Facts people ought to know about the Knights Templars
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
Sir, — I read with interest the report by Bill Bowder (News, 29 April)
regarding the film Kingdom of Heaven, and his comment that some critics feel
the film “portrays the crusaders as villains and lacks historical perspective”.
May I first correct an error in the story? Guy de Lusignan was not a Knight
Templar, but a Frankish nobleman who married into the royal family of the Kings
With respect to the Knights Templar — however Ridley Scott may have chosen
to depict them for the dramatic purposes of his film —historical facts show
that there was another side to them than just their military service in the
The medieval Templars’ primary purpose was to support pilgrims, which they
did by providing finance, transport, accommodation, and protection. They
continued to make this a priority throughout the nearly 200 years of their
Further, the Templars showed that they valued the faith of others. Let
me give just two instances.
First, St Bernard of Clairvaux, spiritual father of the medieval Templars
and inspirer of their monastic rule of life, set them an example by leaving his
sickbed to preach against the persecution of the Jews in Europe.
Second, the Islamic chronicler Usamah ibn Mundigh, ambassador of the Emir of
Damascus to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, recorded how, when he stayed with “my
friends, the Templars” — as he described them — that they not only respected
his right to say his daily prayers, but also set aside a place in their
headquarters chapel for him to do so undisturbed.
These examples, too, form part of the legacy of the medieval Templars to the
SIMON LE FEVRE
47 Limes Road, Beckenham
Kent BR3 6NS