Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by ayden. ayden Wonders, “who were the knights of templar” Thanks for WONDERing with us, ayden!
Grab your sword and armor. Today, we’re traveling back in time! All the way back, in fact, to the Middle Ages. There, we’ll learn about a group known to carry shields, defend travelers, and help the needy. They even started one of the earliest international banks. That’s right, today we’re learning about the Knights Templar.
Let’s start with some information about the Crusades. These were a series of wars launched by European Christians. They wanted to take control of Jerusalem and other Holy Lands from people of Muslim faith.
The order of the Knights Templar started in the wake of the First Crusade. Experts say the order began in either 1119 or 1120. The Catholic Church first recognized them in 1129. The group formed to protect pilgrims moving from Europe to Holy Lands in the Middle East.
Soon, though, the Knights Templar took on other responsibilities. They fought in the future Crusades and came to control a great deal of land. The Knights Templar also took over several castles.
The Knights Templar later created one of the world’s earliest international banks. Remember, there was no Internet in the Middle Ages! There weren’t Bitcoin or debit cards either. Instead, most people carried money with them wherever they went.
This caused problems for international travel and immigration. A person moving from one country to another had to pack and take their money with them. This made the journey more difficult and dangerous. Many feared being robbed on the road. That’s where the Knights Templar stepped in.
Before traveling a long distance, people could deposit their money with the Knights Templar. The order would give them a note the deposit. They could exchange this note for funds from another group of Knights Templar when the person reached their destination.
The Knights Templar also offered loans and made money from the interest. As a religious order, they gave 10 percent of this income to people who needed their help. Still, they remained a powerful and wealthy group.
What was it like to be part of the Knights Templar? It was a very strict order, and those joining had to take vows. These knights could not hunt, wear flashy clothing, or miss church services. They followed commands from the order’s leader, called the Grand Master.
Knights Templar wore armor and were skilled with weapons such as the sword and crossbow. They were easily identified by their white cloaks. Their shields were also white and marked with a red cross.
As the Knights Templar gained power, many religious leaders and kings became wary of them. The order was accused of corruption and abuses of power. This led to the group officially ending in 1312. Many members were arrested and even put to death after the group’s end. History is still unclear as to whether claims against the group were true.
Today, stories of the Knights Templar continue to influence popular culture, including many books, movies, and TV shows. Some people also claim to be part of a revival of the order. Unfortunately, many who claim so are actually members of white nationalist terrorist groups. It’s important to practice critical thinking and use good judgment to avoid this type of radicalization.
However, many are still interested in the historical Knights Templar. After all, they left a very interesting legacy! Perhaps that’s why the order is still popular in many ways today.
Standards: C3.D2.His.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.SL.1, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.2