The knight is the most widely recognized in medieval Europe. They were also nowhere close to being romantic by any means. They wore their shining armor, rode their thirty hands high battle horses, and fought it out with their jousting spears and swords. With momentums from their lady love tucked away in the armor.
The knights were heavily trained warriors. They were armed to the teeth with protective gear and weaponry. They would ride their horses through enemy lands severing limbs and heads. Most knights came from wealthy families or were battle guards for royalty. The equipment needed for the horses and knights became very costly. There was still a cost if you traded your old gear to an ironworker for new gear.
Many knights were put in leadership roles and held at the top of the list to be responsible for the most critical battles in medieval times. They went down in history for this and many other things. Part of it was having a secondary job of writing poetry, working in the churches, having a religious position, and history.
One of the most successful battles in the middle ages was the Norman Conquest of England.
William of Poitiers was William the Conquerer’s Chaplin during the year 1066 during the invasion of England. He went through training in his teen years to become a knight. He was able to give an accounting for the king’s life. William of Poitiers later became a scholar and a priest.
William of Poitiers would document his writings extremely carefully to impress the king. He would write with extreme descriptive wording about the battles he fought. He discussed the gruesome and wonderful sights of the battle. As a mounted horse’s knight, he went into battle with the Anglo Saxons army. The majority of the Anglo Saxon army was made up of infantry soldiers. Most of the information on the battle of Hastings was documented from soldiers who had been in battle there.
Rodrigo Diaz, also was known by El Cid, is honored by the Spanish Reconquista as a hero. He leads Christian armies into winning battles against Muslim rulers in Spain. Even though he is a successful knight, his history runs a lot deeper than this. El Cid was serving two kings in Castile and was a leader in the military. He also spent more than ten years working as a mercenary. El Cid earned a lot of fame and wealth serving the Muslim leaders. As a commanding lead in the Zaragoza Taifa, he won several battles against the Christians. Muslim armies were a Muslim state in Spain. El Cid would only fight battles that would put him down in history notes. The history notes took place near the end of El Cid’s life. His military group took over the town of Valencia from Al Moravid Dynasty in 1094. Then again, he went back and took Valencia back from Al Moravid Dynasty in 1097.
The Knight Templar was closed down about seven hundred years ago. The main facility for the Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon became the Knights Templar. The main facility was placed upon the sacred Temple Mount, and that is where they took their vows to protect the Christians. The co-founder of the Knights Templar was a French knight named Huges De Payens, who was also the first Knights Templar Grand Master. In 1118, he was able to get this facility established with the help of Baldwin II. As the Christians steadily helped the Pilgrims get to the Holy City, they progressively became attacked more and more out on the streets.
In 1118 Huges De Payens and eight other knights went to get the blessing of Baldwin, the king of Jerusalem, to create security for the pilgrim tourists. Pope Innocent II and the Christian lawmakers both gave their blessings to do so. In 1129 The Knights Templar was steadily being downed by the religious leaders. A personal endorsement from the Catholic church and support from Bernard Clairvaux, a high-ranking Abbot, was giving to the Knights Templar. Donations and recruits piled up coming from all over Europe to the Knights Templar facility. They quickly grew into thousands and expanded to the western side of Europe, with new generations filling the new Templar facilities. They took an oath of poverty but still acquired wealth and land. They were under strict regulations of chastity and obedience. They were not allowed to drink, gamble, swear, have a wife, a girlfriend, or have children. It was a mandatory thing for their daily life to pray. Templars showed a lot of honor to the Virgin Mary.
In this time, they took on a cold and unpleasant code of conduct. They began being known as brutal and were forbidden to retreat unless outrageously outnumbered. They also took a dress code of white habits (robes) with a red cross on its front. In 1139 Pope Innocent exempted the Knights Templar from tax and everyone but the people of his land. The Knights Templar became a large economic monopoly. They had a multitude of banks, ships, and Knight Templar facilities everywhere in Europe up readily available to them and any of their needs at any time. Once the banks were set up, this gave religious pilgrims a way to deposit funds in the countries they lived in and were able to pull funds from the Holy land. This started giving the Templar a great amount of pull despite all their business ventures. They also owned the island of Cyprus and were loaners to nobles and monarchs.
In the later parts of the twelfth century, The Muslims retook Jerusalem. It took longer than ten years to lose their place. This caused the Knights Templar to switch tracks and relocate a multitude of times. This started a downhill spiral of the military campaigns in the Holy Land with the assistance of Europe. This situation pushes French king Phillip the IV to break apart the Knights Templar, and French King Phillip the IV had many of the Templars tortured and killed. The Templar refused to give any ruler indebted any further loans and expressed that they wanted to form their own state in southeast France. The last to be killed was Jacques De Molay, the last Grand Master in 1307. Huges De Payens was the co-founder of the Knights Templar and the first Grand Master and became a prominent public figure with the Crusades history. He also became a part of the first crusade with the French army, where the Christian/European army took over Jerusalem. As we all know, the Knights Templar, in the end, was violently dismembered in 1307.
The rules of the Knights Templar were very detailed and demanding. There were sixty-eight authentic rules of conformity to follow, from sleeping arrangements to eating, discipline, clothing, and repentance. The first time the rule guide had been written out, it was written to remind them of the vows they took to uphold the honor and dedication they made a lifelong commitment to and maintain their vows of poverty, obedience, and charity.
As time went on, the order got more extensive, and so did the wealth, and the more the demands conformed to a military-style organization. The discipline rule guide expanded and became more complex as a few original rules started to decinergrate. New rules were written up and quickly turned into several hundred within one hundred and fifty years. The authentic rule guide had become extinct but was written in French and Latin and re-written by other authors.
The following are the rules of the Knights Templar. Mind you; I can’t entirely agree with many of them because of my path. There is a second coming out about how they are tied into witchcraft. Some of the rules were from a history book I read; others I pulled out of some research I did some years ago. With all the rules they had, there was just no way to remember all the rules they had to follow.
(1) If a Templar was to step out of line and violate or become defiant of the written rules, instead it is one or multiple rules, the disciplinary procedures would be as minor as eating your meals on the floor up to and including corporal punishment and or “banishment” from the Templar brotherhood.
(2) There were not enough meal dishes to go around so that the Templar brothers will eat in pairs. Then one studies the other closer. That way, neither austerity nor secret abstinence is introduced into the communal meal. It seems fair that each person would have the same amount of wine in the cup.
(3) They were only allowed to eat meat three times a week, except for Christmas, The Saints, and the feast of the twelve apostles. It is understood that the custom of eating flesh corrupts the body.
(4) They are not allowed to leave the dining table unless there is an emergency or something that could disrupt the Templar home. For example, nose bleeds, horses in an uproar, a fire, or some form of war advancement on the home or Templars.
(5) When in the proverbial doghouse, the Knights Templar soldiers were ordered to eat on the floor.
*When a Templar is in penance when he eats, he must remain on the household floor to eat in front of everyone as a form of shame or discipline.
(6) The only time that the Templar is to eat without a napkin is if they are in penance on the floor eating or Good Friday, they clean the tables before the bread and water is put out and still no napkins, and all they can have to eat is the bread and water.
(7) All brothers’ habits should always be of one color, white, black, or brown. And we grant all brothers in winter and summer, if possible, white cloaks. The ones who have walked away from the life of darkness will recognize each other and have reconciled themselves to their creator with the white chastises, representing purity and whole chastity.
(8) These robes should be plain jane, dull, with no decoration or decals and no visible signs of pride. No one can have fur on their clothes, Any brother with a feeling of pride or arrogance would like to have a finer, better habit; he shall have the worst.
(9) The Knights Templar prohibited wearing pointed shoes, and shoe-laces were forbidden for any brother to wear. For it is a manifestation and known that these terrible things belong to pagans.
(10) Among the other things, because the heat is so intense, it exists in the East, from Easter, a linen shirt shall be given to any brother who wishes to wear it.
(11) No one may wear a hood on their head. No brother may wear a coif without a cloth cap.
(12) We forbid any brother to have gold or silver on his horse’s bridle, stirrups, or spurs. If a harness is given to him in charity and is so old that the gold or silver is tarnished, that the splendid beauty is gone and does not take pride in them, then he may keep them.
(13) No one is allowed to hang his mantle round his bed on hooks, for each is obliged to honor their habit.
(14) If a brother tears or gives back his habit willingly, he can not have it back for 12 months (one year) and one day.
(15) The company of women is a dangerous thing, for the devil has led many from the straight path to Paradise. Henceforth, women were not allowed to be admitted into the house of the Temple. That is why very dear brothers do not fit to follow this custom that the flower of innocence is always maintained among you.
(16) We believe it to be a dangerous thing for any religious man to look too much upon the face of a woman. For this reason, none of you may kiss a woman. Rather they are widowed, a young girl, mother, sister, aunt, or any other woman and, the Knighthood of Jesus Christ should avoid at all costs the embracing of women because men have given in to the likes of a woman, many times, so that they may remain eternally faithful before the face of God with a pure conscience.
!7) If a brother is found guilty of lying with a woman, and we hold the brother who is found guilty in a wicked place or house with an evil woman, he is not allowed to keep the habit. He should be put in irons, nor can he carry the piebald banner or take part in the election of a Master.
(18) The Templar prohibits and firmly forbids any brother to confide to another brother or anyone else about pleasures of the flesh that they have had with immoral women. If he hears them told by another brother, he should immediately silence him. If he cannot do this, he should straightaway leave that place and not give his heart’s ear to the pedlar of filth.
A- Forget about having kids too,
(19) We forbid all brothers to raise children over the font. No one should be ashamed to refuse to be a godfather. This shame brings more glory than a sin to the brotherhood Temple.
(20) This is the world of the MASTER, and another is invited into it. Jesus loves a well-behaved brother. To carry out their holy duties and be blessed by the glory of the Lord, escape the fear of hell-fire, it is fitting that all brothers who have to confess eternal brotherhood life strictly obey their Master. For nothing more humble to Jesus Christ than obedience.
B- Master, may I bathe,
(21) No brother may bathe, let blood, take medicine, go into town, or ride a horse without permission.
C- On a tight leash,
(22) No brother may shorten his stirrup leathers, girth, sword belt, breech-girdle without permission, but he may adjust his buckle without permission.
D- Ask first before using straps,
(23) No brother should carry his chainmail tunic or iron hose in a bag, neither in a guerilla nor in a profile. Still, he should hold it in a leather or wire mesh bag, he should not hang the wire mesh bag by the straps to have his hauberk, but he should carry it in his hand for as long as he or a sergeant can each hold it, and with permission, he may hold it or hang it by the straps.
Careful with that gear
(24) No brother may throw his lance without permission. He may repair his sword without permission, nor his wide-brimmed helmet, coat of mail, or throw their wide-brimmed helmets.
E- Here today, gone tomorrow, deal with it.
(25) The Master shall give whoever he wants the positions of another knight. A horse, armor, and whatever else, and the brother that used to own these things, should not become disgruntled or angry. If he becomes angry, he will go against God.
(F) Keeping outside influences at bay
(26)A brother can not have letters from a family member without the permission of his MASTER or his commander. Then if the Master chooses to, he or the commander can read the letter aloud to the brother and brotherhood.
G-Poverty isn’t just a concept.
(27) None of the brothers are allowed to have money without permission. When a brother asks any brother for money to buy something, he should purchase whatever it is as soon as possible, and only purchase what the brother says it’s for and nothing else also without permission to obtain the item.
H- You can’t take it with you anyway
(28) If a brother dies and money is found on him, his habit, nightclothes, or pouch will be considered his and stolen. And these brothers should not be buried with the other good brothers who have left this world, nor should they be placed in hallowed ground. They shall have him buried like a slave. (This is used in today’s spoken language)
I- Fixer-uppers, okay?
(29) If a brother was to build a house of stone or lime without permission of the Master or Commander of the Land, the habit is at the discretion of the brothers, whether to take it from him or let him keep it, if others were to ruin the house, he might repair it without permission.
J- Beware brothers in the dark
(30) And if possible, the house where they sleep and take lodging shall not be without light at night, so shadowy enemies may not take them to evil doings, which God forbids them.
(31) If a brother is tainted with the sin of sodomy, It is considered so filthy and disgusting that it should not be named.
K- Maybe it’s best to bundle up at bedtime
(32) You should always sleep in a shirt, pants, and in a woolen hose, belt with a small belt, and your bed should have three pieces of linen, that is to say, a bag in which to put straw and two sheets, and in place of one sheet, you may have a light blanket if the Draper wishes to give it to you.
L- Charge in battle only with a commander’s say-so
(33) If a brother who is in battle charges without permission, and harm comes of it, the habit is at the discretion of the brothers, whether to take it from him or let him keep it. But if he sees a Christian in peril of death, and his conscience tells him that he can help him, he may do so. But in no circumstances should a brother of the Temple charge without permission.
M-Beware banner infractions
(34) If a brother of the Temple who carries the banner in battle lowers it to strike, and no harm comes of it, the habit is at the discretion of the brothers, whether to take it from him or let him keep it. And if he strikes with it and harm comes of it, he may not keep his habit, so it may be decided to put him in irons; he may never carry the banner or be a commander in battle. So basically, if you carry the banner, you do not engage in battle.
N- Save a life? Fine, keep quiet.
(35) And if it happens by chance that any Christian acts foolishly, and any Turk attacks him to kill him, and he is in peril of death, anyone who is in that area wishes to leave his squadron to help him, can as long as his conscious tells him to do so and can aid the fallen knight.
O- Holy relics need special attention.
(36) When the True Cross is transported by horse, the Commander of Jerusalem and the ten knights should guard it day and night and should camp as near to the True Cross as they can for as long as the journey lasts, and if a camp is established, everyone should lodge with the convent.
P- Staying within bell range
(37) When the brothers are in camp, they should not go out for pleasure without permission, except as far as they can hear the call or the bell, not to their dwellings, or carry any baggage on their horses, near or far, without permission.
Q- No rogue hunting
(38) And let it be known that the brother should not search for any food except what is given communally, except green vegetables from the fields, or fish if they know how to catch them themselves. They are not to hunt wild game unless they know how to take them without hunting, in such a way that’s not to disrespect the commandments of the house.
R- Share with your neighbor
(40) Each brother may give some of the food in front of him to the other brothers around him, and only in arms reach, but no farther, and if you have the best of whats to share, you invite the ones who have the worst to your circle.
S- A head held high
(41) Each brother should strive to live honestly and set a good example for other people and other orders in everything, in ways that that no one can say anything bad about him, not in his riding, his walking, drinking, his looks, and in no action or work. And especially should each brother strive to conduct himself humbly and honestly when he hears Lord.
T- Brothers should be seen and not heard,
(42) When the brothers come out of their night prayers, they don’t have permission to speak except in an emergency. But each goes to his bed quietly and in silence.
U- Stick it out at the chapel
(43) Each brother is required to hear the sermons entirely through. You are not allowed to leave, unless a brother has chores which can not be avoided, or if he goes in search of the one who has the place next to him in the chapel, only then can the brother be looked for in the bed or out with the horses and taking care of them.
(44) To each knight’s brother, he is given three horses and one squire, and if that squire serves charity, the brother can not beat him for any sin that he commits.
Beat, yes; maim, no
(45) No craftsman brother, neither one from the prison, nor any other, should strike a slave in such a way that he places irons round his neck without permission if he has deserved it; none should put him in a pillory nor pierce him with a sword without permission, but he should beat him and may without permission with a leather strap if he has deserved it. Still, he should take care not to maim him.
(46) None should place a wager on a horse or anything else, except an arrow without iron, or something that does not cost him or anyone else money, like an open lantern, wooden mallet, camping tent pegs, each brother of the Temple may wager against another brother, with his crossbow, ten pieces of a candle without permission, nothing else.
The paupers’ feet
(47) Whenever the Master is in on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, he should wash the feet of 13 paupers (a person who receives from a charity) and should give each a shirt and pants, two loaves of bread, two deniers, and a pair of shoes, if he is in a place where he does not have them when he comes to the first of the house of the Temple where he has them, he should give them, for love of God.
(48) And the brother should wash the paupers’ feet and dry them with the towels, and afterward kiss their feet humbly. And let it be known that the Almoner should ensure that those paupers who are to be washed do not have any vile disease on their feet or legs, for perhaps it could bring illness to a brother’s body.
(49) Of all the brothers who are given a penance in the presence of the Master, none may rise from the floor unless the Master raises him, and the brothers may pardon them from manual labor and fasting but may not raise them from the floor and Friday fasting.
Toe the line or else
(50) If a brother refuses to carry out the commandment of the house he has been given and persists in the folly(commits a sin), the habit will be taken from him and, he will be arrested.
(51) When a brother is on penance, he should work with the slaves, and when he eats, he should sit on the ground before the household, eat his food, and always wear a heavy hooded cloak without a cross.
(52) If a brother lays his hands on another brother out of anger, he should not keep his habit(robes), and if the blow is serious, he may be put in irons(arrested).
(53) Whoever strikes a Christian man or woman with a sharp weapon, stone or staff, or anything a blow from which could kill or wound him, the habit is at the mercy of the brothers.
(54) If a brother leaves the house and sleeps two nights outside the house, he loses his habit, and he may not recover it for a year and a day. And if he keeps the things that they’re not allowed to have more than two nights, he is banished from the house.