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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
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PostPosted: Thu 07 May, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: The Knights Templar         Reply with quote

hi,
The Knights Templar were known for the heavy cavalry charges. They had many rules, including dress and eat. The questions to which I would like to have the answers are:
their swords in 1200-1300 were all the same? What type were exactly? it is right to consider that perhaps to increase the impact the point of balance was shifted toward the tip?
Thanks in advance
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Thu 07 May, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mham, I very much doubt their swords would have been all alike - it is not like Knights Templar had a mass-production plant turning out cloned gear for it's members. Also, 1200-1300 covers 100 years, which is a rather long time.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 07 May, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It may depend on which phase of campaign and area. Common status recruits often came from German areas. These tended to be the ones who remained behind long term after the initially "glorious" beginning of the crusades started to drag on. Teutonic knights, although separate, were often from Eastern regions of Germany.

Given your time frame, and some popular origins of recruits, I would say swords similar to the Albion Ritter would likely to have been present. Some German origin Illuminated manuscripts of that approximate time frame seem to already show Oakshott type XIV stylized swords (hard to tell proportions, but I am thinking of the curved guard and very noticeably profile tapered blade) in scenes with knights.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Thu 07 May, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio,

Considering how many modern swords are marketed as Templar swords, that's a good question. I'm not aware than any one museum piece sword has been proven to belong to a Templar (?), but one can generalize about the period.

There were a number of different European sword types in play during 1200-1300, including the older flat bladed cutting types and possibly the first of the more stiff, pointy types designed to oppose the plate armor that was being used more and more to augment mail (and later pretty much replace it).

However, If we are just talking about the activities of the Templars in the Middle East, then their opponents tended to be more lightly armored skirmishers, archers etc. Presumably due to the heat, heavy plate armor never caught on in those climes even during later centuries to the same degree that it did in the North. For this reason it has been speculated that the use of broad flat cutting blades may have persisted in the hands of crusaders longer than they did in more northern areas. (As evidence of this, many of the swords captured from Crusaders in later periods and held in the arsenal of Alexandria were still of this general flat cutting type).

Based on this, then during the period you mention 1200-1300, I would imagine swords of the following types would have been popular as cavalry weapons:

http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_spotxii.html
http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_spotxiii.html

And yes, these swords tend to be balanced for sweeping cuts - often with centers of gravity that some modern collectors and martial artists would find intolerable.

Here's some more pure speculation: the Templars were not always in the Middle East - back home they likely used whatever was fashionable at the time. And like regular knights of the time their leaders might have had more than one sword - one for day to day show and one for battle. On the other hand, maybe the rank and file members had to relinquish their unnecessary possessions when they took their monk's vows and stick with practical weapons.

-JD
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 08 May, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I refer the Templars in the Middle East.
This sword has always been of great interest to me. I first saw the picture and description of this sword in the "Archeology of weapons; arms and armour from prehistory to the Age of Chivalry" by Ewart Oakeshott.
Oakeshott describes this sword in Records of the medieval sword (p. 99) "This is an enormous sword, very nearly of two-handed proportions, and rather heavy.
From my research I found a manufacturer who claims that the sword of the Knights Templar, it is Collection Museum in London, someone knows if it is true that in the Museum in London the description for this sword is "Sword Templar War"?
He says: All be it for me to disagree with Oakeshott's rather poor description of this one sword in the London Museum Templar Sword. I would like to represent this sword more accurately than he did in his books.
Following detailed description.
I am a bit puzzled.

[img][/img] : Worried
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Fri 08 May, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you referring to the Darksword version of this sword?

Oakeshott's description suggests that the link is purely circumstantial: the sword was found close to the London temple, dates approximately to the end date for the temple, and the pommel has a cross (but apparently not the Templar's standard rendition of a cross). All this you have read yourself. Whether this particular sword was owned or not by a Templar, it seems reasonable that it would represent the type of sword likely used by some Templars toward the end of the 14th century - a big XIIIa.

I'll be in London toward the end of the month on business and plan to take a museum day. I'll definitely check out this sword and see what they have to say about it.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 08 May, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:

Oakeshott's description suggests that the link is purely circumstantial: the sword was found close to the London temple, dates approximately to the end date for the temple, and the pommel has a cross (but apparently not the Templar's standard rendition of a cross).


Certainly is not the Templar's standard rendition of a cross. I found this photo of the original sword.
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Xavier B




Location: France
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PostPosted: Sat 09 May, 2009 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
It may depend on which phase of campaign and area. Common status recruits often came from German areas. These tended to be the ones who remained behind long term after the initially "glorious" beginning of the crusades started to drag on. Teutonic knights, although separate, were often from Eastern regions of Germany.

Given your time frame, and some popular origins of recruits, I would say swords similar to the Albion Ritter would likely to have been present. Some German origin Illuminated manuscripts of that approximate time frame seem to already show Oakshott type XIV stylized swords (hard to tell proportions, but I am thinking of the curved guard and very noticeably profile tapered blade) in scenes with knights.



How can say that the common status recruits came from german area? The majority of the "commanderies" were in France and after in Spain and Portugal. I don't know any documents showing a majority of germans templar knights...

About the swords, you have to read the "Rčgle du Temple", where every statutes and rules are wrote. It's wrote that all the new one had to give theirs equipements and then it would be given to the others templar brothers.
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Xavier B




Location: France
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PostPosted: Sat 09 May, 2009 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So there is no templar swords but simple swords like the others.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 09 May, 2009 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Xavier B wrote:
[

How can say that the common status recruits came from german area? The majority of the "commanderies" were in France and after in Spain and Portugal. I don't know any documents showing a majority of germans templar knights...


It is not necessarily that just Templars were from German territories. Commentaries of clergy of others of the period indicated that recruitment of willing volunteers for the crusade was successful (large numbers/armies of soliders) within German territories. To the West, the nobles who led the crusades seemed to require a fair degree of persuading and badgering to get them to go. There were several settings within tournament, biography of William Marshal, and other sources that indicate many to the West tended pledge to go on crusade, but put off "the duty" of actually going on crusade. I have not seen a good break down of numbers of soldiers by origin, but the difference in recruitment seems evident from the speeches and literature of those doing the recruiting!

One may look at the events of 1189 and compare. One of the larger Western armies that appeared to have been actual soldiers were 3000 "men at arms" convinced to go from the area of Wales by the arch bishop of Canterbury. (Recorded by Gambrensis.) Frederick I Barbarossa himself personally led an army considered to have been exaggerated at 100,000, of which 20,000 were considered to be knights, accepted as more likely an actual army of 15,000 men and 3000 knights. Barbarossa's army was characterized as disciplined, well equipped, and admirably controlled. This is not how the groups traveling from other areas tended to be characterized.

We can get an credible estimate of the total size of a crusade army from fleet transport negotiations. Enrico Dandolo negotiated with the Venetians about 1202 for transport over a long period (roughly a year if I remember it right. ) The total size of forces for which transport was sought was roughly 4500 horse and 4500 knights, 9000 squires/ or "men at arms", and 20000 foot soldiers.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sat 09 May, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"The Templars were masters in the forging industry.
With their steel produced their swords, which determined the superiority in battle of Knights Templars.
It is said that 100 riders would be 100 deaths in the first impact, their long swords battle weighed more than the others.
Their weapons were exceptional, unique, different in kind from those of steel used in the Middle Ages. In Europe, the technique used at the end of the twelfth century was far advanced.
The certainty of this comes from the steel production site of Bordesley, in Great Britain. But that's not enough, the Templars forge better.
Forge the swords with their methods unknown in Europe, perhaps learned from the ancient formulas of a tribe: the CALIBI.
This tribe was long in the service of the various peoples of the Middle East, as cuttler privileged.
A complete equipment required the sale of farms and land, for which only the nobles and the Templar, whose Order was very rich could afford it."
bibliography: “L’Enigma dei Nove Castelli” di Andrea Guenna, editrice Magnus-D, Saronno 2006
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What was different about Bordesley was the use of a water powered forge mill. I am not sure of which article, but one reported that remaining slag suggested that it probably had an efficient blast furnace. The forge mill was not really uniquely due to Templar support. The Cistercian abbeys of Kirkstall, and one in Toaker all seem to have employed similar technology at about the same time (1200 to 1224.) Ref "Wind Water, work", by Adam Lucas, page 251. The Templars did sponsor the one at Bordseley, but not all of them. The technology was uncommon until the end of the 13th century.

Regardless, the potential seems to be there that they may have had access to some fairly high quality/ modern steel about a century and a half ahead of its time.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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