The rise and fall of the Knights Templar. Dan Jones tells the story of a crack unit of holy hard-men who spent years defending crusaders'. In a series of guest articles, Trip Historic, the holiday site for history enthusiasts, explains the history behind our new Knights Templar drama. According to the modern Templar historians, Tim Wallace-Murphy and Christopher Knight, the knights who banded together as the Knights Templar were part of.


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Their banking system allowed religious pilgrims to deposit assets in their home countries and withdraw funds in the Holy Land.

10 Incredible Things You Should Know About The Knights Templar

Knights templar history order became known for its austere code of conduct and signature style of dress, which featured a white habit emblazoned with a simple red cross. Members swore an oath of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Because of this infrastructure, the warriors were well-trained and very knights templar history armed.

Even their horses were trained to fight in combat, fully armored.

The Templars were also shrewd tacticians, following the dream of Saint Bernard who had declared that a small force, under the right conditions, could defeat a much larger enemy. One of the key battles in which this was demonstrated was inat the Battle of Knights templar history.

Knights Templar

The famous Muslim military leader Saladin was attempting to push toward Jerusalem from the south, with a force of 26, soldiers. He had pinned the forces of Jerusalem's King Baldwin IVabout knights and their supporters, near the coast, at Ascalon.

Eighty Templar knights and their own entourage attempted to reinforce. They met Saladin's troops at Gazabut were considered too small a force to be worth fighting, knights templar history Saladin turned his back on them and headed with his army towards Jerusalem.

Once Saladin and his army had moved on, the Templars were able to join King Baldwin's knights templar history, and together they proceeded north along the coast.


Saladin had made a key mistake at that point — instead of keeping his forces together, he permitted his army to temporarily spread out and pillage various villages on their way to Jerusalem. The Templars took advantage of this low state of readiness to launch a surprise knights templar history directly against Saladin and his bodyguard, at Montgisard near Ramla.

Saladin's army was spread too thin to adequately defend themselves, and he and his forces were forced to fight a losing battle as they retreated back to the south, ending knights templar history with only a tenth of their original number.


The battle knights templar history not the final one with Saladin, but it bought a year of peace for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the victory became a heroic legend. Another key tactic of the Templars was that of the "squadron charge". A small group of knights and their heavily armed warhorses would gather into a tight unit which would gallop full speed at the enemy lines, with a determination and force of will that made it clear that they would rather commit suicide than fall back.

This terrifying onslaught would frequently have the desired result of breaking a hole in the enemy lines, thereby giving the other Crusader forces an advantage.

They would be the force that would ram through the enemy's front lines at the beginning of a battle, or the fighters that would protect the army from the rear.

Bankers[ edit ] Though initially an Order of poor monks, the official knights templar history sanction made the Knights Templar a charity across Europe. Further the resources came in when members joined the Order, as they had to take oaths of povertyand therefore often donated large amounts of their original cash or property to the Order.

Additional revenue came from business dealings.


Since the monks themselves were sworn to poverty, but had the strength of a large and trusted international infrastructure behind them, nobles would occasionally use them as a kind of bank or power of attorney.

If a noble wished to join the Crusades, this might entail an absence of years from their home. The order's knights templar history were helped substantially by the patronage of Bernard of Clairvaux, the leading churchman of the time, and knights templar history nephew of one of the original nine knights.

At its outset, the order had been subject to strong criticism, especially of the concept that religious men could also carry swords. Responding to critics In response to these critics, the influential Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote a multi-page treatise entitled De Laude Novae Militiae "In Praise of the New Knighthood"in which he championed their mission and defended the idea of a military religious order by appealing to the long-held Christian theory of a 'just war', which legitimised "taking up knights templar history sword" to defend the innocent and the Church from violent attack.

By so doing, Bernard effectively endorsed the Templars, who became the first "warrior monks" of the Western world. He is thus doubly-armed, and need fear neither demons nor men.

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The King of Knights templar history, in the Iberian Peninsula, left large tracts of land to the order upon his death in the and new members to the Order were also required to swear vows of poverty, and hand over all of their goods to the monastic brotherhood.

It stated that the Knights Templar could pass freely through lands, owed no taxes, and were subject to no-one's authority except that of the Pope. Elite fighting force The Templars were becoming the elite fighting force of their day, highly trained, well-equipped and highly motivated; one of the tenets of their religious order was knights templar history they were forbidden from retreating in battle.

But not all Knights Templar were warriors Bythe Order's original mission of guarding pilgrims had changed into a mission of guarding their valuables through an innovative way of issuing letters of credit, an early knights templar history of modern banking.