Templars Influence On The Crusades

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Templars influence on the crusades


The Knights Templars had a great influence on the crusade wars. The Knights Templars were the elite fighting force of their day, highly trained, well-equipped and highly motivated; one of the tenets of their religious order was that they were forbidden from retreating in battle. Not all Knights Templar were warriors. (Barber, 43-67)

The mission of most of the members was one of support to acquire resources which could be used to fund and equip the small percentage of members who were fighting on the front lines

In addition to their announced tasks, under the direction of de Payens, the Knights Templar also spent much of their time and effort secretly excavating beneath the old walls to find the labyrinth of tunnels that were rumoured to exist beneath the temple. I say secretly because only these nine Knights were allowed near these excavations. Here they laboured for three years. In 1121, they sent their second-in-command, a Knight by the name of Geoffrey de St. Omer, back to France with the results of their excavations.


What were these results? No one really knows... and it is a subject that has many theories, each more bizarre than the other. Some believe they found great wealth -- to support this view, the recent discovery and translation of the "dead sea" scrolls does list 619 vessels of silver and gold that were buried in the tunnels beneath the Temple. Others say they found the "Holy Grail" -- the supposed cup Christ used in the last supper. Yet, still others say they found ancient scrolls giving them secrets of alchemy and architecture. Lastly, the most extravagant claim -- that they found religious writings telling an expanded or contradictory history of Christ and the crucifixion. (Butler, 122-45)

All we do know is that Geoffrey de St. Omer carried some metal artefacts back to France along with some Aramaic scrolls. One of the scrolls exists today in the library of Ghent University -- it describes the Heavenly Jerusalem referenced in much of the Old Testament and in St. John's revelations. These treasures that the Templars returned to France add fuel to the fire for the wild speculations and theories that have surrounded the Knights Templar since that time. And, shortly after the treasures were sent to France, the Count de Anjou travelled to Jerusalem to join the order as did the Duke of Champagne and, then both returned home and bequeathed a portion of their lands to the order so it could have financial independence. And, in Jerusalem, the excavations continued for the next seven years,

By 1127, the nine original Knights Templar had completed their excavations and their leader, de Payens, travelled to France and Scotland with more artefacts, returning to Jerusalem the following year with over 300 new Knights and title to many more lands which had been given to the order. (Haag, 52-87)

Meanwhile, a cousin of the Duke of Champagne, Bernard - the Abbot of Clairvaux - drew up a formal charter for ...
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