way along the Pilgrim trail. Initially, crusaders were protected by a loosely formed group of bowmen, but after the success of the first crusade, Hugues de Payens, a Frankish knight, along with eight other knights, offered protection to crusaders. The knights took vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, not unlike the vows of established religious orders.
The Templars rapidly grew in numbers and prestige. A Grand Master and General Council led the organization, which ultimately answered only to the pope, not to any crusading leaders.
The Templars were first established in Jerusalem, where Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem, gave them quarters in the palace, the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque. Because the palace was on Temple Mount, a holy site, the knightly order took the name Templars. To this day, the site remains one of the most contested religious sites in the world. The accompanying picture is one of Baldwin II ceding the Temple of Solomon to the knights.
From Jerusalem, the Templars moved to Acre, and after the Fall of Acre (1291) the order established itself on the island of Cyprus and operated from there. By now, the Templars had evolved from a military organization to one primarily known as one who handled the money of Europe. They had special privileges, and because of earlier gifts of estates and wealth, they held a powerful place in the courts of Henry II of England and Louis IX of France. This power would lead to their ultimate persecution. My next blog will cover the rising resentment that brought about the destruction of the Templars.

10 comments:

Phyllis Campbell said...

Very interesting subject! I love to read things like this and learn more about history. Thanks for sharing!

~Phyllis~

Beth Trissel said...

Wow! I just researched them and have been fascinated. Love your post.

Beth Trissel said...

Plus you have a beautiful blog!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I enjoy Medieval history. The DaVinci Code, of course, deals with the Templars as do several other fascinating novels.

You offer a truly interesting blog.

Jacqueline Seewald

darkangelauthor said...

Very interesting, Joyce...looking forward to the rest of the info on the Templars! :)

Warmly,
Linda

Joyce Moore said...

Hi Phyllis: I went to your site, and see that you write historicals too. You're sure a prolific writer! Thanks for stopping by!

Joyce Moore said...

Hi Beth: So nice of you to stop by. I loved reading the Irish Blessings on your website. My husband was from Waynesville, and I always thought the Shenandoah Valley one of the prettiest places in the world!

Joyce Moore said...

Hi Jacqueline, and thanks for the kind words. I do try to bring interesting tidbits to my blog, something that might be interesting to historical readers and writers. I'm glad you stopped by!

Joyce Moore said...

Linda: I enjoyed reading the excerpt of A Fairy Tale for Gwyn. Also, I love your last name. Is it a pename or do you really have that lovely last name that reminds me of French monarchs and their wives? Thanks for stopping by.

darkangelauthor said...

Joyce, the last name comes courtesy of my husband, who is a French Canadian. It originates in the region of Poitu in France, and I do believe there may be some hint of nobility in it! An interesting note: we discovered recently that the first ancestor to travel to the New World sailed with Samuel de Champlain back in 1602(ish). Way cool! :)

Warmly,
Linda