A Sacred Order: Secrets of the Knights Templar

A Sacred Order: Secrets of the Knights Templar

Stephanie Schoppert - April 23, 2017

The Knights Templar was a religious order created in 1119 and recognized by papal bull in 1139. The group was active until 1312. The Knights Templar were known by a few names including the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon. But despite their name, they were among the wealthiest and most powerful religious orders of the period. While not all members of the order were combatants, the fighting skill of the group was legendary. One Knight Templar was considered to be equal to 12 regular soldiers and therefore the 2,000 combatant Knights that were members of the order were a fearsome force.

A Sacred Order: Secrets of the Knights Templar
Seal of the Knights Templar. utahyorkrite.org

The Mystery Behind the Third Seal

The third seal of the Templars is one that has many historians and religious scholars in serious debate. The seal features an image whose purpose is not fully understood. The circular seal depicts two knights riding upon one horse. The most popular explanation for the image is to represent how the individual knights within the order were poor. Together the Knights were wealthy but individually they took on a vow of poverty.

Another explanation for the image is the idea of brotherhood that existed between the Templars. The idea that they would do anything for one another. So, the two men on one horse represents a Knight going back to save his brother who had been wounded or lost his own horse.

There is a story from the history of the Knights in which there was a circumstance where two men would be riding upon the same horse. On June 7, 1192, the Crusader army marched upon the Holy City. Richard’s spies had told him that there was a supply train coming from Egypt that would relieve Saladin’s army. So, a thousand horseman from the army set out and each one of them took a foot soldier on their horse.

The foot soldier rose on the horse in front of the horseman and in this way they were able to have the large army catch the caravan off guard. The Islamic forces suffered a grievous loss with the Crusader army taking three thousand camels, three thousand horses, five hundred prisoners and a stockpile of military supplies. Never had the Crusader army been more successful against Saladin.