Brief Description of the “Treasure” of Templars

Authors

  • George Narimanishvili Free University of Tbilisi

Keywords:

History, Templars, Middle Ages, treasure, debt

Abstract

After the capture of Jerusalem, soon, nine knights, led by Hugues de Payens, decided to establish a military monastic order, the order of Knights Templars. In the beginning, the first aim of the order was the defense of pilgrims, but later its functions became wider. Soon after the establishment of the order, it became a tradition to grant Templars expensive gifts, king of Jerusalem, patriarch and European nobles believed that the material support of the order was their honorable responsibility. This support made possible for Templars to strengthen and enlarge their number. The order also received many privileges from the Pope. After receiving many privileges the order started to grow rich very soon. The order received wealth and properties all around Europe and the Middle East. As a result, the knights started to carry out financial operations. In the way of keeping money, Templars did gather their famous “treasure”, which is the main goal for some treasure seekers till our days. So, the first function of the order was passive: it became the main safe for Europe. Templars also managed the finances of some European monarchs. For example, king of Sicily Charles of Anjou and king of Aragon James I delivered management of their finances to Templars. Templars also managed finances of Pope Clement V. Along with keeping of many individuals’ money and treasure, Templars did have their own finances without any concrete assignment. So, along with management of others’ money Templars started to lend debts, which also became a source of big income. Soon they were named “Bankers of the West”. As many believe, the financial success of Templars became one of the reasons for their annihilation.  

On September 14th of 1307, by order of Phillip IV, almost all Templars in France were arrested. The process lasted for seven years and Templars were accused of many sins and crimes, lots of them were burnt alive and in 1314, by order of the Pope, the order ceased to exist.

It must be mentioned that the legend about the “treasure” of Templars is still very popular in our time. Despite all legends, it is clear that the “treasure” of Templars was their material property and by destroying the order, the most influential noblemen and monarchs of Europe, as well the pope did not appropriate any “sacral secret”, but got free from debts and started to carry out new politics.  

Published

2019-12-03

Issue

Section

Articles