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Mystery of the Knights Templars: Protectors or Treasure Hunters on a Secret Mission?

Knights-Templars

 

 

The Knights Templars were a secret society whose true purpose remains a mystery or is at least vigorously debated among scholars and historians to this day.  The Templars left behind many clues of their actions which have been passed down through generations, hidden in ancient manuscripts and discovered by archeologists in the modern era.  Their story is one that has captured the fascination and curiosity of people throughout the ages – were they sent to the holy land in Jerusalem to protect Christians on pilgrimages, or were they sent there on secret missions by higher authorities in order to unearth lost artifacts and buried treasure under temples and sacred holy sites?

 

Artist’s impression of a Templar Knight (Wikimedia Commons

Artist’s impression of a Templar Knight (Wikimedia Commons

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The Knights Templars were members of a religious military order of Christian knighthood founded around 1118-1119 in Jerusalem by the French knight Hugh des Payens.  For nearly two centuries this organization was the most powerful order in the medieval world.  They were the first standing army in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire and by the time they reached their pinnacle of power in 1300, it is said they numbered in the tens of thousands.  In the beginning, there were a total of nine founding knights who made up the organization and were all related to one another through blood or marriage.  As both monks and soldiers, they were a paradox without precedent since there had never been praying priests who took up arms who also took vows of poverty, obedience and celibacy.  Knights Templars did not surrender unless they were outnumbered three to one and believed that since they were fighting for God they would be immediately sent up to heaven upon falling in battle.

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