home forums Reenactment Gearing Guides Knights Templar Rulebook

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  • #309
    Knight
    Keymaster

    The Templars, founded in 1119 as a band of poor, pious knights, have been romantically reimagined in art, literature, film and folklore for centuries. The fact that they were shockingly villainized and disbanded in 1307—after a dizzying rise to wealth and power—only added to their legendary mystique.

    #310
    Knight
    Keymaster

    But the brotherhood did leave its share of concrete historic record. Perhaps most fascinating: “The Rule of the Templars,” which outlined a detailed code of conduct governing every aspect of daily life, including clothing (spartan), meals (mostly silent), sleeping arrangements (austere), social restrictions (ample). There’s a good-sized section on penance, which was especially important for maintaining the order’s all-important discipline. The first draft, composed in 1129, dictated 68 rules designed to keep Templar knights on a tight leash, reflecting their vows of poverty, chastity and especially obedience. As the order grew bigger, more wealthy and more militarized, its disciplinary code expanded to several hundred rules and became increasingly complex.

    #314
    Knight
    Keymaster

    Written in Latin and French by various authors over the course of a century and a half, the original rules documents no longer exist. But they are known through subsequent translations.

    And what happened to knights when the rules weren’t followed? According to the code, comeuppance ranged from corporal punishment to losing one’s habit (knight’s robes) to banishment from the brotherhood. Lesser infractions sometimes required the sinner to eat his meals on the floor.

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