The Templars and Maritime Activities


The Knights Templar is a monastic military order that emerged in the Holy Land in the 12th century. In the beginning, the Knights had no interest or need in engaging in maritime activities in the Mediterranean area. After all, the order was originally founded to protect traveling Western pilgrims coming to the kingdom of Jerusalem.

However, as the Knights developed and expanded in the Middle East, they had to survey and guard Jaffa and Acre's quays as well, where the travelers land. Over a short period of time, the Templars own nearly twenty commanderies on the coast. The only means of communication through these commanderies is by sea, as most of them had direct access to it. 

The Templar's relationship with the waters started developing. In 1162, they imported a huge quantity of iron from Italy to Acre. A few years later, the order owned fleets in France that exported wine to England.

As the Templars became skilled fighters and traders, the sea became essential to their activities to transport goods and me. The various wars that the order took part in required the brothers to be dispatched to the Middle East. They used their own vessels and also merchant chips.

Not only that, but the Templars had strong political and military connections. They were often employed as envoys by kings and popes. Their international reputation led strong figures to involve them in matters of maritime transport.

The Templar's engagement in maritime activities is only proof that the order had a significant influence and power in the Medieval Ages. They went from a small group of knights in the holy land to an institution with a vast organizational structure and impact. Although it is unknown how many vessels did the Templars known, it is a fact that they mastered the art of maritime.


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