The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon were a religious organization as part of the Roman Catholic Church. During their 200-year existence, the Knights Templar (as they are popularly known) developed from a primarily military and monastic purpose to become the wealthiest and one of the most powerful Church orders.
The order had influential backers, and soon became a favored charity, which saw it gain public notoriety and finances through donations. Along with the Knights Hospitallers, the Templar grew to become the most powerful military organization in Eastern Europe, as well as amass a great collection of wealth.
Most of the influential leaders of the Templar were executed or imprisoned for life. More recently, however, the Church has reversed their position on the Templars, recognizing them as a charitable organization that was involved in the betterment of society and one that was subjugated by scandalous accusations by the Emperor of France.
All said and done, the Templars are a fascinating study of Christian and European politics in the Middle Ages. During their years in power, the Templars were practically a household name. They had large standing armies in multiple power centers of Europe, and their military might was feared and respected by their enemies.
The purpose of this book is to present a historical and factual account of the life and times of the Knights Templar and to pursue the number of speculative theories about this order from the curtain of established fact.