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Knights Templar 13th Century
Photograph - Photograph
13th century miniature shows the weaponry used by the Knights Templar. Catapult (extreme left), battle-axe (center right), mace (above battle-axe) longbow (top right) and many of the knights are seen brandishing the broadsword. Image appears in the Crusader Bible, created around 1240. The Knights Templar were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders. Officially endorsed by the Catholic Church around 1129, the Order became a favored charity throughout Christendom, and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. The Templars' existence was tied closely to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded. Rumors about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created mistrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, took advantage of the situation. In 1307, many of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312.
March 13th, 2013
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