Founded as the Poor Soldiers of Christ of the Temple of Solomon – The Knights Templar became the most powerful of the militant Monastic Orders. It was founded in 1120 by nine knights who sought to alleviate and counter the depredations that pilgrims too commonly endured on the long route to Christian-controlled Jerusalem from Muslim bandits and warbands.The knights relied on charity donations and their seal depicts two knights riding a single horse – a reference to their initial landless, poor status. It is ironic then that a handful of cash-strapped knights with good intentions would rise to become one of the most economically and militarily powerful organizations in Europe.
Often the vanguard of Christian forces in the Holy Lands, Templars were apex warriors and a bane to their foes. In 1177 they won a great victory against Saladin when 500 knights and several thousand footmen led by the leprosy-afflicted King Baldwin IV charged at Saladins overconfident and ill-prepared army of 26,000, shattering them utterly. Routed and in panic, few survived. Saladin himself would be humiliated, only avoiding capture by fleeing upon a racing camel. Remembering this disgrace, Saladin would take no chances with the Templars he captured after the catastrophic Battle of Hattin in 1187, ordering them beheaded immediately.
Piece by piece, the Crusader Kingdoms lost land, most despairingly Jerusalem itself to growing and more unified Muslim forces. The identity and purpose of the Knights Templar was mired in the Levant, without it they were without ultimate purpose and popular support would wane with disastrous consequences when the Order would become the primary creditor to greatly indebted King Philip of France…
No Templar knight would be without a dagger on his person, and this dagger from Generation 2 bears the red cross of the Order upon its round pommel. Designed by Bruce Brookhart, the tempered blade is made from 5160 high carbon steel and the crossguard and pommel are likewise steel. The wooden grip is covered with tight black leather. It comes with a wood-core scabbard covered in brown leather with a brass chape.