Completely unrelated to accessibility!
Back in college in 1997, I wrote this paper for a History of the Crusades class. The instructor thought so favorably of it that he submitted it to ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies.
I thought I’d share it here on my blog, since I’m still kind of proud of it. Plus, once in a rare while I still do get questions or comments about it!
The Rule of St. Benedict Compared with the Rule of the Templars*
by Steven Grobschmidt
In the middle of the sixth century, the Abbot of Monte Cassino formulated guidelines for proper monastic life, administration, and spirituality. He created a setting for monks to lead ideal lives–both practically and spiritually–in service to God under a wise, firm, and yet compassionate Abbot. Benedict of Nursia wrote this rule in a plain, unadorned style. For the reader, it was not to be taken as an impersonal code of law, but as a trusted guide whose directions he must faithfully follow.(1) The Abbot would act as a mentor, faithful to the rule and stern, but also compassionate and reasonable. Prayer, attire, and ways of conducting oneself daily all comprised what would become the Rule of St. Benedict.
In the late eleventh century, an order known as the Cistercians arose, with intentions to return monasticism to its original spirit. Bolstered in the next century by the presence of the dynamic St. Bernard of Clairvaux, these White Monks created a novum monasterium, based on stricter adherence to the Benedictine Rule, which many had felt was becoming abused and “diluted.”(2)
In roughly 1118, a group of some thirty knights including Hugh of Payens and Godfrey of Saint-Omer vowed to observe poverty and chastity, and to protect Christians on pilgrimages to the Holy Land from vagabonds and enemies.(3) A decade later, at the Council of Troyes, these Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon–better known as Templars–were formally recognized by the Church. In the centuries after, they would play a prominent role in the course of the Crusades, and in Mediterranean and European politics.
The Rule given to the Templars had as a model the Rule of St. Benedict, influenced greatly by the reformed Cistercian version, and from this base developed their own distinct code of military, spiritual, and everyday life. As a result, the Benedictine and Templar Rules bear considerable similarities. Both the Templars and Benedictines prescribe leaders expecting complete obedience and in turn showing kindness, mercy, and fatherly care. To govern successfully, these men should seek counsel and appoint able subordinates. Elections allow the orders to choose the most capable brothers to be the head.(4) Both rules also create similar initiation processes(5), vows and duties, restrictions, and prayer procedures(6) for the brethren.
Leadership in both the Rule of St. Benedict (hereafter RB) and the Rule of the Templars (hereafter RT) is exercised by the Abbot and the Master respectively. Below the latter is a significantly larger group of subordinates, from seneschal to various commanders to sergeant brothers.(7) Still, the authority, limitations, and responsibilities of the Abbot and the Grand Master are comparable. Above all, both are representatives of Christ. RB recommends that Abbots adhere to divine justice and remember whence their title arose–the word “abba” meaning father.(8) Likewise, the Grand Master is expected to observe humility and compassion in Christ’s example.(9)
Just as Christ tended to the sick and needy, the Abbot and Master are urged to regularly commit such acts of kindness. Guests of a Benedictine monastery deserve treatment befitting Christ, and the Abbot and other brothers should wash their feet and hands, and grant them the utmost courtesy.(10) On Maundy Thursday, the Master of the Templars should wash thirteen paupers’ feet, then feed and clothe them.(11)
Mercy plays an important part in their leadership. Abbots are to treat the sick with patience and care. RB places the responsibility of care for the ill on the shoulders of the Abbot. If nurses or others are neglecting the sick, the Abbot is responsible.(12) Physical illness is not the limit to this care–those spiritually troubled, even the excommunicated, are to be handled sternly but compassionately. Addressing the sin resolves the situation more than simply punishing the sinner. St. Benedict beautifully makes his point with a familiar analogy: the Abbot should follow the lead of the Good Shepherd who left ninety-nine sheep behind to search for the lost one. His compassion for weakness was such that he stopped to place the sheep on his shoulders to carry it back to the flock.(13) The RB is reminding Abbots that they must not, amidst heavy decision-making and maintenance of the monastery, lose sight of their fatherly role.
The Master of the Temple also is expected to keep mercy a part of his many responsibilities. For example, when the Master gives out his clothing or bed linens to brothers, he should give the same to lepers or some other source in need.(14) Care for the serious sinner, according to RT, requires the Master to wield a staff and a rod: the former to hold up the spiritually weak and set them back onto the road to correct behavior, the latter to beat down the sinner’s failings. In this way, just as RB suggests, RT warns that merciless punishment of offenders often accomplishes nothing. A good leader must battle sin, not the sinner. In that way, he can bring the brother back into the fold, not turn him away permanently by discouragement.(15)
Though mercy and charity are parts of the makeup of Abbots and Grand Masters, there is no question in either Rule over the ultimate authority they wield. Benedictine monks owe their Abbots complete obedience.(16) Considering the Abbot is a representative of God who must not show any preferential treatment to an individual brother, a monk observes the code of obedience out of love for God and for spiritual guidance, not in hopes of gaining favor–a motivation for obeying a secular leader.(17) RB contains many instances where abbatial permission is required. Speaking to an excommunicated brother(18), receiving letters or presents from family or friends(19), practicing a craft(20), and obtaining bedding(21) are just a few things which must be approved by the Abbot beforehand. Priests within a given monastic community also owe the Abbot complete obedience, even in giving blessings and saying Mass.(22)
RT also makes it clear that all the brothers of the Temple are to obey the Master as their ultimate authority, while he in turns obeys his house.(23) In fact, as the prominence of the Templars grew, the Grand Master, residing in the mother house at Jerusalem, ranked in Christendom as a sovereign prince.(24) Added to abbatic-type duties, the Master has to deal with the all-important military aspects of his order. RT instructs brothers to obey their Master strictly without delay, in deference to Christ.(25) In following this, a Templar brother must also seek permission before engaging in a wide variety of activities, including: exchanging one item for another, receiving things from others, and building a new house out of stone and lime. If the Master wishes to give the horse and armor of one brother to another, the one he is taking from must accept the transaction without a single ill thought.(26) The Master of the Temple and the Abbot of a Benedictine monastery stand atop their respective institutions, expecting nothing but pious cooperation from their brethren, who owe them the respect and obedience which God commands through their Rules.
Both Rules contain interesting provisions regarding unreasonable requests made by the Abbot or Grand Master upon a brother. Near the end of RB, a chapter instructs a brother who has been given an impossible charge to accept it at first, attempt it, and if unsuccessful politely inform his superior. If the Abbot reasserts his initial order, the brother must “offer it up to the Lord” and do the deed.(27) The Templar version is perhaps a bit stronger. It echoes the RB instruction, but adds that the Master is obliged to honor the brother’s request if it seems justified, and that brothers should be wary of orders that defy the Rule of the house.(28) In both cases, the point is that a brother must never lose sight of the true reason he is doing a deed–for God. If it seems unjust, he may consult his superior, but ultimately he must trust in the Lord that the task is possible.
While the Abbot and Master stand atop their communities as representatives of Christ, both Rules highly recommend the usage of counsels to deal with problems. In this way, the leader can weigh several wise options and use his final judgement to resolve whatever is at hand. He is urged by the [Benedictine] Rule to take the advice of the brethren before taking policy decisions.(29) Chapter 3 of RB illustrates the value of consulting the entire community on an important matter. Old and young hold equal weight, and should offer calm, helpful advice without getting too opinionated adamant. In lesser affairs, the Abbot need only consult senior brothers for advice.(30)
RT expresses the need for consultation by a Master. Be it in matters of war or peace, land acquisition, appointment of officials, or the eligibility of a would-be Templar, the Rule requires a Master to seek the advice of the Chapter.(31) The Rule also states firmly that a Master or anyone holding chapter must not do anything without first offering prayer and a sermon. In this way, he can be sure the grace of God is upon the brothers before decisions can be made.(32) What is important to notice is the strong indication by RT, and RB for that matter, that the Master (or Abbot) is in charge of his community, but must recognize both the value in consulting his brothers and the overall authority of God over everything.
Delegating authority also moderates the absolute authority of the Abbot and Grand Master. Both Rules direct subordinates to take over some duties under the leaders. In the case of RB, abbots are advised to chose particularly pious and intelligent brothers as deans, to share their responsibilities. Deans must remain humble and dedicated, and receive three warnings before removal from office.(33) They are hand-picked by the Abbot, keeping the latter the true authority over all matters.
RB creates another position for a monastery, but it is not as readily recommended. The prior (or provost) is designed to be a second-in-command. Benedict believes the position is inferior to a group of deans, who have equal authority, and is more susceptible to corruption and pride.(34) However, the option is open to the Abbot if he wants a single assistant to manage select tasks.
The prior must never overstep his authority, remaining quietly obedient to his leader.(35) RB mentions other appointed positions, such as the cellarer, who must be a smart, sober, selfless man, fearing of God. RB frequently emphasizes that the cellarer must be honest, humble, and inoffensive. The Abbot may give him assistants in a large monastery.(36) An intelligent senior brother should be selected as guardian of the gates, worthy for his humility and kindness.(37) Such a position further demonstrates that RB recognizes and respects the value of older monks.
Beneath the Templar Master is also a well-structured hierarchy. Most of the positions, as well as having specific duties of their own, receive a certain number of horses and underlings. A Seneschal takes the place of the Master when the Master is not present.(38) Unlike lesser officers, he is able to carry out actions without needing permission from the Master. Next is the Marshal, who manages the arms of the house, holds chapter in Jerusalem when the Master and Seneschal are not present, and calls brothers to arms.(39) There is a Commander of the Land of Jerusalem and of the Kingdom, a Commander of the City of Jerusalem, and Commanders of Tripoli and Antioch.(40) A Draper is appointed to attend to clothing matters, and wields significant power since all brothers must obey him when he cites a violation in dress.(41) RTalso lists the duties and privileges of Knight Commanders and the Commander of the Knights. Finally, the Rule covers Knight Brothers(42), Sergeant Brothers of the Convent(43), standard-bearers(44), Under-Marshals(45), and CasilierBrothers.(46) The Hierarchical Statutes are well-defined and precise in their instructions.(47) These officers’ duties are often military-related, but nonetheless show the importance of subordinates in checking the absoluteness of the leader’s power.
Like the Benedictine Abbot, the Templar Grand Master is not a sole power over his brethren. He divides key responsibilities among a group of capable individuals, freeing himself up to better serve the order as a pater and a representative of Christ.
Because an Abbot or Master wields such substantial power, despite the guidance of God and the Rule, greed and arrogance no doubt would still be strong. Thus, the election of such a strong position is a careful process involving the entire brotherhood. Herein lies another close correlation between the two Rules. RB emphasizes piety and wisdom as prime requisites for a candidate, and excludes no member of the community from eligibility. A local bishop or nearby Abbot can overturn the appointment if the community in question is known for being idle or corrupt and their choice seems to reflect such vices.(48) It is important to point out here that the Templars, on the other hand, were not bound to local bishops or eccelesiastical officials. They answered directly to the Pope.
An interesting point in RB shows the election is not entirely democratic. The entire community should choose an Abbot, but if this proves unsuitable, a smaller group of more rational voices should do it. In any case, the process requires careful wisdom to fill in the important position of Abbot.(49)
When a Master of the Temple dies, an elaborate election process is taken up, also comprised of “worthy men.” If possible, the election should take place in Jerusalem.(50) A Grand Commander is appointed to take over the Master’s duties until an election is arranged.(51) RB calls for sound-minded brothers to vote if the entire community’s vote is unacceptable, but RT calls directly for worthy men, not the entire brotherhood. A rigorous system is carried out to arrive at thirteen electors, including a Commander of the election. These men decide the next Master, be it the Grand Commander or a more worthy choice “across the sea.”(52) To choose a man to hold such authority, much less to represent Christ on earth, is a process RB and RT took very seriously. Thus they make measures to ensure wisdom and spirituality win out.
The Templar Grand Master is responsible for far-reaching Templar influence in the Mediterranean and Western worlds, and becomes a powerful military figure in the course of the Crusades, yet RT fuses with those duties the necessity to adhere to his Rule and carry out the role of a traditional Benedictine Abbot.(53) Ultimately, both positions follow the same ways of life, guiding religious communities in the manner of Jesus Christ, and exercising humility, morality, and wisdom in all activities.
Besides leaders, Templar and Benedictine brothers both follow comparable codes of life in accordance with their respective Rules, excluding the former’s taking up of arms to wage physical battle against God’s enemies. They take similar vows, must avoid similar transgressions, and dedicate good portions of their time to humble prayer and reflection. Secular knights enter the Templar ranks, but must change their livelihood to a one of discipline, purity, and hard work, placing aside the superficialities and temptations of secular life for the service of the Lord; they arm themselves not with gold, but inside with faith.(54) The Templars follow virtues and ideals espoused by the Benedictine Rule from which their own Rule borrowed greatly.
Admission into both orders requires intense interviewing, aimed to be sure the initiate knows what he is getting into and what code of life he must follow. RB’s coverage of initiation is simpler and more generalized than the many clauses RTdedicates to the same subject. Still, Chapter 58 of RB (The admission of new brothers), is one of the longest, most important chapters and clearly defines how a postulant is to be received and reviewed.(55) Basically, the petitioner arrives at the monastery doors to a cold reception. Days later, he is allowed in, where a senior brother interrogates him about his intentions for entering such work of the Lord. The senior warns about the rigors in the path before him. Then three periods of time pass in which the initiate must review the Rule and patiently wait. After each time, the senior re-reads the Rule for clarification. Ultimately, the novice promises before the entire monastic community that he will uphold the Rule and live as a monk. Everything he owns, clothing included, is taken away, a final gesture of complete fealty to God and the order.
Before delving into the Templar reception process, it is important to note that three basic walks of life constitute the brothers of the Temple. Knights, often of wealthy upbringing, make up one class. Sergeants play an important role as well, as fighters, bailiffs, and other important positions. Finally, clerics create a non-combatant arm of the Templars, dedicated to religious and medicinal practices.(56) The Templar code for reception of new members deals almost entirely with questioning done by the brothers and Master.(57) The whole company of the house has greater participation than those under the Benedictine method. The brothers also warn the newcomer of the difficulties inherent in the life of a Templar.(58) They ask him a series of questions, such as if he has a wife, if he has existing vows to another order, etc. If no members have anything to object to, the questions and admonitions continue. When the order is satisfied that the newcomer is devoid of transgressions and is worthy of the order, his reception is concluded upon promising to God and St. Mary that none of the penalties listed by the Rule will be broken.(59)
In both RB and RT, an initiate must know his Rule intimately and the difficulties lying before him in such a rigorous life of devotion to God. He must convince the order his intentions are sincere and his life free of serious sin. RB, in all its simplicity, makes this as clear as RT. The first chapter of RB defines four types of monks. The first kind is Cenobites, or those living in a monastery and waging their way under a rule and Abbot–the best kind of monks.(60) Anchorites spend time in their monastery training for their war against evil. Sarabaites are disrespectful to God, more concerned about pleasure, and weak-minded. Gyratory monks are unworthy of discussion according to the Rule, for they preoccupy themselves with pleasure and travel from monastery to monastery. RB applies to Cenobites, disregarding the others.(61)
Obedience, silence, and humility serve God best, but only with zeal and happiness. One must obey not only his Abbot, but his fellow brethren, and show respect to both the young and old. As stated above, private property is forbidden–a brother could not claim ownership to so much as a pen and paper. In fact, RB states that a new member must recognize that he no longer owns his body. Manual labor, reading, and prayer comprise much of a monk’s time, with applicable exclusions for the frail, ill, and elderly.
In addition to the above vows, Benedictine monks need to follow various stipulations lest they be excommunicated from the order. Early on, RB provides a list of seventy-two requirements which include the Ten Commandments as well as: comforting the poor, avoiding anger and jealousy, restraining from excessive food and drink, praying often, remaining modest and optimistic, and obeying the Abbot in all things.(62) The confines of a monastery provide the best atmosphere for monks to observe these “good works.” Not surprisingly, a monk is also forbidden from striking another one without abbatic permission.(63)
Further restrictions concern clothing, rest, and sustenance. Depending on the climate of the specific monastery, a monk should receive a simple cowl, tunic, and shoes, from whatever materials are available locally for the cheapest prices. The Abbot provides a mattress, blanket, pillow, and coverlet for sleeping. Violations result in strict punishment, since they usually entail private ownership.(64) Under the supervision of elders, all the monks should sleep in one room, or in large groups if the monastery population is too big. They should keep their clothing on while asleep, and a candle must remain lit during the night. RB advises brothers to encourage each other in waking, for the sleepy make many excuses.(65)
Two cooked meals a day, at the sixth and ninth hours, provide sufficient food. The Abbot may allow more if fresh fruit or vegetables are available or if the day’s work is particularly taxing, but moderation is essential. RB allows usage of wine, but again only in moderation. The brothers must fast on Wednesdays and Fridays from Pentecost through summer, and during Lent.(66) Meat of four-footed creatures is specifically banned, and based on traditional monastic practice of Benedict’s time, chicken, beef, pork, and mutton all are forbidden too.(67)
One must carry out these stipulations with unwavering devotion to God. The mood of the text is reasonable and cordial amidst all these regulations and restrictions, testimony to RB’s appeal to everyone.(68) That, with its simplicity, obviously appealed to the Templars when they adopted the Cistercian descendent of RB.
In accepting Benedictine guidelines, RT also designs a way of life that is cenobitic. Templars too take vows of personal poverty, obedience, and chastity. They dress conservatively and wear their hair short.(69) Many of the requirements ofRB arise in RT. A brother owes his Master the firmest of obedience, for nothing is dearer to Jesus Christ than obedience.(70) One should only speak when necessary, refraining from idle chatter and laughter. Hand gestures ought to supersede words at the dinner table.(71) Theft and heresy are two wrongs worthy of expulsion from the house that also appear in the aforementioned Chapter 4 of RB. The second tier of offenses, all worthy of losing one’s habit, include contact with a woman and giving the alms of the house to a secular man (another form of theft).(72) RT specifically addresses swearing as vile no matter what the conditions. A brother should say nothing but good things, or remain silent. Certainly then, lying is an offense worthy of losing one’s habit–particularly lying to discredit a fellow brother.(73) Physically assaulting a brother, as in RB, is intolerable, and in this case worthy of losing one’s habit and even getting put in irons.(74) The Templars and Benedictine monks clearly should lead similar lives of brotherhood, moderation in all things, and purity worthy of Christ.
RT parallels RB in requiring plain, one-color habits. Old clothing should be given to the needy. The Templar Rule forbids pointed shoes and shoe-laces, attributing such things to pagans, and the wearing of long hair, facial or otherwise. The Master doles out a mattress, bolster, and blanket for one’s bedding.(75)
Eating should be done in silence. No doubt because of the more strenuous military lives of the Templars, meat is allowed, though only thrice a week, excluding Christmas, All Saints, Assumption, and the feasts of the twelve disciples. Specifically, brothers may eat two meat meals on Sundays, but none on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays. Undiluted wine is allowed in RT, but not between dinner and Vespers.(76) The diet of the brothers is limited to what is needed to sustain them adequately amidst their labors. The Templars and Benedictine monks share analogous eating practices in this respect. The Templars receive more food because they require more as soldier-monks.
Crucial to the practice of both orders is prayer. When not on military campaigns, the Templars are to lead typical monastic lives including devotion to God.(77) Though details naturally vary, the general methods of the orders’ prayer services run parallel. Part of following the ways of Christ entails devotion to God and remembrance of the Scriptures and Saints. RBplainly outlines the schedule of devotion for a Benedictine monastery, and RT never loses sight of its importance, despite the attention that the defense of the Holy Land demanded of the Templar faculties.
St. Benedict considered prayer–silent or communal–the most important element of monasticism; in fact, it was the justification of a monk’s existence.(78) Rather quickly, RB details how a monastery should properly conduct prayer. It begins with when Matins should be said. Winter months require the brothers to get up in the eighth hour of the night, that is, daybreak. Certain psalms are said in the Night and Day offices. The daybreak Matins differ from Sundays to ordinary days, as do the Lauds after them. Brothers are to sing “Alleluia” specific times and ways on certain days. Above all, humility and purity must course through every prayer said, every song sung.(79) Monks must basically drop everything upon hearing the signal for prayer. A tardy brother must sit in a special section where all can see him, so that embarrassment may induce correction. He is not allowed to sit outside, where chatter and sleep can corrupt him.(80) Brothers who are too far away from the oratory, because of distant work or travel, must pray the Divine Office where they are.(81) At meals, a brother reads while everyone else remains silent. Thrice the reader chants, “O Lord, You will open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise.”(82) Prayer entwines with work and sleep to keep the monks active and pious, thus evading idleness.
For Templar houses in the West and brothers not involved in any military endeavors, RT provides a strong schedule of prayers. When the bell tolls for matins, a Templar must immediately make his way to hear the Office. He should listen to the matins silently, then say thirteen paternosters. Later each day the bell summons the brothers to hear prime, mass, terce, then sext.(83) Prayer is said at the meals just as in a Benedictine monastery. A priest may say the blessing, and one paternoster must precede the breaking of bread. The same holds true for vespers–the bell must be heeded promptly. When compline arrives to end the monastic day, the brothers should be in place and may share in a communal drink. When compline itself begins, the drinking should give way to silence and attentive prayer. One must seek permission to miss a prayer service. In these ways, the Order of the Temple follows the Rule’s message: “If we love God, we should willingly hear and listen to His holy words.”
From leadership to the responsibilities and prayer methods of the brethren, the Rule of the Templars contains strong parallels to the Benedictine Rule. Though the military aspects of the Templars turned them into an international, wealthy powerhouse, their code of life in theory never lost traces of St. Benedict’s influence. Though the Benedictine and Templar Rules were not followed to the letter throughout history, their messages are timeless. Benedict’s Rule carries weight today, not only adapted by orders such as the Cistercians, but valuable to anyone seeking a life of piety and simplicity. Equally immortal are the Templars, who stand tall in history as “lions of war and lambs at the hearth; rough knights on the battlefield, pious monks in the chapel; formidable to the enemies of Christ, gentleness itself to His friends.”(85)
1. Walter Nigg, Warriors of God, New York, 1972, p. 137.
2. C.H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism, New York, 1984, p. 146-147.
3. Malcolm Barber, The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Templars, Cambridge, 1995, p. 6-7.
4. Antony C. Meisel and M.L. Del Mastro, trans. and intro., The Rule of St. Benedict, New York, 1975, Chapter 64, p. 99-100 (hereafter, abbreviated RB); Judith Upton-Ward, trans. and intro., The Rule of the Templars, Woodbridge, 1992, cl. 198-222, p. 67-70 (hereafter RT).
5. RB, Chapter 58, p. 93-95; RT, cl. 657-686, p. 168-174.
6. For the most part, RB covers prayer in Chapters 8 through 20 (p. 61-69). RT treats the subject over several sections, which will be discussed further later in this paper.
7. The section of RT entitled “The Hierarchical Statutes” (cl. 39-223, p. 77-223) covers this material. It will be covered more specifically later.
8. RB, Chapter 2, p. 48.
9. RT, cl. 39, p. 29.
10. RB, Chapter 53, p. 90.
11. RT, cl. 98, p. 43-44.
12. RB, Chapter 36, p. 78.
13. RB, Chapter 27, p. 72-73. The Good Shepherd story is found in Matthew 16:10-14.
14. RT, cl. 97, p. 43.
15. RT, cl. 47, p. 30-31. The Rule includes an effective message from a Bishop of Turin, St. Maxime (d. 423), on this matter: “May the leniency be no greater than the fault; nor excessive punishment cause the sinner to return to evil deeds.”
16. RB, Chapter 5, p. 54-55.
17. Dom Hubert van Zeller, The Holy Rule, New York, 1958, chapter 5, p. 85. This book’s chapters conveniently correspond by number with those of RB itself.
18. RB, Chapter 26, p. 72.
19. RB, Chapter 54, p. 91.
20. RB, Chapter 57, p. 93.
21. RB, Chapter 55, p. 92.
22. RB, Chapter 60, p. 96. Chapter 62 deals with the ordination of monks by an Abbot.
23. RT, cl. 98, p. 44
24. Ian C. Hannah, Christian Monasticism: A Great Force in History, New York, 1925, p. 199.
25. RT, cl. 39, p. 29.
26. RT, cl. 35, p. 28.
27. RB, Chapter 68, p. 103.
28. RT, cl. 313, p. 88-89.
29. Lawrence, p. 26. Lawrence is speaking of RB specifically, but his comment holds true for the Master of the Templar as well.
30. RB, Chapter 3, p. 51.
31. Barber, p. 187.
32. RT, cl. 395, p. 107-108.
33. RB, Chapter 21, p. 69.
34. van Zeller, Chapter 65, p. 420.
35. RB, Chapter 65, p. 101-102.
36. RB, Chapter 31, p. 74-75.
37. RB, Chapter 66, p. 102.
38. RT, cl. 99-100, p. 44.
39. RT, cl. 101-109, p. 44-46.
40. RT, cl. 110-129, p. 47-51.
41. RT, cl. 130-131, p. 51-52.
42. RT, cl. 132-136, p. 52-53.
43. RT, cl. 180, p. 63.
44. RT, cl. 177-179, p. 62-63.
45. RT, cl. 173-176, p. 61-62.
46. RT, cl. 181, p. 63.
47. According to Upton-Ward’s Introduction (p. 13-14), the Hierarchical Statutes define the hierarchy of the Order, detailing aspects of conventual, military, and religious life, as well as attire and duties of the brothers.
48. Lawrence, p. 27. Chapter 64 of RB (p. 99-100) covers elections.
49. RB, Chapter 64, p. 99-100.
50. RT, cl. 198-201, p. 67-68.
51. RT, cl. 204, p. 69.
52. RT, cl. 198-222, p. 67-72. Clearly, the process of deciding a Grand Master of the Temple is more exhaustive than the two-page RB version, but the theme of wise, careful voting runs strong in both.
53. Barber, p. 17.
54. Barber, p. 45. Barber, p. 16-17, discusses other ways in which knights broke with their past upon Templar admission, such as giving up hawking, hunting, elaborate attire, and other “aristocratic” penchants.
55. Van Zeller, Chapter 58. Appropriately, van Zeller chapter is one of the longest in his book, and analyzes what the aspirant must go through to gain acceptance into the Order.
56. Henry Treece, The Crusades, New York, 1994, p. 137.
57. RT, cl. 168-172, p. 658-676. This is a string of standard questions asked by the Order, followed by anticipated answers by the would-be brother.
58. RT, cl. 679, p. 172.59. RT, cl. 657-685, p. 168-174.
60. RB, Chapter 1, p. 48.
61. RB, Chapter 1, p. 48.
62. RB, Chapter 4, p. 52-53.
63. RB, Chapter 70, p. 104.
64. RB, Chapter 55, p. 91-92.
65. RB, Chapter 22, p. 70. Regarding the “encouraging” of heavy sleepers, van Zeller draws the conclusion that even this act must be done silently, with a hand signal perhaps. See van Zeller, Chapter 22, p. 188.
66. RB, Chapter 39-41, p. 80-81.
67. Van Zeller, Chapter 39, p. 261.
68. Hannah, p. 77.
69. Lawrence, p. 199.
70. RT, cl. 39, p. 29.
71. RT, cl. 23; 31-32, p. 25 & 27.
72. RT, Penances, p. 73-79.
73. RT, cl. 325 & 453, p. 91 & 121 (swearing and lying, respectively).
74. RT, cl. 234, p. 74.
75. RT, cl. 17-22, p. 24-25.
76. RT, cl. 23, 26, 27-28; 286-287, 295-297, p. 26-27, 83-85.
77. Barber, p. 208.
78. Nigg, p. 143.
79. RB, Chapters 8-20, p. 61-69.
80. RB, Chapter 43, p. 83.
81. RB, Chapter 50, p. 89.
82. RB, Chapter 38, p. 79. Actual quote is Psalm 51:15.
83. Prime is the liturgical office sung at the first hour of the day, at sunrise. Terce is sung at the third hour. Sext is at the sixth hour. In the evening, Vespers are carried out.
84. RT, cl. 279-312, p. 82-89.
85. Lawrence, p. 199. A stirring quote by Jacques de Vitry.
Barber, Malcolm. The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple, Cambridge, 1995.
Barber, Malcolm. The Trial of the Templars, Cambridge, 1978.
Hannah, Ian. Christian Monasticism: A Great Force in History, New York, 1925.
Lawrence, C.H. Medieval Monasticism, New York, 1984.
Meisel, Antony C. & M.L. Del Mastro, trans. & intro. The Rule of St. Benedict, New York, 1975.
Nigg, Walter. Warriors of God, New York, 1972.
Thatcher, Oliver J. & Edward H. McNeal. “The Benedictine Rule”, in A Source Book For Mediaeval History, E. Woelfflin, ed.
Theisen, Abbot Primate Jerome. “The Rule of Saint Benedict”, in The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, 1995.
Treece, Henry. The Crusades, New York, 1994.
Van Zeller, Hubert. The Holy Rule, New York, 1958.
Upton-Ward, Judith, trans. & intro. The Rule of the Templars, Woodbridge, 1992.
*This essay grew out of a paper written for an undergraduate course on the Crusades.
Copyright (C) 1997, Steven Grobschmidt. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents,including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.