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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Mon 14 May, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Knight Templars         Reply with quote

How did the original non-romanticized Templars look like?. The real ones. What did they wear?

I've read some stuff about the Latin Rule and how they might look like but nothing certain. Any pics will be much apreciated.
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Ryan S.





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PostPosted: Mon 14 May, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All the sources I have read say the knights of the order wore white with red crosses. I imagine it may have varied with the fashion. although as typical of monastic orders they were restricted from wearing things seen as luxurious (vow of poverty and all).
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 14 May, 2012 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Templars were, first and foremost, a religious order. As a religious order their members were classified as monks. Monastic orders had “rules” which governed their actions and even their daily life so it was natural that the Templars also had one. Theirs was given to them by St. Bernard de Clairvaux at the Council of Troyes in 1128, about ten years after the Order was founded in Jerusalem. There were originally 72 paragraphs in the Latin rule but it is important to remember that all through their history rules were added and sometimes modified as required. Also, the rule was ignored regularly during the later history of the order. The French rule ran on to 686 paragraphs!

When you consider the character and customs of medieval knights, the stringent rule of the Templars makes it seem amazing that any knight or nobleman would consider joining. They were only allowed three horses; they were denied the company of women – even female relatives; hunting and hawking were forbidden; they had meat only three times a week and took their meals in silence. One punishment for disobeying the rule was the offender was required to eat by himself.

As far as appearance, they were required to wear plain dress at all times. The rule specified their habit to be black, white or brown. They were required to cut their hair but shaving was forbidden. They were to wear undergarments at all times, even while sleeping and to never disrobe in front of another Templar. Bathing was prohibited but that was not a very common practice at the time any way. In the heat of the Middle East it is almost certain that you could smell a company of Templars before you saw them, assuming you were upwind of it.

The French rule describes their arms and armor:

They were allowed the aforementioned three horses although another might be added for good reason, at the discretion of the Master. They were allowed one squire. Their armor was a mail helmet (coif), a hauberk of mail, leg armor of mail and a helm or chapeau de fer. Plate armor was worn on the shoulders and feet. A curved shield was listed.

Arms were a broad sword, a lance, a Turkish mace and three knives; a long dagger worn on the left of the belt, a pocket knife and a canivet, the description of which is somewhat confusing as it refers to a very short knife with a long blade.

Interestingly, there was provision in the rule for the enlistment of “confrere” Templars. These were married men who became Templars for a period of time, usually for the payment of a fee and a vow of conjugal chastity. The true hard core, cross wearing Templars were never large in numbers. The Order had many servants, chaplains, sergeants and men at arms. It is estimated that the core of the order never numbered more that fifteen percent of the entire Templar force. These men were held to the strictest provision of the rule and required to wear their white mantles at all times.

I hope this helps.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Mon 14 May, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

^ Thanks for the info Cool

It is my understanding that Pope Eugenius III in 1147 officially granted them the right to wear the famous red cross. It was worn on the mantle on the left side above the heart. Not a huge red cross on the front as so often depicted. Also they would not have had white shields with red crosses on them as shield decorations were expressly forbidden.

Decorated shields/weapons/saddles etc were all the trappings of wealth during that period so consequently the warrior monks would have had nothing ostentatious whatsoever.

This makes sense to me because of the vow of poverty. Am I correct?
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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Y. Perez wrote:
shield decorations were expressly forbidden.



There's a difference between ostentatious decoration, which would go against the Rule, and heraldry neccessary to allow them to identify each other on the battefield.
This picture (13th century, from the Templar chuch of San Bevignate in Perugia), show a shield, horse caparisons, a helm and and a banner, all decorated in the ciolours of the Beausant (black and white) with red crosses on them.



 Attachment: 201.69 KB
Templar%2520Church%2520in%2520Perugia.jpg


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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whereas this earlier one by Matthew Paris (c.1215) shows the Beausant shield without the cross. I think at this earlier date, the red cross was a general symbol of those who had gone on crusade and 'taken the cross' rather than a specifically Templar symbol.


 Attachment: 69.33 KB
mattparis.jpg


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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Whereas this earlier one by Matthew Paris (c.1215) shows the Beausant shield without the cross. I think at this earlier date, the red cross was a general symbol of those who had gone on crusade and 'taken the cross' rather than a specifically Templar symbol.


That is correct. There is a tendancy these days to look at any crusader wearing a red cross patee and assume that knight is a Templar when, as you pointed out, many, perhaps most, crusaders wore the red cross. The Beausant was a simple banner with black over white. Modern manufactures have inserted the red cross in the center but that is not correct. One of the things that the prop masters for Kingdom of Heaven got correct was the black over white banner or small pennant on the knight's lances. The problem with the pennants in the movie is they were forbidden by the rule as ostentatious so would not have been present.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 4:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
The Beausant was a simple banner with black over white.


Although the San Bevignate fresco would seem to show that it had been modified by the addition of the cross by the mid-late 13th century.

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Ryan S.





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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The crusaders were a multinational army, and unique in that the knights were volunteers not serving their feudal lord. So they used the cross as a badge and specific colors were given to specific nations. I don't know if templar's wore their national cross before they were granted their own, but receiving their own was an important symbol of their independence.

Does anyone know if the sergeants and other non knight soldiers were also monks?
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Lin Robinson wrote:
The Beausant was a simple banner with black over white.


Although the San Bevignate fresco would seem to show that it had been modified by the addition of the cross by the mid-late 13th century.


There is an error in the fresco in that the banner was black OVER white not as shown in the picture. Given that mistake, it is entirely possible that the artist is incorrect about the cross.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as we know, it was painted in the 13th century whilst San Bevignate was a Templar church....you think they'd have pointed it out to him if it was a mistake, seeing as he repeated it at least 5 times in that one small section.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
As far as we know, it was painted in the 13th century whilst San Bevignate was a Templar church....you think they'd have pointed it out to him if it was a mistake, seeing as he repeated it at least 5 times in that one small section.


OK... but by that logic - and it is a logical conclusion - if the design was white over black, then someone should have pointed out the mistake to Matthew Paris when he painted the two knights on a horse carrying shields with black over white colors.

In fact, we cannot be sure what is correct and, while I made a positive statement based on everything I have read or seen regarding the Beausant, all that stuff can be incorrect too. With the passage of 800 years it is doubtful we will ever get a definitive answer.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Matthew Bunker wrote:
As far as we know, it was painted in the 13th century whilst San Bevignate was a Templar church....you think they'd have pointed it out to him if it was a mistake, seeing as he repeated it at least 5 times in that one small section.


OK... but by that logic - and it is a logical conclusion - if the design was white over black, then someone should have pointed out the mistake to Matthew Paris when he painted the two knights on a horse carrying shields with black over white colors.
.


Damn this time machine....will it never work? Wink

There's always a third option. There's 50/75 years between those two pictures....perhaps that period saw a change. The adoption of the red cross in 1147 was perhaps initially restricted to clothing, with it's spread to other items of equipment taking longer to spread. It's certainly more prominent when displayed on white rather than black and you'd want it near the top of the shield/banner rather than the bottom.

Pure speculation of course, but a thoery that makes sense of the evidence.

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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Lin Robinson wrote:
Matthew Bunker wrote:
As far as we know, it was painted in the 13th century whilst San Bevignate was a Templar church....you think they'd have pointed it out to him if it was a mistake, seeing as he repeated it at least 5 times in that one small section.


OK... but by that logic - and it is a logical conclusion - if the design was white over black, then someone should have pointed out the mistake to Matthew Paris when he painted the two knights on a horse carrying shields with black over white colors.
.


Damn this time machine....will it never work? Wink

There's always a third option. There's 50/75 years between those two pictures....perhaps that period saw a change. The adoption of the red cross in 1147 was perhaps initially restricted to clothing, with it's spread to other items of equipment taking longer to spread.


As far as I know the white mantle was assigned to the Templars at the Council of Troyes in 1129 and the cross was most probably added to their robes at the launch of the Second Crusade in 1147. So that means there could be no Templar monk with a red cross between this gap of eighteen years or so?
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Ryan S.





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PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Matthew Bunker wrote:
As far as we know, it was painted in the 13th century whilst San Bevignate was a Templar church....you think they'd have pointed it out to him if it was a mistake, seeing as he repeated it at least 5 times in that one small section.


OK... but by that logic - and it is a logical conclusion - if the design was white over black, then someone should have pointed out the mistake to Matthew Paris when he painted the two knights on a horse carrying shields with black over white colors.

In fact, we cannot be sure what is correct and, while I made a positive statement based on everything I have read or seen regarding the Beausant, all that stuff can be incorrect too. With the passage of 800 years it is doubtful we will ever get a definitive answer.


A painting on a Templar Church is pretty close though, although it is possible there was variations. Matthew Paris on the other hand is not really reliable.
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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Wed 16 May, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



So all in all, can this be a good representation?

*if not please upload a pic*
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Josh Wilson




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PostPosted: Wed 16 May, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l3tJkkAcTM&am...plpp_video

You may find this interesting and helpfull
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Y. Perez wrote:
So all in all, can this be a good representation?


It looks generally sound, but the sword and scabbard look wrong. An appropriate sword would look like the A&A 12th Century Sword or the Albion Knight while the scabbard should be close to this. There may be a simpler but still historically correct suspension, but in any case I don't think it looks like the thing represented in the picture.

The coat of plates also looks odd, not in itself but by its positioning right over the arming garment. I thought it was supposed to fit over the hauberk?

Oh, while we're at it, I'm also not sure about the back-laced design of the coif. The impression I've had so far is that the coif was one piece, with either a tab to close it over the neck or some sort of lacing threaded through the rings to gather it up close to the face. I may be wrong on this one, though, since I'm more familiar with earlier coifs/camails than later ones.
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F Hynd




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PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2012 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From memory early coats of plate could be worn under plate. but i might be wrong there.

I have seen a period coif that was laced down the back. The coif was tailored such that you would have been unable to don the coif otherwise. the slit could well have been a more modern addition but im inclined to say otherwise.

coif in question
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa91/expas...G_1827.jpg

and the back
http://s201.photobucket.com/albums/aa91/expas...G_1834.jpg
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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Y. Perez wrote:
So all in all, can this be a good representation?


It looks generally sound, but the sword and scabbard look wrong. An appropriate sword would look like the A&A 12th Century Sword or the Albion Knight while the scabbard should be close to this. There may be a simpler but still historically correct suspension, but in any case I don't think it looks like the thing represented in the picture.

The coat of plates also looks odd, not in itself but by its positioning right over the arming garment. I thought it was supposed to fit over the hauberk?


Thats what I noticed too. The scabbard is weird but at first glance the sword didn't look that bad imo. The CoP came later around 14th century (?). The Youtube link above provided by Josh Wilson show a scene (around min 12) with a Templar preparing for battle. No CoP but a quilted jacket or arming garment and maille.
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