Knights templar swords
Discover why the crusader knights medieval sword is sometimes called the Weapon of God
Out of the countless knights and knight orders in the Medieval Ages, none is more popular subject of speculation than the Knights Templar.
Medieval fantasy sword console games, modern fiction, Arthurian legends, and adventure films have each forwarded contrasting images of the Knights: religious but heretic, Christians but were allegedly engaged in wizardry, soldiers of the Church but defenders of pagan gods.
The ambiguities prove to be irresistible, and people of today have hankered for all things related with Knights Templar. From mugs to shirts to books to posters to fake relics, one can see the Order’s motto, insignia, and symbols alive in the 21st century.
The Knights Templar
Actually, the Knights Templar as Crusaders had always been made of contradiction. From the start, the Catholic Church had them recognized as a military AND religious monastic order. In 1096 the Church called out for military offensive against Muslim control of the Holy Land. It signaled the now-famous Crusade, and hence the soldiers of that campaign were named Crusaders, that attempted to recover the city of Jerusalem from the stronghold of Islam. The Knights Templar was one of the three knight orders that responded; the other two were the Knights Hospitaller and Teutonic knights.
As a military group, the Knights Templar was skilled in warfare. Their military campaigns were successful, giving peace and security to the lands leading to and surrounding the Holy Land. As a religious congregation, they were tutored to live after the ways of the saints.
They gave alms to the poor, tended the sick, and love God above all else. Thus, its slogan had become its perfect central point of contrast: they vow to be fiercer than lions, but gentler than lambs.
When the first Crusade was successful in possessing Jerusalem, the Crusader knights templar was tasked to secure the traveling routes of the pilgrims. From a poor order that depended on charity and donation, it grew into a multinational banking institution, a fierce military group, and a massive construction company.
It has been said that Knights Templar became way too worldly. Its wealth was the source of jealousy of the French King Philip IV, who coveted it for his extravagant lifestyle and expensive war against the British. By 1312, the Order was disbanded and by 1314, its last grandmaster Jacques de Molay was burned at stake.
The Knights Templar Swords
The swords used by the Knights Templar evolved from the Viking swords. In the history of medieval sword, they were considered to be of high quality. Indeed they were, as the metalworking of that time was enhanced with the introduction of pattern welding. Pattern welding blends two alloys (iron of different carbon content) together and hammered to produce the blade.
Pattern welding was desirable. At a time when medieval sword fighting was constantly improving, this metalworking technique produced blades of considerable hardness and toughness. It has also produced beautiful discolorations on the surface of the blades, which added to their aesthetic appeal. The Knight Templar swords were therefore glistening with strength, splendor, and beauty. They were strong and terrible enough to cleave through thick metal armors, chain mails, and frail-hearted enemies.
The blade, hilt, and scabbard of the Knights Templar Sword
Also called arming sword and knightly sword, the Knight Templar sword should not be mistaken with the longsword. Arming swords are single-handed, as opposed to the longsword’s double-handed grip. They are the predecessors of longsword, and are therefore shorter, lighter, and broader.
Knightly sword has a single-handed, slightly curved cruciform hilt. If the sword is to hang with its blade down, it forms into a cross. The hilt, which provided excellent balance to the blade, can be decorated with symbols like that of the Order of the knight, year it was forged, or the sign of the smith.
The blade is about 0.75meters in length and double-edged. By the standard of the longsword, it is considered broader and shorter.
A knight is considered naked without it hanging at his side and sheathed safely in its proud scabbard. The scabbard was made of wood and later metal.
The Knights Templar sword as a weapon
What is a medieval sword according to Knights Templar? It is an instrument to do God’s bidding, a weapon of death to enemies and a weapon of life to faithful servants of the Church. It has a rich history of its own to tell. In the Battle of Montgisard on the year 1177, 26,000 Muslim men were routed and utterly destroyed by obviously outnumbered 500 Christian soldiers, including Knights Templars. It was as if the Hand of God descended and wielded the Knights Templar sword.
When the longsword was eventually invented and used in 1300, the arming sword remained to be part of the military weapon of individual knights. It served as a sidearm when the buckler and the longsword have failed.