This wonderful piece dated back from when the Knights Templar were a monastic military order formed at the end of
the First Crusade with the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims on route to the Holy Land. Never before had a group
of secular knights banded together and took monastic vows. In this sense they were the first of the Warrior Monks. Although
originally a small group of nine knights, they quickly gained fame largely due to the backing of Bernard of Clairvaux
and his "In Praise of the New Knighthood". Bernard at that time was often called the Second Pope and was the chief
spokesman of Christendom. He is also the one responsible for helping to draw up the order's rules of conduct. In European
political circles, they became very powerful and influential and feared by the King. This was because they were immune
from any authority save that of the Papal Throne. After the crusades were over, the knights returned to their Chapters
throughout Europe and became known as moneylenders to the monarchs. The Templars fought along side King Richard I (Richard
The Lion Hearted) and other Crusaders in the battles for the Holy Lands. King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the
grounds of heresy and successfully rid them of their power and wealth and urged all fellow Christian leaders to do the
same thing. On March 19th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake.
This 17" Templar dagger is rich in detail.