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Templar Shield - Hand Painted


Templar Distressed medieval shield

Display Shield with Hanging Chain

Battle Ready Shield with Leather Straps  

This Replica Medieval Shield . . .

is constructed of 16 ga. steel. The shield size is 18" x 24" and it has a curved shape. It is the classic "Heater" style battle shield. They face of the shield is sprayed with a protective clearcoat to preserve the artwork. The shields are available in either a wall display version with a chain to hang from or a hand-held battle ready version with heavy duty 1 1/2" leather straps on the back. Order the version you desire below.


Knights Templar - The Mystique of the Middle Ages

For three hundred years, Islamic forces had driven ever deeper into medieval Christian Europe, beginning with the Iberian Peninsula where Spain, Portugal and France are located. As the Franks before them, they gobbled up portions of the third largest European peninsula, and began adding mosques and their unique architecture to the landscape to the dismay of the Church, who was seeing Christiandom swamped by infidels with ceaseless attacks, taking them into the very heart of France. By 732, they were routed back into Southern Italy and Sicily but even from there, the Seljuk Turks reached their hands into sacred Rome and ransacked the Basilica there. Pope Urban II saw no choice except to form the First Crusade, not against Islam but against the Seljuk Turks who were now in control of Jerusalem, the most holy of Christian cities, and who had replaced the more tolerant Arab keepers with intolerance and violence towards pilgrims. By the end of 1099, the objective of obtaining control over this most sacred city had been achieved and the Christian leaders now faced another dilemma- who would govern and defend these foreign lands?

The answer to their prayers came in the form of a group of knights who, under the supervision of Hugues de Payens had been ferrying pilgrims safely to the now available Jerusalem and back to Europe. The feudal system had been established with the conquerors of Jerusalem, with the territory being divided up amongst the many leaders of the First Crusade. Much bickering began to occur and the Europeans began to fight each other as much as fending off the Seljuk Turks. In the meantime, the group of knights under Hugues de Payans had gained the support of one of the pillars of the Church, Bernard de Clarvaux, the Cistercian Abbot. Under his guidance at the Champaigne Council of 1128-1129, the Order was recognized and its rules established by the Church through Abbot Bernard, to become the first international army with Hugues de Payans as its first Master of the Temple.

The Templars Knights order was unique in that it combined both military and the monastic lifestyle and they became known as ‘The Warrior Monks.” Their primary purpose was to bring order to the region of Jerusalem. By 1149, the group had evolved into an organization that only answered to the Pope and were financially independent, depending on resources throughout Europe. Their Houses in Europe became clearing houses for the finances given to them and was the beginning of international banking. This independence and worldly wealth was the envy of many and the rumors swirled as to the true nature of the organization.

At its height, the Templars boasted 7000 members, had its own naval fleet and 870 castles and other holdings spread throughout Europe, Palestine and Syria. They were the inspiration behind other groups of Monastic Knights, including the Teutonics and the Hospitallers and reached their height of usefulness and service by the mid-12th century. By the 13th century, tales of widespread corruption and their eventual loss of power in the Crusader States marred the reputation of this brilliant group which led to their eventual disbandment by Pope Clement V in 1314 of ecclesiastical relations and were outlawed by King Philip IV of France around the same time. Many kings and other leaders agreed and the Order was officially dissolved.

Many of the Templars were absorbed into other Orders or changed the name of their Order, their houses divided up and the gains that were found distributed. However, by Papal Bull, the financial records were supposed to be given to the Hospitallers but were never found. The fleet of ships disappeared and many of the Templars as well.

Becoming known as ‘The Brotherhood”, the surviving hidden Templars finally came to light in 1705 when Philip, Duke of Orleans revealed himself as a Grand Master of the Templars. By 1736, Freemasonry had begun to take hold in England and Scotland with its roots in the Templar Order. A revival of the Order occurred under Napoleon Bonaparte’s patronage in 1805 and the group emerged as an Order dedicated to help, decency, dedication and chivalrous behavior. The Order had political sway and involved itself in French politics, eventually leading again to its visual disappearance. It re-emerged in the 20th century with its ranks consisting of many retired military personnel and continues to this day with inner struggles for leadership, losing much of its historical luster in the process.

We owe much to the early Templar Knights and their faith to God which led them to strange lands and stranger politics. Their example of combining simple prayer with defense of those helpless and in need through excellent military leadership is what should be recognized and remembered whenever one sees their well- known Templar Red Cross on a White background.

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