Hugh de Payen
That was the beginning of a new knightly Order, to which the King of Jerusalem Baldwin II donated the building of the former Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount - this place once housed the famous temple of King Solomon. And Islamic tradition connects this place with the night journey of Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem (Isra) and the ascension of the prophet to Heaven (Miraj).
Modern Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
Thus, the place is sacred, symbolic for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Of course, such a prestigious location could not help but be reflected in the title of the Order - "The Secret Knighthood of Christ and the Temple of Solomon." But in Europe, he was better known as the Order of the Knights of the Temple, the knights themselves were called "Templar" (if in Russian style) or Templar. It seems that Payen himself did not anticipate the consequences of his initiative.
The disinterested (at first) readiness with a real risk to life to protect strangers made a great impression both in Palestine and in Europe. But the bulk of the pilgrims who needed to protect the Templars was not rich, and their gratitude for 10 years was purely symbolic, almost “platonic”. The gift of Fulk of Anjou, who donated 30 000 to livres in 1124, could rather be considered as an exception to the rule. Only after de Payen's journey across Europe, undertaken in order to attract new knights and collect at least some means, the situation began to change for the better. The great role was played by the church council in the city of Troyes in January 1129, at which the status of the new Order was finally secured. Bernard of Clervaux, abbot of the Cistercian monastery (later canonized), wrote a treatise in the 1228 year, entitled “Praise to the new knighthood”. Now he made a charter for the new Order, later called "Latin" (before that, the Templars observed the charter of the Order of St. Augustine). This charter, in particular, stated:
"The soldiers of Christ are not in the least afraid of what they commit sin by killing enemies, nor the danger threatening their own lives. After all, kill someone for Christ’s sake or wish to die for Him not only completely free of sin, but also very commendable and dignified. "
"To kill an enemy in the name of Christ is to bring him back to Christ."
"To kill an enemy in the name of Christ is to bring him back to Christ."
Bernard of Clairvass, very complacent in appearance to the nuns, who wrote the statutes of the Order of the Templars and called to kill in the name of Christ
In theory, everything was fine and wonderful, but about the first French knights who went to help the Templars, the same Bernard wrote:
"Among them are villains, atheists, perjurers, murderers, robbers, robbers, debauchees, and in this I see a double benefit: thanks to the departure of these people, the country will be spared them, waiting for important services from them."
As the saying goes, "no waste - there are reserves." Of course, it was better for such cruel criminals to let go of all sins in advance and send them far away from France - to kill the Saracens. It remains only to admire the power of the personality and the organizational talent of Hugo de Payen, who even from such “material” managed to create a quite efficient and very effective tool.
Having achieved official recognition and support of the Church, the Knights Templar increasingly began to receive donations from noble people - first money, and then in the form of property. Already in 1129 The Order received the first landed estates in Europe - the initiative was shown by the Queen of Portugal Teresa. In 1134 was The King of Aragon Alfonso I followed her example, bequeathed the Order of some of his possessions in the north of Spain (the whole kingdom was not allowed to be given to the Templars, as the king wished). In 1137 was from Queen Matilda the Templars received their first possessions in England. The Duke of Conton of Conton gave the Knights Templar an island off the coast of France. In 1170, the Order had lands in Germany, in 1204. - in Greece, in 1230 - in Bohemia. The Templars also had possessions in Flanders, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Hungary, Poland and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Very quickly, literally in front of surprised contemporaries, the Order of the poor knights turned into a powerful military-political organization, its goals and objectives were expanded to geopolitical, and the Templars became a serious factor in international politics. And now not only adventurers began to show interest in serving in its ranks, who were revered for happiness in any European country, but also the younger sons of “good” families. The prospect of becoming, if not a marshal or a seneschal, then a commander or commander for young, full of power and ambitious aspirations of men was a good alternative to a boring life in a monastery. The risk of sitting up in ordinary positions was small: on the one hand, the knights died in constant clashes with Muslims, on the other - the possessions of the Order grew in lands on which new priors were organized - therefore, new vacancies were opened. According to the charter of 1128, the members of the Order consisted of knights and serving brothers. Later "monk brothers" joined them. Knights wore white cloaks with eight-pointed crosses, pledged to keep a vow of chastity, poverty and obedience. In peacetime, they lived in the shelters of the Order. The heir to their property became the Order. Sometimes family members of the Knights Templar were still assigned content from the treasury of the Order - usually relatives or relatives of higher degrees of initiation could rely on it, or relatives left without any means of subsistence for the ordinary knight. The ban on relations with women sometimes pushed some of the “brothers” who were too principled on this issue to homosexual contacts, which subsequently gave reason to accuse them of sodomy. The secular members of the order included donates (people who rendered various services to the Order) and duties (persons from childhood who were assigned to join the Order and were educated according to its rules). Serving brothers were divided into squires and artisans, they could marry, wore brown or black clothes. Please note: the squire in this case is not a boy from a noble family preparing to become a knight, but a servant, an inferior member of the Order, who does not have a knighthood. The Order Hierarchy numbered 11 degrees, the youngest of which was the title of a squire, the eldest being the Grand Master. The standard bearer (9 place in the hierarchy) was commanded by servants (squires). Podmarshal - a warrior of a common origin, was the head of sergeants and enjoyed some of the privileges of a knight, in the order hierarchy he stood on the 8 level. The highest (seventh) degree that a non-nobleman could claim in the Order was the title of brother sergeant - he had the right to own a horse, he could take a servant on a hike, but he was forbidden to have his own tent. The knight brother is already the title of 6 degree, giving the right to have a squire, to own three horses and a marching tent. It is curious that the rank of 5 (higher than that of a knight) was held by a brother-tailor who was engaged in equipping all members of the Order. The commander (4 degree in the hierarchy) ruled one of the order provinces, the commander subordinate to him were the commandants of the castles (during the period of the greatest power of the Order, the number of comtums reached 5 000!). Marshal (3 degree in the hierarchy) was engaged in combat training and led the order troops in wartime. But the seneschal (2 degree), who was the Deputy Grand Master, was engaged in purely administrative work and financial issues, he had no direct relation to military affairs. Thus, the Templars were perfectly familiar with the thesis (later briefly expounded by Napoleon) that "war is a simple matter, for it only three things are needed: money, money, and again money." The power of the Grand Master was somewhat limited to the Chapter - the Council, in which the head of the Order acted as the first among equals and had only one vote. Interestingly, the commander of the mercenary detachments (Turkopoller) had only a 10 degree in the order hierarchy - only henchmen were below him.
With the heretics and the infidels, the Templars were obliged to fight even if they outnumbered them threefold. With co-religionists, they had the right to join the battle only. after a threefold attack on himself. Leave the battlefield templar could see the Order of the banner (Bossean) fell to the ground.
Bossean, the banner of the Templars
The privileges of the Order grew rapidly. Pope Innocent II in 1139 decided that any Templar has the right to cross any borders without paying taxes and duties, and cannot obey anyone except His Holiness Pope himself. In 1162, Pope Alexander III, with a special bull, freed the Templars from the tutelage of the Jerusalem patriarch and allowed him to have his own clergy. As a result, in Europe, the Templars built around 150 own churches and cathedrals. Not only were the “brothers” of the Order forbidden to be excommunicated from the Church - their priests received the right to independently remove the interdict imposed by other hierarchs. Finally, the Templars were allowed to leave a tithe in their treasury collected for the needs of the Church. No other Order had such privileges and privileges from the Vatican - even the Order of Hospitallers based even on 19 years before (in 1099). Therefore, it is quite logical that, in addition to a well-trained professional army, the Templars organized their own police and court.
Initially, it was forbidden to take knights excommunicated from the Church into the Order, but then, on the contrary, it was considered expedient to recruit new members from among them - “in order to help save their souls”. As a result, in full religious fanaticism of the world of medieval Europe, the possessions of the Order became real islands of free-thinking and toleration. After the Wars of Wars, many Qatar knights found salvation in the Knights Templar order. It is with penetration into the order of knights excommunicated by the church that some researchers associate the appearance of some heretical teaching in the XIII century: the Templars allegedly recognized the existence of not only the “higher” god, but also the god of the “lower” —the creator of matter and evil. He was called Baphomet - “baptism with wisdom” (c). However, some historians believe that the notorious Baphomet is, in fact, a distorted Mohammed. That is, some Templars secretly professed Islam. Other researchers believe that the Templars were supporters of the Gnostic sect of the Ophites, the mysteries of which they had already met in the East. Some scholars talk about the possible connection of the Templars with the powerful Islamic Order of the Assassins and draw attention to similar structures of these organizations. The link was, indeed, quite humiliating for the supposedly all-powerful assassins, who were forced to pay the Templars an annual tribute to 2000 gold bezant. Gradually, the Templars amassed enough strength to not only protect pilgrims from robber troops, but also engage in battles with entire armies of the enemy. At the peak of the Order’s power, the total number of its members reached 20 000 people. However, the warriors were not all of them. And the "real" soldiers, not "tournament" fighters and not warriors performing mainly guarding or ceremonial-representative functions, were mostly those of the Templars who were in the Middle East. The lifestyle of the Knights Templar of the Holy Land and Europe was very different. “Nowhere but in Jerusalem do they live in poverty,” is what is written about the Templars in one of the medieval manuscripts. And, it must be assumed that the Knights Templar of the Holy Land did not particularly like the “brothers” from the order residences of England or France. But, to the honor of the Great Masters, it should be said that they did not hide in Europe, they always lived and served their Order in the Holy Land, and six of them died in the battles with the Saracens.
The Templars attack the caravan of Muslims, a frame from the movie "Kingdom of Heaven"
At the same time, the Templars were recognized authorities in the field of diplomacy: they, as a rule, acted as independent mediators in a dispute between the warring parties, including during negotiations between Catholic countries and Orthodox Byzantium and the countries of Islam. The Syrian poet and diplomat Ibn Munkyz spoke of the Templars as friends, “although they were people of a different faith,” while speaking of other “Franks”, he invariably emphasized their folly, savagery and barbarism, and in general, often could not do without curses at them. Also of interest are the epithets that chroniclers of those years used in relation to the knights of various Orders: they are usually called "valiant" hospitallers, and the Templars are called "wise".
Along with the Order of Johannites, the Templars became the main fighting force of the crusaders in Palestine, and with a constant force - in contrast to the armies of European monarchs periodically appearing in the holy land. In 1138, a detachment of the Templars and the secular knights under the command of Robert de Craon, (the successor of Hugh de Peynes) defeated the Turks from Ascalon near the city of Tequio, but was carried away by the gathering of military booty and suffered heavy losses. During the Second Crusade (extremely unsuccessful for Christians), the Templars managed to save the army of Louis VII (January 6, 1148), which was squeezed into the ravine, saved from defeat. The first great military success came to the Order in 1151 - under the Grand Master Bernard de Tremel, who won a number of victories. Two years later, this master and 40 knights will die during the assault on Ascalon. Some ill-wishers then accused them of greed: allegedly, part of the Templars stopped in the breach of the wall and turned their swords against other troops - so as not to let them into the city and not share their loot. Those who came to their senses interrupted the Templars who had embarked on robbery and, having built barricades, repulsed the assault. The city, as a result, was nevertheless captured by Christians. The disaster of the Battle of Hattin (1187) ended in a catastrophe, in which the last King of Jerusalem, Guy de Lusignan, was decided on the advice of the Grand Master of the Templar Gerard de Reidfort. All the Templars who took part in it died (or were executed in captivity), and Reedfor, being captured, dishonored his name by ordering the surrender of the fortress of Gaza, which the Order owned from 1150. Jerusalem was left defenseless - in the whole city it turned out at that time only two knights. But Baron Balian de Ibelin appealed to Saladin with a request to let him go to besieged Jerusalem to take the family, and received permission to spend one night in it.
Orlando Bloom as Balian de Ibelin, film "Kingdom of Heaven"
Having yielded to the prayers of the patriarch and the townspeople, Ibelin broke his oath. He armed all eligible men to military service, 50 knighted the most eminent and notable townspeople, putting them at the head of the militias and entrusting the defense to various sections of the wall. Salah al-Din offered to surrender Jerusalem on very mild conditions: 30 000 without compensation for the property left, Christians wishing to leave Palestine were promised to send them to Europe at the expense of the sultan's treasury, remaining allowed to settle 5 miles from the city. The ultimatum was rejected, and the soldiers of Saladin vowed to tear down the walls of Jerusalem and destroy all Christians. However, later Saladin asked the mullahs to free them from this oath. He allowed the priests to stay at the shrines, the rest had to pay a ransom: 20 gold for a man, 10 for a woman and 5 for a child. For the poor, the ransom was cut in half. Saladin's brother asked the Christian poor for the Sultan as a gift to 1 000 and released them in the name of the merciful Allah. Saladin gave the Patriarch a 700 man, Balianu de Ibelin presented 500. Ransom for 7 000 the poor paid the Templars. After that, Saladin himself released all the old men and the warriors who had not bought back. In addition, many left Jerusalem illegally - climbing over poorly guarded walls. Others came out through the gate in their Muslim clothing. Part hid in Armenian and Greek families, which Saladin did not banish from the city. Those who wished to leave for Europe were ordered to take out the Genoese and the Venetians, whose 40 ships wintered in Egypt. The deputy of Saladin sent water and bread to the ships, warning that he would confiscate the sails if the shipowners refused to take the people assigned to them. In the case of deception of refugees, Genoa and Venice were threatened with a ban on trade in Egypt. A total of 18 000 people were bought, but from 11 to 16 thousands still fell into slavery.
From 1191, Accra became the new capital of the Crusaders. Despite the hardest losses suffered during the war with Salah ad-Din, the Templars were able to improve their affairs and regain strength when the troops of Richard the Lion-Heart arrived in Palestine. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Templars then bought the island of Cyprus from the ever-needy king-knight. And Richard’s brother John (the Landless) later laid to the Templars even the great seal of the kingdom of England. In the XIII century, the Templars fought in the army of the King of Aragon on the Balearic Islands (1229-1230 campaign). In 1233, they participated in the storming of Valencia. They took part in the Crusades of the French King Louis IX - in Egypt and in Tunisia. This participation was forced, because Louis, later called the Saints, broke the delicate balance by breaking the contract with the Muslim Damascus, which was concluded precisely by the Templars. Lavrov commander, this unlucky king did not earn, moreover, the consequences of his extremely unsuccessful campaigns were disastrous for the Christians of Palestine. The Templars also had to pay a ransom for Louis, who was taken prisoner - 25 000 gold livres. The time of the crusaders in the Holy Land was steadily coming to an end. Tripoli city was lost in 1289, Accra and Saint-Jean-d'Acres Castle were lost in 1291. The last fortresses of the Templars in the Holy Land - the Pilgrim and Tortosa Castle, were left by them in August of the same year. Without sources of water, the island of Ruad, located two miles from Tortosa, the Templars held 12 for years. After that, they finally left the Holy Land and moved to Cyprus, and this was the end of the Palestinian period. stories Order of the Templars.
But, besides the military, the Order of the Templars had another story. The Templars were engaged in transportation of pilgrims, and also acted as intermediaries in the redemption of prisoners, if necessary, providing a loan for these purposes. They did not disdain to engage in agriculture, set up farms, raised horses, raised cattle and sheep, had their own transport and merchant fleet, and traded grain and other products. In the XII-XIII centuries. The Order minted its own coin, and in the Paris Temple it was kept the reference gold livre made by them. In addition, the Templars provided services for the transport of gold, silver, jewelry - including at the intergovernmental level. Since the 13th century, the treasury storehouses of the order were considered the most reliable in the world, many members of the European high society and even some kings kept their savings in them. At that time, pilgrims and crusaders left their money in the European Templar vaults in exchange for bills of exchange for which they received cash in the Holy Land. At the same time, thanks to the Templars, the practice of non-cash lending has spread to interstate payments. The Templars' high competence in financial matters was also evaluated at the French royal court: in 1204, a member of the Order of Eimar became the treasurer of Philip II Augustus, in 1263 the order's brother Amory, La Roche, held the same position under Louis IX.
However, dark spots sometimes appeared on the business reputation of the Templars. So, the ugly story with the Bishop of Sidon, which happened in 1199, became known: the Templars then refused to return the funds they had deposited. The angry hierarch anathematized the entire Order - it did not help to solve his problem. Another spot on the reputation of the Order of the brothers was the treachery of the Arab sheikh Nasreddin, who had asked for asylum (and even having agreed to be baptized), one of the claimants to the Cairo throne, whom they gave to the enemy for 60 thousand dinars.
So, already a few decades after the founding of the Order, the Templars had branches in all countries of Western Europe, submitting only to their grand master and pope. The state in the state of ownership of the Order, of course, irritated the monarchs of all countries. However, at first the patronage of the Pope of Rome and the military-political situation in the world, and then the increased power of the Order forced the kings to refrain from conflicts with the Templars. The English king Henry III also had to retreat, and in 1252, he tried to threaten the Order with the confiscation of land holdings:
"You, the Templars, enjoy great liberties and privileges and possess such large possessions that your arrogance and pride do not know I will keep. That which was once so ill-conceived is given to you, it can be wise and selected. That which was too quickly ceded can be returned back. "
The head of the English commandership boldly replied to Heinrich:
"It would be better if your lips did not utter such unfriendly and stupid words. As long as you do justice, you will rule. If you violate our rights, you are unlikely to remain a king."
At the beginning of the XIII century, the Order was the richest organization in Europe, whose power seemed to have no limits. If in the second half of the 12th century the annual income of the order reached 54 million francs, then at the beginning of the 13th century it reached already 112 million. And the main store served as the Paris Temple. Therefore, the monarchs of many countries with envy and lust looked at the treasures of the Templars, and for the French king Philip IV (Beautiful) the temptation to patch holes in the state budget at the expense of the treasure of the Temple was simply irresistible. And, unlike English King Henry III, Philip already felt strong enough to try to destroy the mighty Order.
Juan de Flandes, Philip the Handsome, portrait (c. 1500, Museum of Art History, Vienna)
The idea of appropriating someone else's property was not new to this king. In 1291, he ordered the arrest in France of all Italian merchants and bankers whose property was confiscated. In 1306, he expelled from his kingdom the Jews, whose property also passed into his hands. Now Philip IV eagerly looked at the treasures of the Templars. The task was facilitated by the independent and proud behavior of his opponents. English king Richard the Lionheart who knew his fighting comrades well before his death said: "I leave my stinginess to the Cistercian monks, my pride to the Templars, my luxury to the orders of destitute monks." The saying “drink like a templar” was common throughout Europe. But, unlike many graphs and some kings, the Templars drank with their own money, and it was very difficult to bring them to justice. The excuse for the massacre was the testimony of two former Templar, expelled from the Order for the murder of his brother. By writing a denunciation, they hoped to avoid prosecution of the secular authorities. However, the Order of the Templars was a pillar of the secular power of the Roman high priests, and while Philip the Beautiful was alive, Pope Boniface VIII, the hands of the King of France were tied. Therefore, the French Chevalier Guillaume Nogare was sent to Italy. Having come to terms with the Pope's enemy, the Roman patrician Column, he captured Boniface. The governor of St. Peter was humbuged by hunger, after which, through the efforts of Philip the Handsome, the new Pope elected Cardinal Bertrand de Got, who took the name of Clement V.
Meanwhile, the Grand Master of the Templars, Jacques Molay, did not leave the thought of the Palestine abandoned by Christians. There is evidence that at the beginning of the XIV century, the main goal of the Order was to end all wars in Europe and turn all efforts to wage war with the "infidels." It was under the pretext of negotiating a new Crusade that Pope Clement V summoned the grandmaster from Cyprus to Paris. The head of the Templars arrived at the Parisian Temple, accompanied by 60 knights, who brought 150 thousand gold florins and a huge amount of silver. On October 13, 1308, all the Templars of France were arrested (from this date all the bad omens associated with Friday, the 13th, trace their origin). The Templar process lasted for several years. The first victims of this trial were 54 knights who were executed at the monastery of St. Anthony in 1310. Jacques Molay stubbornly denied his guilt and his torment lasted for several more years. Finally, on May 2, 1312, the Pope openly sided with the secular authorities and, in a special bull, notified the whole world about the decision to liquidate the Templar Order and put him under a curse. The set of accusations was quite standard: non-recognition of Christ and the cross, worship of the devil, the image of which they smeared with fat, fried babies born of the girls they seduced (!), Sodomy and cohabitation with demons, etc. A century earlier, similar accusations were brought against the Cathars, a century later - a colleague of Joan of Arc, Marshal of France Gilles de Rais (Duke "Bluebeard"). To believe such nonsense, you need to be either a very gullible person, or the kings of France and England, who immediately and “legally” confiscated the property of the Templars. But in Germany, Spain and Cyprus the Order was justified, in Portugal the remnants of the Templars united into the Order of Christ, in Scotland - into the Order of Thorns.
11 March 1314. The Grand Master of the Order of the Templars, Jacques Molet, and 80-year-old Normandy Prior, Geoffroy de Charnay, were burned at the stake.
Execution of Jacques de Molay
Prior to this, Jacques Mole loudly denied the testimony beaten out by torture and called on Philip IV the Beautiful, Clement V and Guillaume Nogare to the judgment of God. All of them died in the same year in terrible agony, which made a great impression on his contemporaries. Moreover, it was in the Temple that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette spent their last days before the execution ...
In conclusion, it should be said that the defeat of the Templar Order had very sad consequences for European trade and led to the disorganization of banking and postal communication between different countries.