1. Always Obey Orders
The sheer fighting skill and discipline of the Templars depended on complete obedience to instructions, and it was the duty of any of these Knights to carry out the commander’s orders to the best of his ability. No matter the circumstance, the Templars would always have to act like fighting machines that would follow blunt commands.
2. Never Desert The Line
A Knight that fled or broke his rank would be considered a coward, sinful, and unworthy of God’s mercy. Any Templar that left the battlefield could be beaten to death, whipped to death or crucified in front of his friends. This set an example to anyone else who was planning to make an escape.
3. No Fancy Clothes
Elaborate and expensive clothing items were thought of as shameful and said to have only been worn by pagans and the sinful. Colourful robes and pointy boots were strictly off-limits. Additionally, Templars were forbidden from accepting gifts from the public and could not be given any accessories, such as engraved buckles or golden horse armour. Each Templar had to wear either a black, white or brown robe – like a monk – with the red cross sewn into it.
4. Always Eat In Pairs
To create a bond between the Knights, they were made to eat in twos and to share horses. Not only did this create a system where each one looked out for the other, but it was also a display of poverty and sacrifice of wealth for the purpose of serving God.
5. Only Hunt Mountain Lions
Despite the Templars being banned from hunting – which was considered an elaborate affair of sinful nobles – they were still permitted to attack and kill the fierce mountain lions that patrolled the paths going in and out of Jerusalem and across the Holy Land. This was because the purpose of the Order was originally to protect travellers and Christian pilgrims that were vulnerable while trekking these routes, so killing the mountain lions allowed them safe passage to their destination.
6. Never Fear Going Into Battle
What ensured that the Templars always remained dominant and in charge of their battles was the bravery and courage of each and every individual soldier. Therefore they were taught, by their trainers and commanders, to be fearless and never to be scared to march into battle. This played directly into the rule that they were never to desert their lines. The bravery of the Templars made the enemy Seljuks’s fear them greatly, as the Knights of the Temple were known for never backing down.
7. No Glorious Charges
As well as being banned from wearing, accepting or purchasing fancy clothes, the Templars were forbidden from doing individual, dramatic charges to bring honour to their names. It was considered selfish to show such displays of pride and skill, and directly attacked the key principle of the Order – that each Knight was selfless.
8. Money Is Banned
The Bible says that “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Consequently, Templar Knights were strictly banned from collecting and hiding loot or raiding for gold and spoils. When they asked for money, they were to spend it on what they needed as soon as possible, and not save it. Moreover, accepting monetary gifts from people they had helped or saved was not allowed.
9. No Blasphemy
Any Knight that blasphemed against God would be in for a mighty punishment. Seen as they were practically monks and fought for Christianity, insulting God would be destroying their core morals and would be glared upon.
10. Always Be Charitable And Help The Poor
In the earliest days, the Knights Templar was a small order dedicated to helping the poor and making passage safe for pilgrims. Similarly, the Hospitallers were intent on healing and helping those who had been injured. It was deeply lodged in their key morals to help the less fortunate, and therefore Templars were expected to aid their follow citizens wherever possible.
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