The Knights Templar were traditionally known, here in Brittany, as the Red Monks. Their evil deeds and cruel reputation survived in the popular imagination long after their medieval heyday; cruel ghosts, condemned to forever wander the lonely places to atone for their terrible and abominable crimes.
Following the success of the First Crusade, a number of feudal domains were established in the Holy Land by European Christian knights. However, these realms lacked the full military resources necessary to maintain little more than a tenuous grip on their territories; most crusaders returned home after fulfilling their vows. Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem and the other holy sites therefore continued to remain subject to peril and attack.
It was to alleviate the plight of these pilgrims that a band of French knights led by Hugh de Payns vowed to devote themselves to the pilgrims’ protection and to form a religious community for…
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