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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1860 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #105 on: February 01, 2009, 10:55:13 pm »

surround and guard it; one of these he made a knight-preceptor, who was to keep close by him with a banner furled on a spear, that, in case of that which the marshal carried being torn, or having fallen, or met with any other mishap, he might display it. If the marshal was wounded or surrounded, this knight was to raise the banner in his stead. No one was to lower a banner, or thrust with it, on any account, for fear of causing confusion. The brethren were to fight on all sides, and in every way in which they could annoy the foe, but still to keep near enough to be able to defend the banner of the order, if needful. But if a Templar saw a Christian in imminent danger, he was at liberty to follow the dictates of his conscience, and hasten to his relief. He was to return to his place as speedily as possible; but if the Turks had gotten between him and the banner, he was to join the nearest Christian squadron, giving the preference to the Hospitaliers, if they were at hand. Should the Christians meet with defeat, the Templar, under penalty of expulsion from the order, was not to quit the field so long as the banner of the order flew; and, should there be no red-cross flag to be seen, he was to join that of the Hospitaliers, or any other. Should every Christian banner have disappeared, he was to retreat as well as he could.

Such were the military principles of the order of the Temple--principles which,


                    instead of rage,
Deliberate valour breathed, firm and unmoved
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;

and never, unquestionably, was more unflinching valour displayed than by the Templars. Where all were brave and daring as the fabled heroes of romance, the Templar was still regarded as prominent, and the Cardinal of Vitry could thus speak of them in

p. 275

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