The Templar headquarters at Jerusalem in Crusader times

"In 1118 or 1119 king Baldwin II gave the group of proto-Templars a temporary home in his residence in the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple platform, believed by the Latins to have been the Temple of Solomon. The canons of the Temple of the Lord (the Dome of the Rock) gave them a square near the al-Aqsa to celebrate their offices." What was this location like?

Cistercians in the medieval Holy Land - a slow and limited start

In the West the development of the Cistercian organisation preceeded that of, and often coincided with, the Knights Templar. What was the case in the Holy Land?

The novel lifestyle of medieval Cistercians - more labour, less liturgy

"The Cistercian documents claim that the Cistercian way of life was based on a firm commitment to the Rule of St Benedict. The Rule laid down a daily timetable devoted to three occupations: the performance of the liturgy (the Opus Dei), manual labour, and reading. A novelty.

November 27, 1095 - Urban's call to crusade - the full text

On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II delivered his speech at Clermont Ferrand, aimed at arrousing the people to start an armed pilgrimage to deliver the Holy Land from the hands of the "pagans", a pilgirmage that later became known as the First Crusade. Of this speech several quite different versions have been delivered to our time by primary sources. Below are the version of Fulcher of Chartres and the one of Robert the Monk. 

The Templar trials - more than one

It is often thought that the Templar trial in France, which commenced after the arrest of many Templars on October 13, 1307, was a single trial, carried out by either King Philip the Fair of France or the Pope. The latter being the one who had the sole jurisdiction on the Order of the Temple and its member. In reality, their were several investigations which succeeded each other in time, one secular and several ecclesiastical.

Templar activities in the city of Jerusalem

"The life of the Templars in Jerusalem is known thanks to the rule of the order and a panel of chronicles depicting the actions of the brothers in the 12th century. According to Michael the Syrian (1126-1199), the brothers supplied the population of Jerusalem with grain and provisions in 1120. (...) The intervention of the Templars proves that the order did not wait until the 13th century to take care of the needy. (...) 

France, fall 1307: Templar arrests, interrogations, confessions and royal-papal power struggle

"On October 12, 1307 Jacques de Molay went to Paris specifically to attend the funeral of Catherine, wife of Charles de Valois, brother of the king. He resides, of course, within the Temple enclosure. It's a coincidence that he's here. Does this mean that he knows nothing of what is going on and that he has unconsciously thrown himself into the den of the wolf? 

The true motifs behind the Templar arrests, October 13, 1307

As argued earlier, financial affairs, often suggested as the major trigger for the arrests, can only be a marginal reason for conflict between the Templars and the King of France. Alternatively, rumors against te Order of the Temple were. Rumors that led to the request of Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Temple, to Pope Clement V to open an investigation into the charges weighing on the order. In a letter to the King of France dated August 24, 1307 the Pope granted this request.

The run-up to the Templars' arrest, October 13, 1307

"On October 13, 1307, in the early morning, throughout the kingdom of France, the Templars were arrested and transferred to royal prisons. (...) During most of the reign of Philip the Fair, practically until the year 1305, relations between the Order of the Temple and the royalty, without being warm, were not conflictual. What had happened? 

Medieval fairs - birth ground of multinational enterprise

The Medieval fairs of Northern France, which were already well-organized at the start of the 12th century, were one of the earliest manifestations of a linked European economy, a characteristic of the High Middle Ages. 

Everywhere, the commanderies also developed special relationships with the worlds of trade and crafts. Some examples.

Services by the military Orders to Western monarchial powers

The issue of military orders in the service of Western monarchies is a vast, important and still little studied theme. Kirstjan Toomaspoeg elaborates on few main issues. In this blog we focus on the services the Military Orders provided to the Western princess.

Templars and Hospitallers as urban landlords

"Although the strictly managerial documentation of the local commanderies sheds little light on this aspect, the economy of the military orders were essentially geared towards the needs of the Holy Land. The military orders therefore developed a profit-oriented economy based on the direct exploitation of agricultural and livestock resources, on land rents and on control of certain exchange and production activities." Some facts on the military Orders as urban landlords.

Rural, urban and trade development in 11th century NW Europe - setting the medieval stage

"At the beginning of the eleventh century the culture and economy of the West were almost wholly rural. It is true that many of the old Roman cities still exísted, and rnoreover that they were important. Not only were they walled towns and centres of defence, but they contained the cathedrals and therefore the remains of diocesan administration.

Building the gothic cathedrals: motor of an industrial and educational revolution

 "Although the Gothic cathedrals were dependent on the availability of finance and the growth of cities, they in their turn produced a massive transformation of the organization of labor, resources, and knowledge. Groups of tradesmen, masons, sculptors, carpenters, glaziers, smiths, and tilers began to develop. The start of an "industrial revolution".

The real estate agents of the Knights Templar

When they established themselves in certain Provençal towns, the military orders sought to rely on some urban knights by entrusting them with the task of making acquisitions for the benefit of the commanderies in formation. A practise which continued later. What did these "real estate agents" do?

The stables of King Solomon at Jerusalem

"They have under their palace stables for their horses built by King Solomon himself in the old days and connected to their palace, a wondrous and intricate building resting on pillars and endless arches and vaults. 

Commemoration of the 709th anniversary of the death of Jacques de Molay

On March 18, 2023 we commemorate the 709th anniversary of the death of the last official Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay. However, according to Alain Demurger and others the most probable date of the execution was March 11, 1314.

De Molay, born between 1244-1249, was put to death in Paris by the King of France. He was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar although at the time he was simply indicated as the Master from Outremer. He lead the Order from April 20, 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1307. What is known of his last moments?

A new Scottish version of the Templar Rule - fact or fake?

News on a new version of the Rule, especially one supposed to be written by a Scotsman, deserves some attention. Therefore Templars Now performed a quick scan on a Facebook post (consulted February 11, 2023) that goes as follows: "A unique 12th Century Scottish Version of the Knights Templar Latin Rule. Its title is called, 'Regula Pauperum Commilitonum Christi Templique Salommonci.' It was written by Johannes Michaelensis, a resident of Albanensis, Alba (Scotland)." An intriguing post that triggered a TN quick scan. The results.

Building Chartres Cathedral - a laboratory with Templates, String, and Geometry

"The construction of the Gothic cathedrals, such as Chartres, poses a number of questions. As a consequence of their presuppositions about distinctions between science and technology and the nature of theory and practice, many authors answer these questions in a way that makes the process seem mysterious and radically different from "modern" construction and design. What are the facts?

Disease in the Near East during crusader times

"The study of disease in the past, termed paleopathology, can involve the analysis of human skeletal remains, mummies, latrine soil, artwork, excavated medical equipment and written texts. In the areas of the Near East where the crusades took place from 1099-1291, the human skeletal remains and latrines at a number of sites have been studied for evidence of disease." What were the findings? 

Papal bulls on Templar matters

Between September and November 2022 Diego Wesley Nogueira published a series of three posts in Portugese on the Facebook Group UNIVERSO TEMPLÁRIO SMOTH-MIT listing Papal Bulls pertaining to the Knights Templar. These lists surpass in length the list of seven Papal Bulls given below, which are usually mentioned in the context of the Templars, although longer lists exist also:

  • Omne Datum Optimum (1139)
  • Milites Templi (1144)
  • Militia Dei (1145)
  • Pastoralis Praeeminentiae (1307)
  • Faciens Misericordiam (1308)
  • Ad Providam (1312)
  • Vox In Excelso (1312)

Diego Wesley Nogueira provides no sources, so the validity of the lists cannot be verified. However, the sheer length of the lists suggests ample research. Thus further distribution of the lists is thought justified as the data might be of interest to specialised researchers who can confirm of falsify the suggestion of their comprehensiveness.

The three complete lists, published in Portugese on Facebook on different dates, are presented below in their automatically generated English translation, as provided bij Facebook. Obviously the automatic translation contains errors but is presented here as is. The original posts in Portugese can be reached following the links provided. TemplarsNow fully acknowledges the work of Diego Wesley Nogueira and only republishes in order to promote further distribution of these interesting lists.

The Templar house at Feuilloux - a commandery for sale

Not often a Templar commandery is for sale. Therefore the putting up for sale of the House of the Temple at Feuilloux, Nièvre (58), France deserves some attention.

Chartres' gothic Cathedral - a product of knowledge, cooperation and devotion

After the 1194 fire that all but detroyed Chartres Cathedral completely, Bishop Renaud de Mousson (also known as Reginald of Bar, installed as Bishop in 1182, died 1212), via his mother Adèle de Champagne first cousin of king Philippe Auguste of France, decided to undertake an exceptional rebuilding project using the new techniques of the time - Chartres cathedral was to become one of the first great Gothic cathedrals. 

Pre-Templar churches and cathedrals in Chartres

Time and again Chartres Cathedral, France, has been mentioned as one of the major Gothic building projects of the Knights Templar. The facts indicate, however, also many centuries of building, destruction and rebuilding preceeding the Templar epoch.

January 13 - 894 Years Knights Templar Rule - 1129-2023

The Latin Rule, also known as the Primitive Rule, was the result of the discussions that took place at the Council of Troyes, which was under the heavy guidance of Bernard of Clairvaux, the new rising star of the Church. This Council took place in January 1129. A key event in Templar history.

The original Latin Rule, from the Council of Troyes, was actually written by the council’s scribe, John Michael, though the credit for its contents goes to Bernard; ‘At the very least he must have been a major influence on the framing of the Latin Rule, for it is clear that the later Templars valued their Cistercian links above all’.

The structure of the text is strikingly similar to that of ‘Carta Caritatis’, the Cistercian Rule dating from 1119, and the Rule of St Benedict (ca 500 CE), which implies a replication of Cistercian organisation and values. What is very interesting to note is that it was at the Council of Troyes that the Knights Templar came to follow the Rule of St Benedict.  Until the time of the 1129 Council, the Templars had been following the Rule of St. Augustine, common in the Orient.

The 1129 Rule itself describes procedures that the Templar brothers should adhere to on a day-to-day basis. The description of procedures -in particular clause three, which relate to clothing- resonates the tone of both the Cistercian ‘Charter of Charity’ and also the Rule of St Benedict. In fact much of the Rule appears to have strong monastic overtones, rather than a military aspect and the detail that is given to food and drink is very similar to that of the Cistercians.

The Templar Rule did not see its completion in 1129, but rather its launch. After 1129 the Rule as it is known today evolved over almost 150 years. During this timespan the Rule expanded from the original 76 clauses to a complex of independant sections, totalling 686 clauses. This expansion is dealt with in another blog.

Buy your own Rule here.  For the original Latin Rule in French visit 

This blog is in part based on the thesis by Lori Firth, Hull University (2012):  "A Comparison of the Cistercian and Knights Templar Orders, And the Personal Influence of Bernard of Clairvaux", to be found here

The Primitive Rule in English is quoted below in its entirety. Source:

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Chartres cathedral and the Templars


Undoubtedly the Templars were awed and inspired by the huge religious building projects of their days, such as Chartres Cathedral. But did they initiate, lead and/or support that build as is suggested in some literature? The facts.