Short history on Women in the Knights Templar

The word knight was not just a job title, it was a social ranking. For a man to become a knight, he had to be formally knighted in a ceremony, or receive an accolade of knighthood for exceptional bravery or service, usually in battle. Because neither of these were typically the domains of women, it was rare for a women to carry the title of knight. However, in parts of Europe, there were chivalric orders of knighthood that were open to women.
During the early medieval period, a group of devout Christian knights joined together to form the Knights Templar. Their mission was twofold: to protect European travelers on pilgrimage in the Holy Land, but also to carry out secret military operations. When they finally took the time to write down a list of their rules, around 1129 C.E., their mandates mentioned a pre-existing practice of admitting women to the Knights Templar. In fact, women were permitted as part of the organization during its first 10 years of existence.

A related group, the Teutonic Order, accepted women as Consorores, or Sisters. Their role was an auxiliary one, often related to support and hospital services during times of war, including on the battlefield.
In the mid-12th century, Moorish invaders laid the town of Tortosa, Spain, under siege. Because the town's menfolk were already off at battle fighting on another front, it fell to the women of Tortosa to set up defenses. They dressed in men's clothing—which was certainly easier to fight in—picked up weapons, and held their town with an array of swords, farm implements, and hatchets.
In the aftermath, Count Ramon Berenguer of Barcelona founded the Order of the Hatchet in their honor. Elias Ashmole wrote in 1672 that the count granted the women of Tortosa numerous privileges and immunities:
"He also ordained, that at all publick meetings, the Women should have precedence of the Men; That they should be exempted from all Taxes; and that all the Apparel and Jewels, though of never so great value, left by their dead Husbands, should be their own."

Knights Templars were known to be monks dedicated to the crusade. There is records in Mühlen, a municipality in Styria, Austria, where official Temple where nuns were trained to serve the order. In other Templar houses, there was, also, findings of secret female devotes to the monastic order.

Ermengarde of Rourell, Templar preceptrix (female house commander), originally joined the Order in the late 12th century as the first female house commander in history.

One of the most famous is Joan of Arc. Although Joan was not a member of the Knights Templar, she was a female warrior who fought for the cause of the Catholic Church. She was a skilled fighter and was instrumental in helping the French army defeat the English during the Hundred Years’ War.

Another example of a female Templar knight is Marie de St. Pol. Marie, the wife of a Templar knight. She fought alongside her husband during the Crusades. She was known for her bravery and was said to have been a skilled fighter.

Although women knights and female Templars were rare, their existence challenged the notion that women were passive and powerless in medieval Europe. These women defied social norms and took on traditionally reserved roles for men. They were warriors, leaders, and supporters of their communities and made important contributions to their societies.
Posted in Default Category on April 20 2023 at 08:15 AM
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