The Knights Templars: God's Warriors, the Devil's Bankers
The history of the Knights Templars, the medieval order of warrior monks who fought in the Crusades, is a centuries-spanning epic that encompasses such conflicting elements as idealism and cynicism, valor and cowardice, piety and depravity.
Officially, they were The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ, and their mission was to create a safe passage for pilgrims visiting war-torn Jerusalem in the early twelfth century. Despite their vows of poverty, the Templars turned out to be brilliant businessmen, renowned for their honesty. Their monasteries served as "banks" in which Europe's rulers and nobles felt safe enough to deposit their money. The Templars also operated highly regarded medical schools, invented cashier's checks, and commanded a naval fleet that allowed them to engage in trade throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
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accused Acre alleged Amalric Archbishop aristocratic army Ascalon attack b/w illustrations Baphomet battle Bernard Bishop bull castle Cathars century charges Charles Addison Christ Christian chronicler Church claimed Clement condemned confessed crimes Crusaders Damietta death Despite Edward Egyptian enemy England English Europe Everard des Barres Fabre-Palaprat failed faith fortress Freemasonry French Gerard de Ridefort German Gnostic Grand Master greed Hammer-Purgstall Hashishim Henry heresy heretical historian Holy Land Hospitallers Hugues de Payen Hund Hund's idol initiation rite Islam Jacques de Molay King of France King of Jerusalem King's kingdom knights Knights Hospitallers letter London Temple Louis Masons medieval Michelet military Molay's monastery monastic monks Muslim nobles original Palestine papacy papal bull papal inquisitors Patriarch Payen Philip Pope Pope's priest Prince refused religious Ridefort ritual royal ruler Saladin Saracens scholar secret secular sent siege Starck Sultan Templar leader tion torture warriors wealth William worship wrote