PART A         |         PART B

Who Were the Knights Templar?” – Please read this article on the historical origins of the Order, then come back to this page to read the essay below about the Vatican’s secret trial to pardon the Templars after their massacre.  When you’ve read both, please answer the questions below.

Templars Pardoned?

Another document is found after being ‘lost’ for almost 700 years. Vatican documents have ‘come to light’ showing that the wholesale massacre of the Knights Templar for alleged ‘heresy, idolatry and sexual perversion’, took place even though Pope Clement V had exonerated them in a secret trial. Was this to shift the blame from the Vatican to the court of Phillip IV of France ?

Full article available at: (If link is broken, read article text below).


Cut and paste these questions and send answers to the Mystery School. with “Templar Postulant 7, Part A” in the subject line.

1. When was the Templar Order originally formed?  The article starts off by giving the era, please tell us that, but also see if you can hunt around and find the year, though it’s not in this particular article.

2. Who was known as the Second Pope?  And what did he help to write?

3. What is the name of the King who wanted the wealth of the Templars and destroyed them for it?  Which Pope helped him do it? On what day of what year did they make their move?

4. Who was the last Grand Master of the original Knights Templar? In what year did he die?

5.  Were the charges of heresy levelled against the Templars most likely accurate? State your opinion and say why or why not.

PART B of Postulant 7                         Top

Organizational Structure of the Knighthood” AND  “Knights Templar Hierarchy” – The structure of the Order.  This second article is not as thorough, it leaves out the office of Battle Marshal, for instance, so be sure to read the first article on Structure carefully so that you’ll be able to answer all the following questions.  You are leaving our website to read these articles, don’t forget to come back to this page when you’re done and answer the questions below.

While you are reading, be on the lookout for positions / jobs in the Templar Order that appeal to you.  For more on Turcopoles and Turcopoliers see note at end of article below. (Very bottom of page).

Our Templar Order & Officers
Technically Sir Hauk should be called our Grand Master, but he considers our Grand Master to be not himself, but a spiritual guide, the divine leader of our Order, Yeshua Kristos himself.  As you know, the full name of the Knights Templar contains the distinction, Poor Knights of Christ. We are Knights of the Anointed One, the Kristos. We also walk the path of the mystic.  A mystic is someone who actively tries to experience the divine directly.  So it is not unreasonable to think Yeshua Kristos might just be our spiritual guide and Grandmaster. Perhaps at times an Archangel of the Heavenly Hosts, or maybe even a Grand Master of the past, fills the Grand Master post in our Order. Sir Hauk accepts the position Marshal and Commander of the Preceptory/House.

Eventually you might open a new daughter preceptory, springing off from the Mother House, to which you may recruit friends or internet acquaintances.  All daughter houses fall under the Mother House here at the Esoteric Mystery School’s Order of New Knights Templar & Daughters of Tsion.  But they are not commanded by the School.  Some of you will therefore fill the post of House Command.

The Battle Marshal:  Any combatant can be the Battle Marshal for a specific battle or operation.  That title often falls upon any combatant who might wish to be the Battle Marshal for a certain campaign/battle. We need Turcopoliers (who command groups of Knights) for most battles/missions, too, so if you are a combatant, you might be asked to fill this position from time to time.

Our Order also changes Standard Bearers for different operations.

Non-combatants, you will read about several positions that might suit you, too.  Our focus isn’t always on battle.  As with the historical Templars, there is support, administration and upkeep necessary for all groups that walk the warrior path.

A word about the Challenge Question.  There is a challenge question below in Part B that has to do with the Beausant, the Templar battle standard (battle flag).  Here is an important piece of “trivia” about our battle standard.
“The word beau is now generally conceived to mean beautiful, but it means much more than that. In medieval French it meant a lofty state, for which translators have offered such terms as “noble,” “glorious,” and even “magnificent” As a battle cry then, “Beau Seant” was a charge to “Be noble” or “Be Glorious.” —From the book Born In Blood, by John J. Robinson, M. Evans and Company

Cut and paste these questions and send answers to the Mystery School with “Templar Postulant 7, Part B” in the subject line.

1.  Historically, who was the Seneschal, what job did he perform?

2.  Who was the Battle Marshal?  When did command of the brother Knights transfer from the houses to the marshalcy?

3.  Who was the Undermarshal? What did he do?  (Note: sometimes in our order a non-combatant Daughter of Tsion holds this office, especially if she/he is a good with horses.)

4.  Who was the Standard Bearer and what were his duties?

5.  The Battles were divided into five groups, list them here.  Hint: one was called “the Van.”

6.  How many Western or Provincial Templar Masters were there?

7.  CHALLENGE QUESTION:  Research around the website and find out what the Templar Standard (called the banner or beauseant) looked like. It’s a battle flag and every Templar had to know exactly what it looked like in order to find it in the confusion of battle, especially after a cavalry charge when all would be in disarray. They would flock to the banner and then re-group.
a.  What did it look like?  It’s very simple design, find out what it was and describe it here.
b.  Also tell how it was held up, was it allowed to droop from the pole? Why or why not?

8.  Who were the Commanders of the Lands, and to whom did they answer?

9.  Who was the Drapier? How is this title similar to a Quartermaster? In our Order we have a Drapier and an Under-Drapier and both positions have been held by females more often than not.

10. What were the Houses and did a combatant or non-combatant historically command them?  (Note, our ladies often command the houses, and are called Chatelaines, answering to the Seneschal and Templar Commander.)

11.  Do any of the titles or positions you’ve read about appeal to you?  Which one, if any, resonates most with your idea of yourself as a Templar?  Do any seem like a position you might want to fill?

EXERCISE:  Draw the beauseant in your magikal notebook.

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© 2001 Esoteric Theological Seminary  All Rights Reserved

Full text of articles for Part A (in case they ever disappear from websites given above!)  Part B articles in text form are also below.


Excerpts taken from an article in The Times dated Saturday 30th March 2002

by Richard Owen in Rome

Another document is found after being ‘lost’ for almost 700 years.

Vatican documents have ‘come to light’ showing that the wholesale massacre of the Knights Templar for alleged ‘heresy, idolatry and sexual perversion’, took place even though Pope Clement V had exonerated them in a secret trial. Was this to shift the blame from the Vatican to the court of Phillip IV of France ?

‘The relevation will put pressure on the present Pope, who has asked the Muslim world for forgiveness for the Crusades, to apologise for the persecution of one of the main Crusading Orders as well. The Templars, whose legendary power and wealth still exerts a fascination, were disbanded by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne in France in 1312.

L’Avvenire, the Catholic daily, said that the record of the Pope’s investigation was thought to have been lost when Napoleon looted the Vatican during his invasion of Italy in the 18th century, and that its rediscovery was an exceptional event.

The Templar Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was burnt at the stake on the orders of Phillip IV of France, who coveted the Templar order’s land and treasure and began a campaign of dawn arrests and torture in 1307. At least 2,000 Knights were killed in an attempt to obliterate the order altogether. To this end he failed, as the Knights treasure and their large fleet that lay in the harbour, disappeared before the arrests commenced.

‘The concensus among historians was that Clement V, who was himself French and former Archbishop of Bordeaux, had been pliant and weak, and had colluded in Phillip IV’s scheme to wipe out the Templars and seize their fortune. But documents found in the Vatican archives, including a long-lost parchment, proved that the Pope had in fact maneouvred ‘with skill and determination’ to ensure that his own emissaries questioned de Molay and other leading Templars in the dungeons of Chinon castle in the Loire in 1308, in what amounted to a papal trial.

Signor Frale, who is writing a book based on the Chinon parchment, says that the result was the complete exoneration of the Knights.

Noting that de Molay and the Knights had asked his pardon, the Pope wrote “We hereby decree that they are absolved by the church and may again receive Christian sacraments”. The Pope had failed to make this absolution public because the scandal of the Templars had aroused extreme passions and he feared a church schism. Phillip IV had de Molay and other Templar leaders put to death before the Pope’s verdict could be published and it was subsequently lost.’

Who Were The Knights Templar?

The Knights Templar were a monastic military order formed at the end of the First Crusade with the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims on route to the Holy Land. Never before had a group of secular knights banded together and taken the monastic vows. In this sense they were the first of the Warrior Monks. The Templars fought along side King Richard I (Richard The Lion Hearted) and other Crusaders in the battles for the Holy Lands.

From humble beginnings of poverty when the order relied on alms from the traveling pilgrims, the Order would go on to have the backing of the Holy See and the collective European monarchies.

Within two centuries they had become powerful enough to defy all but the Papal throne. Feared as warriors, respected for their charity and sought out for their wealth, there is no doubt that the Templar knights were the key players of the monastic fighting Orders. Due to their vast wealth and surplus of materials the Templars essentially invented banking, as we know it. The church forbade the lending of money for interest, which they called usury. The Templars, being the clever sort they were, changed the manner in which loans were paid and were able to skirt the issue and finance even kings.

They were destroyed, perhaps because of this wealth or fear of their seemingly limitless powers. In either case, the Order met with a rather untimely demise at the hands of the Pope and the King of France in 1307 and by 1314, “The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon” ceased to exist, at least officially.

Although originally a small group of nine knights, they quickly gained fame largely due to the backing of Bernard of Clairvaux and his “In Praise of the New Knighthood”. Bernard at that time was often called the Second Pope and was the chief spokesman of Christendom. He is also the one responsible for helping to draw up the Order’s rules of conduct.

In European political circles, they became very powerful and influential. This was because they were immune from any authority save that of the Papal Throne. (Pope Innocent II exempted the Templars from all authority except the Pope.) After the crusades were over, the knights returned to their Chapters throughout Europe and became known as moneylenders to the monarchs. In the process many historians believe they invented the Banking System.

The secret meetings and rituals of the knights would eventually cause their downfall. The King of France, Philip the Fair used these rituals and meetings to his advantage to destroy the knights. The real reason for his crushing the Templars was that he felt threatened by their power and immunity. In 1307, Philip, who desperately needed funds, to support his war against England’s Edward I made his move against the Knights Templar.

On October 13th, 1307, King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the grounds of heresy, since this was the only charge that would allow the seizing of their money and assets. The Templars were tortured and as a result, ridiculous confessions were given. These confessions included:

  • Trampling and spitting on the cross
  • Homosexuality and Sodomy
  • Worshipping of the Baphomet

Philip was successful in ridding the Templars of their power and wealth and urged all fellow Christian leaders to do the same thing. On March 19th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake. De Molay is said to have cursed King Philip and Pope Clement, as he burned, asking both men to join him within a year. Whether he actually uttered the curse or if it is simply an apocryphal tale; what remains as fact is that Clement died only one month later and Philip IV seven months after that.


ARTICLES for PART B (in case they ever disappear from online!)

Organizational Structure of the Knighthood
This Article © 2001 by Salvatore T. Bruno

This article will summarize the detailed analysis presented in my book, Templar Organization: the Management of Warrior Monasticism. I will describe the hierarchy of the one of the most remarkable institutions of the medieval world; The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, (the Templars). This singular group was founded on the completely unique innovation of combining the triple monastic vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, with the military vocation of knighthood. This concept was revolutionary (and not wholly embraced by the clergy of the day). Drawing from the best of both worlds, these men created a complex, highly disciplined crusader war machine that was altogether unique among its contemporary rivals. The effectiveness of this group impressed the most experienced and successful military leaders of the day. The monastic context allowed the Templars to achieve a very high degree of discipline and uniformity more commonly associated with modern military organizations. A study of their highly evolved organizational structure reveals a great deal about how they were able to achieve their successes.

This analysis is primarily based on the French Rule (OF Rule) as translated into English by J. M. Upton-Ward. This amazing set of military regulations describes the responsibilities of the Order¹s members in wartime and in peace. It evolved from the original “Primitive Rule” created by the Council of Troyes in 1129 over the entire 180-year history of the Order until its suppression by King Philip the Fair in the early 1300¹s.

It is important to view the Templars within the context of their secular contemporaries. Although the Templars were profoundly innovative in the vision of their founding, the basic organizational building blocks were a product of their secular environment. Members were well indoctrinated in the outside world before joining. The Rule clearly states that children were not to be admitted to the Order. Knights were to be raised and trained in the secular world at least until they had reached adulthood before being admitted into the Templars. Thus, the influence of the norms, social structure, and standard military tactics of medieval Europe was pervasive. With that in mind, let us start this analysis with a brief sketch of how that secular world operated. I¹ll also discuss how the Templars contrasted with the secular world in subtle, but important ways.

The Central focus of military tactics in the medieval world was the heavy cavalry charge of a group of mounted knights. This was supported by the mounted sergeants (ignoble mounted soldiers) and prepared for by the infantry. Although Philippe Contamine¹s research tells us that a typical army contained four to nine times as many infantrymen as mounted warriors, the medieval military mind was almost exclusively centered on the Knight, as its most devastating weapon.

The secular Knight is, therefore, the fundamental element of interest for our discussion. The “Knight” was not an individual in this context. He was the central figure of a tactical and logistic unit. To avoid confusion, I¹ll refer to this concept as a “Lance”. A basic Lance was comprised as follows:

A Knight with a destrier (war horse). He rode a mule, palfrey, roncin, or such traveling mount to and from engagements. This kept his “main battle tank” fresh and ready for action.

A lightly armed squire to care for the destrier and equipment, typically riding a mule. … One or two pack animals.

Wealthy knights might double or triple this entourage. Altogether, we have between two and five people and three to ten mounts per Lance. The romantic image of a lone errant knight is strictly a literary invention. A lone knight was generally a miserable figure, down on his luck, and extraordinarily vulnerable.

Ten to twenty knights formed a banner. Ten to twenty Banners would form a Squadron. Five to ten squadrons formed a “battle”, assuming that many troops were present. The battles were generally arranged in five groups; The Van, Left and Right Wings, the Center or Main Battle, and the Rear Guard. The size, distribution and character of these forces varied greatly. They were organized around the feudal lords who were called up or under hire. The detailed deployment of the forces while on campaign was a daily affair, arranged on an ad hoc basis. Not surprising, the equipment and logistical support (such as it was) was anything, but uniform. Managing the force and maintaining discipline must have been a Herculean task.

The Templars employed the same basic structure used by the secular armies, but did it with Prussian efficiency. A fundamental difference between the Templars and their secular counterparts was the submission of free will. This important characteristic of modern armies was not present in secular medieval forces. Secular knights tended to be very independent. They were responsible for their own gear, squires and upkeep, and were brought together on campaign only for a short time each year. Controlling them was difficult, at best. By contrast, Templars possessed a high degree of discipline and conformity. The concept of the monastic vow of obedience is that a monk should obey the instructions of his abbot as if he were obeying the Lord. The Rule further instructs that Brother Knights should obey the orders of the commanders set over them. The effect of the culture of obedience was that Templars were noted for maintaining formation and order under the most difficult situations.

Like all real armies in the field, the Templars often found themselves with other than ideal force levels. Unlike their secular counterparts, however, their structure and basic building block units remained relatively consistent. The Rule precisely specifies the equipment, mounts and personal staff of every member , from the Master right down to Brother Sergeants. It even provides for modifications when horses or squires are in shortage or abundance. The Rule also leads us to believe that Banners and Squadrons were standardized in composition. With all of the equipment and mounts belonging to the order and not the individual Knights (who took the vow of poverty), the Templars developed a centralized system for the supply and efficient distribution of these resources.

The Templars utilized the basic military model of the secular world from which they originated. Their ability to achieve discipline and uniformity, however, set them apart. As I will discuss below, the Templars were also available around the clock and all year round. This was also a very important distinction between them and their secular counterparts.

As stated above, the basic military unit of both the secular and Templar worlds was the Knight. Feudal socioeconomic structure was organized to support this military building block. The fundamental economic unit was the “knight¹s fee” or “basic fief”. This was usually an agricultural entity consisting of around 60 to 120 acres held by as few as one or as many as eight villein families . Several of these together would support a knightly household consisting of a married knight, his children and a few servants.

This was a tenuous existence. War, bad crops, or other misfortune could bounce these families right out of the knightly class in the blink of an eye. Such noble families appeared and disappeared on a regular basis throughout the middle ages. Never the less, these were the lucky middle class of knighthood. Most knights never achieved their own household and spent their lives attached to the hotel of another important lord.

These fundamental knightly units were gathered together by wealthier lords into Knight Bannerets. Several Bannerets might be joined together as a County under the lordship of a Count. In regions continually threatened by invasion, counties often gathered together under a Marquis. From there, we work our way to up to Dukes, Princes, or Kings. The simplistic and theoretical view of this system was an orderly pyramid. The King was at the top. All land belonged to him and he farmed it out in exchange for annual military service. In reality, this completely nationalistic view was generally held by no one except the King.

A more accurate model would be to think of feudalism as a system of rights and obligations. It is a “relativistic” set of relationships that should be viewed from the instantaneous perspective of the individual of interest. He looked downward to the rights he held from his vassals and upward to the obligations he owed to his lords. He rarely perceived this chain traveling beyond the next layer. Kings would occasionally try to extract personal oaths of fealty from everyone. This weak attempt at nationalism was rarely effective.

By the thirteenth century, the standard service obligation was only forty days per year. If this was not bad enough, several exclusions, clauses and limitations also existed. For example, it might only be “20 days south of the Alps”, or zero days beyond a certain district. The knight was also compensated if his horse were killed. Although this was not a cash based economy, it became increasingly necessary to pay not only the specialist mercenary troops, but also one¹s own vassals just to keep them in the field for a reasonable length of time. For any major campaign, it was usually necessary for the lord to borrow heavily and mortgage his estates in order to raise the necessary cash. We must bear in mind that a system of regular taxation did not exist. Revenues were “opportunistic”. Great Lords seldom achieved the numbers during a muster to which they thought themselves entitled. Looking back on this system from modern times, it is amazing that large scale wars ever happened at all!

The difference in the economic support system and administrative command structure available to secular leaders and that employed by the Templars is stark. While both were agrarian at their foundation, the Templars had a cohesive chain of command from the top to the bottom. The Order¹s organization achieved the advantages of nationalism without the existence of a physical country. Under the Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum, the Templars held gifted estates all over Europe but owed no taxes or fealty to anyone, but the Pope. The Master was the Great Ruler of a virtual state.

Income was consistent, regular, and supplemented by shipping, banking, and other industries. No “active duty” time limitations existed for Templar military personnel. They were signed up for life. The Templar force was available for field duty year round. The highly disciplined Templar troops were powered by a vast and efficient resource system. Free from the plague of complex feudal obligations and limitations, the Templar command structure was stable, consistent and efficient. These attributes made them a powerful war machine, especially in comparison to their secular contemporaries.

The operation and management of such a unique group also required innovation in its basic internal organization. The Templars had a dual organizational structure with the Master at the Head. Beginning with the Seneschal and flowing down through the Commanders of the Lands, a complex system of administration existed for the raising of revenue, maintaining of castles, and support of the Brothers when not on campaign. A similar hierarchy existed in Europe under the eight Western or Provincial Templar Masters. The main job of the European administrative branch, which included the majority of the Order¹s members, was to create the resources necessary for the Order to pursue its primary role: Defense and conquest of the Holy Land from the Saracens.

The following organization chart provides a good frame of reference for how the peacetime side of the Order was structured.

Templar administrative organization

The Order¹s structure altered while on campaign. It formed a second branch that was led by the Marshal. He acted as Commander in Chief of the brothers under arms, reporting directly to the Master (Rule 103). The Brother Knights and Sergeants were transferred from the command of the Houses to the Marshalcy while on campaign. The Marshalcy also controlled the horses, weapons, and other directly military equipment (Rule 102). This structure is actually somewhat simpler:

Templar organization while engaged in battle

This duality can be somewhat challenging for the casual student. It is also further confusing in that the same individuals moved between the two branches, occupying different roles. The Commander of the Land of Jerusalem is a good example. His peacetime role was to be the Chief Administrative Officer in the kingdom of Jerusalem and the Treasurer of the Order. In this capacity, he reported through the Seneschal. This job was much like that of a modern regional COO and overall CFO combined. In wartime, however, he would become a simple Squadron Commander under the authority of the Marshal (Rule 103). Thus, one might say he had “two bosses”, a common complaint of personnel in modern matrix organizations.

It is fascinating to realize that the duality of the Templar organizational structure bears a striking similarity to modern organizational theory. Some of the most sophisticated principles employed in private business and military organizations can be found in the system described above. There are three basic types of organizations, which are generally recognized; Functional, Projectized, and Matrix. Functional and projectized organizations are the most common. In a functional model, organizational units are identified by basic functional definitions. Which to say; the kind of work performed. Personnel are grouped in these units and authority and responsibility flow within these divisions. In a projectized model, organizational units are formed around products or projects. Personnel are not divided along functional lines until further down the organizational tree, if at all. The matrix structure is a less common model in which the previous two are blended together. Personnel are grouped into major divisions according to function, but are then “farmed out” to support projects. This is the most complex of the three types.

A modern executive, drafting a matrix organization for a group like the Templars, would create something like this:

Templar organization in a typical matrix structure

Viola! This is the actual organizational structure that was used with the minor exception that the post of Treasurer was combined with that of the Commander of the Land of Jerusalem (Rule 111). This was no doubt due to the physical proximity of the Commander to both the Order¹s headquarters and the capital city of the Holy Land. The ultimate “product” of the Templars was the making of war on the enemies of the Christian States. The Marshal was in charge of this “product”. The three lands and eight Provincial Masters were the functional groups charged with raising revenue and the literal “care and feeding” of the Brothers when not on campaign.

This is an extraordinarily sophisticated structure for a medieval institution. Remember that the Matrix Model has only recently gained wide spread popularity in our own time. It is clearly the most complex of the choices available. It is also much more difficult to execute successfully, requiring many more choices to be made. The Templars seem to have adopted this model very early in their history. Their environment would have encouraged this from the start. Their mission was fighting in Outremer, but their resources were scattered throughout the Western Europe and the Near East. This created the need for a matrix structure. The monastic nature of the Order enabled its application. As a church organization, a unifying coherency of authority was implicit. Without a coherent chain of command, a matrix organization would rapidly fracture. Thus, we see the happy convergence of need with ability.

Even a quick review of the Order’s accomplishments tell us that there is something extraordinary about this group:

  • Over 170 years of successful military service in the Holy Land

  • The Only (along with the Hospitallers) major standing army in the Frankish East

  • Garrison and construction of many of the most important Christian fortifications

  • Vast property holdings all over Europe

  • A sophisticated, international banking system

  • Interests in most Mediterranean and European industries

The analysis discussed above has shown that the Templar organizational structure was highly tuned to their complex and widely dispersed interests. Indeed, when we examine it against the standards of modern organizational theory, we find a sophisticated matrix structure, executed so well as to put many modern corporations to shame. What is more remarkable, however, is that this was achieved during the Middle Ages, when socioeconomic institutions were relatively primitive. Without breaking important interfaces to the secular world, the Templars evolved this very modern structure from a purely feudal origin.

The vision of Founder Hugh de Payens, a monastic military order, was the underlying moral compass. It guided the application of the Templars¹ unique tools and abilities. The effectiveness of the secular socioeconomic system was greatly hampered by the fragmentation of authority, the absence of even a rudimentary chain of command, and the acute lack of a consistent cash flow. Hugh¹s original vision overcame these shortfalls. He and his successors carried the Templars though more than a century and a half of unparalleled success. Their accomplishments are truly remarkable.

About the Author: Salvatore (Tory) T. Bruno

Mr. Bruno is an executive at Lockheed Martin Corporation. He is currently the Vice President of Engineering for Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Space Organization in Sunnyvale California. In this capacity, he is responsible for nearly 4000 engineers and scientists. He was also the Chief Engineer for one of the most successful major weapon systems in history; the U. S. Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile. He participates several strategic study groups, examining the technical approaches and acquisition strategies required to carry various programs into the next century. Previously, Mr. Bruno has served as the Program Manager for several important rocket and missile programs. These ranged in size from a few million, to several hundreds of millions of dollars per year. He has received numerous professional and academic awards and is a respected member of the aerospace community.

Have a look at his Templar book, read reviews about it, and even see part of the inside here:  Templar Organization: the Management of Warrior Monasticism


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The Templar Hierarchy

The original Latin Rule of 1128 CE consisted of only four ranks. This stands to reason, as at this early stage (eleven years after the founding of the order), there were still very few members. Some Historians claim that the order did not accept any new recruits for the first nine years. Desmond Seward, in his book, “The Monks of War” claims that they may have difficulties in finding members.

“A document of 1123 refers to Hugues as Master of the Knights of The Temple but his little band was merely a voluntary Brotherhood; recent research seems to indicate that they [the Templars] were having difficulty in finding recruits and were on the verge of dissolution. Hugues had come [to Bernard of Clairvaux] about another crusade, not to ask for a rule.” – The Monks Of War – Desmond Seward – Penguin Books

If this is true then Bernard’s support of the order brought to light in his “In Praise of The New Knighthood” may very well have not only increased it’s membership, but saved it from an early end. Regardless, the Templar knights did survive to grow to huge numbers, which required a larger Hierarchy than the original four divisions. What follows are the ranks of the Templar ladder:

Templar Hierarchy

The Grand Master
Absolute ruler over the order answered only to the Papacy

Acted as both deputy and advisor to the Grand Master

Commander of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Was in charge of The area and had same powers as Grand Master within his own jurisdiction

Commander of the City of Jerusalem
Was in charge of the area and had same powers as Grand Master within his own jurisdiction

Commander of Tripoli and Antioch
Was in charge of the area and had same powers as Grand Master within his own jurisdiction

The Drapier was in charge of the Templar Garments [and all equipment. He was like a Quartermaster]

Commander of Houses
Acted as lieutenants to higher authorities within the order but carried little actual power themselves

Commander of Knights
Like the Commander of houses, acted as lieutenants to higher authorities within the order. They carried little actual power themselves

Knight Brothers
These were the warriors who wore the white tunic and cross. Each was equipped with three horses and armaments

The purpose of the Turcoplier was to command the brother sergeants in battle. The Turcopolier would lead the march along with a guard of knights
[Turcopolier is Greek for “Son of a Turk” and the Turcopoles were “Sons of Turks”

Under Marshal
The Under marshal was in charge of the footmen and the equipment

Standard Bearer
The Standard Bearer was one of the sergeants and charged with carrying the order’s banner

Sergeant Brothers
These warriors were support troops and did not have to be nobly born. Although similarly equipped to a full knight, the sergeants had one horse and no squires under them

Sick and Elderly Brothers
No longer active members but still members of the order

These were the local troops who would fight along side the Templars. Similar to the sergeants.

[From Wikipedia article:   During the Crusades, turcopoles or turcopoliers (Greek: “sons of Turks”) were mounted archers.

Many would be mixed race Christians recruited from Christianized Seljuqs, but mounted Frankish sergeants were also later included. There were both secular and military orders turcopoles. In the Holy Land, turcopoles were more lightly armoured than knights and were armed with lances and bows to help combat the more mobile Muslim forces.

Later, the Teutonic Order called its own native light cavalry the “Turkopolen”.

Mercenary knights are sometimes hired for a campaign (during which they will ride as confreres of the Order. Mercenary engineers, crossbowmen, and other infantry might be rushed in to a city that was expected to stand siege. But these cases are temporary and of comparatively small scale. The Order has a permanent force of mercenary ‘turcopoles’. Turcopoles are for the most part natives of Outremer, raised and trained locally. They serve as light cavalry: skirmishers, scouts, and mounted archers, and sometimes ride as a second line in a charge, to back up the knights and sergeants. Turcopoles have lighter, faster horses than knights or even sergeants, and they wear much lighter armour (usually only a quilted aketon and a conical steel helmet. The Mamelukes considered turcopoles (who were usually Syrian-born) to be traitors and apostates: their policy was to kill all those whom they captured. This did not completely deter Syrians from serving the Orders (Templars and the Teutonic knights also employed turcopoles). But it does mean that turcopoles who survived the fall of Acre have as strong an incentive to flee to Cyprus as brother of the Order.]


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