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Templars or Knights Templars


Nine French knights bound themselves, at the beginning of the twelfth century, to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, and received the name of Templars, because their arms were kept in a building given to them for the purpose by the abbot of the convent called the Temple of Jerusalem. They used to call themselves the “Poor Soldiers of the Holy City.” Their habit was a long white mantle, to which subsequently was added a red cross on the left shoulder. Their famous war-cry was “Bauseant,” from their banner, which was striped black and white, and charged with a red cross; the word Bauseant is old French for a black and white horse.

Seal of the Knights Templars (two knights riding on one horse). The first Master of the Order and his friend were so poor that they had but one horse between them, a circumstance commemorated by the seal of the order. The order afterwards became wealthy and powerful.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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