Football, rugby and even cricket fans in England often wear Knights Templar cosplay and support their national team. In the last column, it was revealed that these Templar or Crusader costumes of English fans are close to comedy stemming from ignorance. Then, who is the soccer team that inherited the legacy of the Knights Templar? To understand this, we need to study history.
The Templars received many donations from Europe, including land and castles. The Knights Templar obeyed only the pope’s orders and were not bound by any king. Pope Innocent II issued an edict giving the Templars special protection, granting them preferential immunity from secular law. They levied their own taxes and were able to conduct independent diplomatic activities. The Knights Templar was a de facto state.
The Knights Templar, with its strict discipline, was highly trusted in medieval Europe as an organization that did not lie. Based on this, the Knights became the first financiers in Europe. The Crusades greatly increased trade and the number of pilgrims, and the various branches of the Knights Templar were used as a network. They also created a deposit and withdrawal system. For example, depositing money in one branch of the Knights Templar and showing the certificate of deposit to another branch allowed immediate withdrawal. Even Muslims are said to have used the Knights Templar’s banking services.
Based on solid finances, the Knights also entered the money lending business. They also lent money to King Louis VII of France and King John of England. In addition, the Templars even issued traveler’s checks in Western Europe and the East, and collected currency exchange fees. The knights accumulated tremendous wealth through these activities, and in exchange for financial services, they were able to enjoy various privileges. However, the downfall of the Templars ironically began with their successful financial business.
Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries was a time when the authority of the pope declined and the kingship became stronger. Accordingly, the Pope’s Knights Templar, created across borders, comes as a nuisance to the kings. In addition, the enormous wealth and independent army of the Knights Templar was like a thorn in the eye of the king.
In the end, King Philip IV of France, who owed a huge debt to the Knights Templar, decided to take away the cash and gold and silver treasures from the Knights Templar. The Templars were arrested by surprise on charges of heresy, idolatry, and homosexuality. The number of people arrested reached 2,000, including knights and those who assisted the knights. At that time, Pope Clement V could not side with the Knights because he was almost subordinate to the King of France.
In March 1314, Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, shouted at the stake to the King and Pope of France, “Let us stand with him at the judgment seat of God within one year.” True to his curse, the pope and king died a few months later from a chronic disease and accident. In addition, even the son of Philip IV was cursed, and his dynasty of the Cape came to an end seven years later. The Curse of De Mole remains a famous legend in medieval Europe.
After the brave deaths of De Molay and Gonneville, the provincial leader of Normandy, in the illustrious tradition of the Knights Templar, the Order continues to appear in many legends and conspiracy theories to this day. The legend of the Holy Grail, which Jesus wrote at the Last Supper, and the Knights were combined, and they were also described as the guardians of the Holy Grail. Some readers may remember the Temple Knight guarding the Holy Grail in the movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’.
The Knights Templar disbanded 700 years ago, but there are claims that they went underground and continue to operate clandestinely to this day. A prime example is Freemasonry, a veiled organization. Their origin is the Templars, and there is a theory that Freemasons are behind the French Revolution. Legend has it that when King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine in 1793 as a result of the Revolution, one of the Freemasons exclaimed, “Jacques de Molay, you are avenged.”
Then, based on historical facts, what happened to the knights who survived the Templar Order? The Knights Templar were always welcome in the Iberian Peninsula. This is because the Knights contributed greatly to driving Islam out of the peninsula.
In particular, Dinis, who was King of Portugal, never forgot their contributions. Dinis founded the ‘Order of Christ’ in 1319, and many members of the disbanded Templars joined it. In other words, the Knights Templar was essentially an organization that only changed its name from the Knights Templar. The difference is that they also swore obedience to the King of Portugal. In other words, the Knights Templar was transformed into an organization that served the Portuguese national interest 크크크벳.
The King of Portugal appoints the Crown Prince and others as the leaders of the Knights of Christ. After becoming the leader of the knights, Prince Henry pioneered the first route around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and reached Asia. The famous explorer Vasco da Gama, who arrived in India in 1497, was also a member of the Knights Templar. In this way, the assets of the Templars played a big role behind Portugal, which discovered the new continent during the Age of Discovery. Through this process, the pattern of the Knights of Christ derived from the cross of the Knights Templar is established as a cross symbolizing Portugal.
Several institutions in Portugal use the Knight’s Cross of Christ as their symbol. The Portuguese national football team is one of them. Brazil, which was a colony of Portugal, was also influenced by this, and the cross of the Christ Knights is included in the logo of the Brazilian soccer team. Coincidentally, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Korean national team faced off against Portugal and Brazil, which inherited the legacy of the Templars.
Therefore, the right to cosplay with the Templar’s outfit belongs to Portuguese fans, not French or English fans.
Ewha Womans University Department of International Affairs Visiting Professor