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Articles in the Templar History Category

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[11 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

Part Three: The Curse of Jacques de Molay

By Stephen Dafoe

The following article was originally written for Knight Templar Magazine, the official publication of the Grand Encampment of knights Templar (USA)

In August of 1308, Pope Clement V had issued a papal bull calling for a general church council to be held at Vienne in October of 1310. The purpose of the council was to try the matter of the heinous charges levelled against the Templars by King Philip IV of France.

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[9 Aug 2010 | 3 Comments | ]

Part Two: Revenge Destroys Everything

By Stephen Dafoe

They spit on the Holy Cross, these Knights Templar. Not only do they deny the divinity of Christ during their reception, they do not even worship God Almighty, but a graven idol instead.

These accusations, well known to many Templars, were the words of a renegade member of the Order named Esquin de Floryan, who – according to some accounts – had been imprisoned and subsequently made his claims known to his fellow inmates out of revenge.

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[8 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

By Stephen Dafoe

On 28 May, 1291 the Templars relinquished their fortified compound to the Mamlukes who had been besieging the port city of Acre for the past six weeks. The Mamlukes had actually breached the city walls ten days earlier, but the Templars were the last to leave the field, a situation that was a long-standing tradition with the Order.

The loss of Acre was not merely another crusader defeat, for the port had been home to the Templars and Hospitallers for nearly a century; having been captured by Richard the Lionheart on 12 July, 1191.

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[17 Jun 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

On 25 January 1153 the Commander of the City of Jerusalem, along with the ten knights under his command, was guarding the True Cross as an army of Templars, Hospitallers, seculars and ecclesiastics made the march toward Ascalon. The massive army arrived at the walls of the port city with as many siege towers as King Baldwin could gather for the war that lay ahead.

Ascalon was situated on the Mediterranean coast and its fortifications were like a half circle; the radius on the shoreline and the semicircle on the landside facing eastward. William of Tyre described the city as being like a basin, that sloped seaward, girded round with artificial mounds, on which were built walls, studded with towers. The stone work, according to William’s account was held together with cement, which made them very strong. There were also four gates in the circuit of the city’s walls and one wall was flanked by two high towers.

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[9 Jun 2010 | 3 Comments | ]

A year before the Christian loss of Jerusalem in 1187, there was a difference of opinion between the Knights Templar and Hospitallers over who should rule the kingdom after the death of King Baldwin V. The Templars believed that the crown should rest on the head of Baldwin’s mother Sibylla and her new husband Guy of Lusignan, while the Hospitallers favoured Raymond III of Tripoli, who had been regent for the leper King Baldwin IV, a man who despite his frailties had been victorious at the Battle of Montgisard in 1177.

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[5 Jun 2010 | One Comment | ]

When King Baldwin IV reached the age of 16 in 1177, Count Raymond of Tripoli’s regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem came to an end. Now in power, the leper king immediately became involved in military campaigns, despite his growing illness. When Philip of Flanders decided to go north to help Raymond in a campaign against the Muslims, Baldwin sent one thousand knights and two thousand foot soldiers to assist, as well as a number of Templars. This left the kingdom with far fewer men than they had sent and Saladin quickly learned of the kingdom’s weakened condition.

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[27 May 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

Within a week of the Muslim victory at Hattin on July 4, 1187 the port city of Acre had surrendered to Saladin’s army. Within a month Toron, Sidon, Gibelet and Beirut had also capitulated as the famed warrior made his way down the Palestinian coast before marching on Jerusalem, which surrendered on October 2.

Although it had taken the Muslim army a short time to capture Acre, it would take the Christian armies nearly two years to take it back – from August 28, 1189 until July 12, 1191. The victory was finally earned for Christendom by King Richard I (The Lionheart) who had taken control of the campaign a month earlier after arriving from the west.

Templar History »

[1 Apr 2010 | Comments Off | ]

Within the Templar hierarchy, the Grand Master was absolute ruler of the Order and answerable only to the pope. Although his position was a powerful one, he was still obliged to live by the same Rule of Order that those under him swore to obey.

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[31 Mar 2010 | 45 Comments | ]

Within two decades of the victory of the First Crusade (1095-1099) a group of knights led by Hugues (Hugh) de Payens offered themselves to the Patriarch of Jerusalem to serve as a military force.

This group – often said to be nine in number – had the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims who were en route to the Holy Land to visit the shrines sacred to their faith.

Somewhere between the years of AD 1118 – 1120, King Baldwin II granted the group quarters in a wing of the Royal Palace on the Temple Mount (the Al Aqsa Mosque).

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[31 Mar 2010 | 4 Comments | ]

The following article is intended as an overview of the Templar’s hierarchy. Please keep in mind that as the Order grew in size and scope new positions were created.