Templars

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

I have often expressed my love for all things piratey.  I decided today it would be a good time to talk about another one of my loves, the Order of the Templar Knights!

The Latin motto above reads:  Not to us Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give the glory.  This is the motto on many Templar items and on their crest.  The Templars were one of the most recognized and one of the first orders of knights created during the Crusades.  Their full name is the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.  Needless to say they shortened the name to just:  Templars.  Their goal during the crusades was protecting the Christian pilgrims that visited the Holy Land.

The Templars were one of the most trained combat groups in the Crusades – think of them like the special forces of the Crusades.  Their valor in combat is renowned in the history of those famous battles.  The white tabard with the red equilateral cross was known to inspire the other soldiers and fear in their enemies.  The even show up from time to time in popular culture to this day (if you are a fan of the Assassins Creed series of games, you have a fond ‘love’ of the Templar) and if you are familiar with the Mason Organization, you will see Templar crosses appear on some of their symbolism.

Along with being warriors, the non-combat members of the order managed the millions of dollars worth of items and money that was given to the order – which was a favorite charity of people in the middle ages.  The Templars, at one point, were one of the most wealthy organizations in Europe.  Commanding huge tracts of land, thousands of members (20,000 at their height) and a fleet of ships made the Order of the Temple a force to be contended with.  This presented a problem for the people that wanted to be in power.

Friday the 13th
On Friday 13, 1307 Pope Clement V issued arrest orders for the Templars.  The letter of arrest started with the phrase:  “God is not pleased.  We have enemies of the faith in the Kingdom.”  Many Templars were arrested and forced to confess to false-heresy under torture.  After their confessions, they were burned at the stake.  Not all the Templars were captured however and some fled in their large fleet of ships to take to the high-seas.  The Templars going into hiding has led to them being involved in many supposed legends on how they have helped shape the world.  Here are a few:

  • Pirates – Yes, Rennies, supposedly some of the greatest pirates of the age may have been Templars or at least Masons that are descended from the Templars.
  • The Masons – The modern Freemasonry movement has used Templar symbolism since at least the 18th century.  Are the Masons an offshoot of the the Order of the Temple?  Are they a direct offshoot of the Temple?  We may never know.
  • Oak Island – The treasure Island near Nova Scotia known as Oak Island has long been famed to be the lost treasure trove of the Knights Templar.
  • The Holy Grail – Supposedly the Holy Grail is still being protected by the Knights Templar.

And of course, the last one is the big one.  The Knights Templar are still around and functioning part of society.  They act in secret, using their wealth and secret organization to shape our societies.

Hope this helps or at least makes you want to know more.