The History of the Knights Templars
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The history of the Knights Templars is a remarkable story of triumphs and defeats, marked with controversies and tragedy. From their rise to their demise, Charles G. Addison captivatingly chronicles the various characters that played a role in shaping this powerful military order that reigned for almost two centuries during the Middle Ages.
Having examined scores of documents and texts, and traveled to many of the ruined fortresses and castles of the order, Addison was an expert on the Templars’ history. He insightfully details their plight in this volume, first published in 1842. Starting with the origins of the brotherhood, the foundations and ideals of the order, and their chosen symbol of the red cross, the author explains their role in protecting pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land, their feats during the Crusades, the relationships they held with various kings and church leaders, their contributions to protecting Europe from Turkish conquest and preserving Christianity in Europe and Asia, and their tragic end: stripped of their lands, tortured, and burned at the stake.
Addison provides a clear and comprehensible account of this great religious and military fraternity of knights and monks that will engross anyone interested in their history and the Middle Ages.
officers of the Inquisition, and to the pope, the superior of the Order? “Ainsi que la vertu, le crime a ses degrés Et jamais on n’a vu la timide innocence Passer subitement à l’extreme licence. Un seul jour ne fait point d’un mortel vertueux Un perfide apostat, un traitre audacieux.” Phedre, Acte iv. Scene 2. JAMES DE MOLAY. A.D. 1311. On Saturday, the 3rd of July, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops, the clergy, and the people of the city of London, were again assembled around the
lest the dark enemy (from whom God preserve us) should find some opportunity. But where they shall hear of knights not excommunicated meeting together, we order them to hasten thither, not considering so much their temporal profit as the eternal safety of their souls. … “LXVII. If any brother shall transgress in speaking, or fighting, or in any other light matter, let him voluntarily show his fault unto the Master by way of satisfaction. If there be no customary punishment for light faults, let
together,” and “all the fragments to be given in brotherly charity to the domestics,” is observed to this day, and has been in force from time immemorial. The attendants at table, moreover, are still called paniers, as in the days of the Knights Templars.* The leading punishments of the Temple, too, remain the same as in the olden time. The ancient Templar, for example, for a light fault, was “withdrawn from the companionship of his fellows,” and not allowed “to eat with them at the same table,”†
adeo crevit in immensum, ut hodie, trecentc in conventu habeant equites, albis chlamydibus indutos: exceptis fratribus, quorum pene infinitus est numerus. Possessiones autem, tam ultra quam citra mare, adeo dicuntur immensas habere, ut jam non sit in orbe christiano provincia quæ prædictis fratribus suorum portionem non contulerit, et regiis opulentiis pares hodie dicuntur habere copias.—Will. Tyr. lib. xii. cap. 7. The following castles and cities of Palestine are enumerated by the historians
succour was afforded to the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem. One of the grand priors or grand preceptors generally took the command of these expeditions, and was frequently accompanied by many valiant secular knights, who craved permission to join his standard, and paid large sums of money for a passage to the far East. In the interval between these different voyages, the young knights were diligently employed at the different preceptories in the religious and military exercises necessary to fit