The History of the Knights Templars, the Temple Church, and the Temple [NOOK Book]


The extraordinary and romantic career of the Knights Templars, their
exploits and their misfortunes, render their history a subject of peculiar

Born during the first fervour of the Crusades, ...
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The History of the Knights Templars, the Temple Church, and the Temple

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The extraordinary and romantic career of the Knights Templars, their
exploits and their misfortunes, render their history a subject of peculiar

Born during the first fervour of the Crusades, they were flattered and
aggrandized as long as their great military power and religious fanaticism
could be made available for the support of the Eastern church and the
retention of the Holy Land, but when the crescent had ultimately triumphed
over the cross, and the religio-military enthusiasm of Christendom had
died away, they encountered the basest ingratitude in return for the
services they had rendered to the christian faith, and were plundered,
persecuted, and condemned to a cruel death, by those who ought in justice
to have been their defenders and supporters. The memory of these holy
warriors is embalmed in all our recollections of the wars of the cross;
they were the bulwarks of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem during the short
period of its existence, and were the last band of Europe's host that
contended for the possession of Palestine.

To the vows of the monk and the austere life of the convent, the Templars
added the discipline of the camp, and the stern duties of the military
life, joining

"The fine vocation of the sword and lance,
With the gross aims, and body-bending toil
Of a poor brotherhood, who walk the earth

The vulgar notion that the Templars were as _wicked_ as they were fearless
and brave, has not yet been entirely exploded; but it is hoped that the
copious account of the proceedings against the order in this country,
given in the ninth and tenth chapters of the ensuing volume, will tend to
dispel many unfounded prejudices still entertained against the fraternity,
and excite emotions of admiration for their constancy and courage, and of
pity for their unmerited and cruel fate.

Matthew Paris, who wrote at _St. Albans_, concerning events in
_Palestine_, tells us that the emulation between the Templars and
Hospitallers frequently broke out into open warfare to the great scandal
and prejudice of Christendom, and that, in a pitched battle fought between
them, the Templars were slain to a man. The solitary testimony of Matthew
Paris, who was no friend to the two orders, is invalidated by the silence
of contemporary historians, who wrote on the spot; and it is quite evident
from the letters of the pope, addressed to the Hospitallers, the year
after the date of the alleged battle, that such an occurrence never could
have taken place.

The accounts, even of the best of the antient writers, should not be
adopted without examination, and a careful comparison with other sources
of information. William of Tyre, for instance, tells us that
_Nassr-ed-deen_, son of sultan _Abbas_, was taken prisoner by the
Templars, and whilst in their hands became a convert to the Christian
religion; that he had learned the rudiments of the Latin language, and
earnestly sought to be baptized, but that the Templars were bribed with
sixty thousand pieces of gold to surrender him to his enemies in Egypt,
where certain death awaited him; and that they stood by to see him bound
hand and foot with chains, and placed in an iron cage, to be conducted
across the desert to Cairo. Now the Arabian historians of that period tell
us that _Nassr-ed-deen_ and his father murdered the caliph and threw his
body into a well, and then fled with their retainers and treasure into
Palestine; that the sister of the murdered caliph wrote immediately to the
commandant at Gaza, which place was garrisoned by the Knights Templars,
offering a handsome reward for the capture of the fugitives; that they
were accordingly intercepted, and _Nassr-ed-deen_ was sent to Cairo, where
the female relations of the caliph caused his body to be cut into small
pieces in the seraglio. The above act has constantly been made a matter of
grave accusation against the Templars; but what a different complexion
does the case assume on the testimony of the Arabian authorities!

It must be remembered that William archbishop of Tyre was hostile to the
order on account of its vast powers and privileges, and carried his
complaints to a general council of the church at Rome. He is abandoned, in
everything that he says to the prejudice of the fraternity, by James of
Vitry, bishop of Acre, a learned and most talented prelate, who wrote in
Palestine subsequently to William of Tyre, and has copied largely from the
history of the latter. The bishop of Acre speaks of the Templars in the
highest terms, and declares that they were universally loved by all men
for their piety and humility.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013690301
  • Publisher: Denise Henry
  • Publication date: 1/17/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 305
  • Sales rank: 1,231,069
  • File size: 386 KB

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2012

    Different and interesting perspective-hero's or villains????

    Not finished reading yet-gives me a new look at history.

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