Saturday, March 6, 2010

Edward Burman: Templars

Another good resource on Templars. Mr. Burman explains that:

(They were) formed to protect the route for pilgrims to the Holy Land. Fused two current ideas of medieval society, Knighthood and monasticism, into a code for a community of warrior monks. The sucessful synthesis of these contradictory elements forged the original character of the Knights Templars and made the Order the model of all future military orders.

Many people believed that Galahad, the ideal knight or taskless gallant, was Bernard himself. (Bernard was the priest who wrote the rule of the order.)

This fact of the rule, of becoming an approved order, was of vital importance in the medieval world. Joshua Prower explains as follows:
In medieval usage ordo meant far more than an organization or corporate body, since it included the idea of a social and public function. Men who belonged to an ordo not meerly followed thier personal destiny, but filled a place in Christian polity. The warriors as a class were now an ordo with officium.

This officium, or office, was central to the ethos of the Templars. It is made explicit in the second paragraph of the Rule.

The Templars were looking back to some imagined form or lost perfection, an ideal order of Chivalry which had perhaps never existed. The Templars themselves aleady looked back to an imagined ideal knighthood as later sects and secret societies dreamed back to the Templars.

Templars are refered to time and again as: "knight Militant" or "Militia of Christ"

The original motivation of Huge de Payen (the founder of the order) sustained the Temple for a relatively short time. It may ne the rapid institutionalization was sufficient in itself to modify the original concept beyond recognition.

Burman suggests that pride and avarice led to the hatred of the order, as a result of their wealth and privileges hatred grew.

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