The lifestyle and practices of the Templar Knights : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
The Templar Knights were a medieval religious and military monastic order formed in the early 12th century to protect Christian pilgrims visiting the holy land in the wake of the first Crusade. In addition, they formed as a policing unit to maintain a Christian influence in the holy land in a time when most knights returned home to their own lands and families.I plan on using this text to allow those interested in the Templars to learn more than just the beginnings and slanderous downfall of this monastic order, but also more about their lifestyle, their wealth, and the religions in which they held influence. Although history is sometimes viewed as a series of events that occurred through time to create the world in which we now live, it must be remembered that the names and groups that frequently modern textbooks include real people. In this regard, we must acknowledge the fact that they had to at least fulfill the basic necessities of life (eating, sleeping, shelter), but the questions we must ask ourselves what exactly was life like back in the age of knights and castles, and what rules did a monastic knight have to follow? Was there a philosophy taken by the knights to justify their ability to violate one of the Ten Commandments (“Thou Shalt not Kill”), yet still remain pious in the eyes of God? I will also look at the accusations of heresy and devil worship that accompanied the downfall of this majestic order of knights and speak on the validity of these claims.At the end of this resource, I have also printed some important primary documents, some of the most powerful tools we have when studying the Templars today. Although most were originally written in Latin, they have been graciously translated and been made available for classroom use. Although I quote them frequently throughout the work, I have included them in their entirety, which will allow the student and scholar alike to be able to make their own deductions about the Templar lifestyle.It is important to realize that although documentation is our primary means of deriving what the Templar lifestyle was like, excavations in the Holy Land have also provided us with some Templar remnants, such as weaponry, armor, and castles. In the study of history, it is important to draw upon as many sources as possible to paint an accurate portrayal over the events that occurred so that we can better analyze those events and understand why history took the directions that it did.It is my intention that this paper will help give one viewpoint of the Templars, and from that one viewpoint further analysis can be deducted (regardless of whether the reader agrees or disagrees with the deductions and conclusions – as long as further thought is provoked, then my job has been done correctly). More importantly, I hope the reader gains further understanding and interest in the Order of the Temple and its practices.