In the early days of the Templars, as their numbers were small, the Knights lived by the Rule of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the canons first found shielding. However, in 1129, at the Council of Troyes, where the Templars were recognized as a monastic order, under the authority of the Pope, the Knights also received a document of rules concerning how they should behave and act. There was a total of 79 rules, and they are often referred to as the Rule.
The first version was written in Latin, but as most monks couldn't read it, it was translated into French a short period after the council. As the order was expanding and more members were joining, the first Rule fell short to cover all aspects of their lives. Decades later, more regulations were added to the Rule. In the 13th century, the Templars had almost 700 directives to live by. Most members, however, knew and followed only the rules that concern work and their day-to-day lives.
The Templars had rules that were shared by most monks back then. Their daily routine included religious recitation and other rituals. The Knights ate silently, listening to religious readings. Each member was assigned tasks in a weekly meeting at the Chapter.
If the standard rules were not followed, many punishments took place depending on the violation, from fasting to eating on the floor, and expulsion, the most extreme punishment.
The Rule did not only dictate what the Templars can do but also what they can own. The order's members couldn't own anything, and they were only allowed the money they needed for travels and trades of the order, to the extent that if a dead Knight was discovered to have hoarded gold or silver, he was not buried in their cemetery.
There are many captivating things about the history of the Templars. One, in particular, is their complying with The Templar Rule. The Rule was too specified that it detailed out different facets of the Templars' lives, from their behavior to clothing and tools.
In fact, most members were only allowed to wear black or brown. Monks and those born Knights, on the other hand, wore white as a signification of their purity and highness and were considered the "real" Knights. Given the high temperatures in the east of the Mediterranean, linen shirts underneath the cloaks were allowed from Easter till All Saint's day (November 1st). The Rule also had regulations concerning food. The Templars were allowed to eat meat three times per week, except for Friday where they had eggs or fish.
The Knights were fierce warriors. In fact, many battles marked the order's history, which is why they paid additional attention to the details of their military garments and equipment. Every Knight had a squire to protect them and had up to three horses. If the squire served for free, and for God only, he was immune against bad treatment and physical punishments. Twice a day, the Knights needed to check their military equipment to have everything ready when war comes.
The Knights assembled in the Templar house or the commandery, but they spent a long time in the field. Battling and fighting for the order was so sacred that running away from it resulted in immediate expulsion. The rules concerning war regulations were stricter to the Knights than sergeants. They were not allowed to retreat even if disarmed. These rules made the Knights who they were, and all the members lived by them.
Bravery is the one characteristic of the Templars that no one has ever questioned or doubted throughout history. No matter how many Knights fell in battle, they were the last to leave.
The Templars were different than most monastic orders. They grew rapidly, and the number of new recruits was enormous.