December 9, 2013
The Knights Templar
A French knight named Hughes de Payens founded the knights’ templar around 1118. He found the knights templar with the help of seven other knights. They were originally formed to devote themselves to the pilgrims’ protection and to form a religious community for the pilgrims. The knights’ templar were divided into two classes: knights and sergeants. Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem gave the knights quarters in a wing of the royal palace in the area of the former temple of Solomon, and from that they derived their name. the knights’ templar swore on oath of poverty, chastity, and obedience and renounced the world, just as the Cistercians and other monks did. They developed a reputation as fierce warriors during key battles of the crusades. They were driven by religious fervor and were forbidden from retreating unless vastly outnumbered.
The order of the knights’ templar arguably qualifies as the first multinational corporation. They set up a network of bank that enabled religious pilgrims to deposit assets in their home countries and withdraw funds in the holy land. Along with their donated fortunes and various business ventures this system gave the knights templar enormous financial sway. The kings, and great nobles of Spain, France, and England gave lordships, castles, and estates to the order. By the mid-12th century the templar’s owned properties throughout Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the holy land. The templar’s military strength enabled them to safely collect, store, and transport money to and from Europe and the holy land. Their network of treasure storehouses and efficient transport organization made them attractive as bankers to kings. At the height of their influence, they bought a large amount of ships, owned the island of Cyprus, and served as a primary lender to European monarchs and nobles.
The fall of acre to the Muslims in 1291 removed much of the...
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