The Knights Templar is widely believed to be a secret society whose real purpose of existence is still debated by historians and scholars even today. The Templars, as their members were called, left behind several clues of their actions that have been passed down through generations via ancient manuscripts and hearsay. Founded around 1118 AD, the religious military Christian knighthood order has had several mysteries associated with it.
The Knights Templar History
Most stories about the Knights Templar are from hearsay. They have only compounded to their mystery. Centuries later, historians are still hunting for answers as to what happened to them, or what wealth they probably hid as treasures. And then, there are the following mysteries that have caused conspiracy theorists to work overtime.
1. The Temple Church effigies
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The Temple Church in London was constructed in 1185. Inside, there are effigies of several figures. The earliest accounts don’t agree on their numbers. The Survey of London says 11. Some quarters say nine, while others claim eight. One of the effigies is that of Earl of Pembroke William Marshal, and two others are his sons Gilbert and William. There’s one each of William de Ros, Richard of Hastings, and Geoffrey de Mandeville. The identity of others is a mystery. Sans properly armored or bearded, they don’t look like a knight. None knows why some of the knights are placed straight while others are cross-legged.
2. The Templars at Bannockburn
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What happened to the men, who escaped the purge of Templars, has been a big speculation. According to some Knights Templar history, they went north to join hands with Scottish King Robert the Bruce and fought in the Battle of Bannockburn of 1314. Many historians suggest that it won’t have been possible for Bruce to defeat the English army, without Templar help. The Knights Templar members fled persecution in France, took refuge in Scotland, and fought for Bruce. But there’s almost no historical evidence of their help in the Scottish victory. They seemed to emerge out of nowhere.
3. The Glooscap myth
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According to the Abenaki, Mi’kmaq, and Maliseet groups of the Atlantic, the earth was created by twins Glooscap (good) and Malsm (evil). Glooscap created humans and after killing Malsm, equipped humans with basic survival knowledge, and finally disappeared. He promised to return if required. The Glooscap legend grew over time. In the 1950s, popular science fiction writer Frederick Pohl, claimed that Norwegian nobleman Henry I Sinclair was actually Glooscap. He believed Glooscap was a person in flesh and blood. Many from the Mi’kmaq supported Pohl. But the real identity of Glooscap is still a mystery.
4. Beat Columbus to America?
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According to a 1588 Venetian manuscript, the Knights Templar is said to have beaten Columbus in discovering America. The manuscript claims that Italian navigators Antonio and Nicolo Zeno recorded details of a journey they began in 1380. They chronicled their experiences on an island called Frislanda. Shipwrecked and stranded, a mysterious man came to rescue Nicolo who was the first to land there. He called this man Prince Zichmni and hailed him as a great warrior. Nicolo and Antonio spent the next 14 years fighting for Prince Zichmni. They learnt of a land full of strange animals and savages from a group of fishermen that had vanished for 25 years. The three headed for that direction.
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5. Henry Sinclair and the New World
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The legend of Norwegian nobleman Henry Sinclair leading the Knights Templar to the New World is largely based on the claimed adventures of Nicolo, Antonio and Prince Zichmni. Many researchers of Knights Templar history argue that Zichmni was an interpretation of Sinclair. The theory of his journey didn’t gain much ground until a British Museum librarian inspected the manuscript and the journey map again in 1873. It raised questions about what the Templars did in New World. Unfortunately, there’s no record of their activities there.