23 June 2007

The Master of the Temple

Since you have born with me will I have complained about finishing my paper on Robert of Craon, second Master of the Temple, here is a key paragraph from it, summing up why I thought the guy was important.

Birth, upbringing and training had prepared Robert for this position. He was a product of a family with a tradition of loyalty to the counts of Anjou, of excellence in command, be it military, judicial, or social, and of deep religious feeling. As a youth he had been present to see Pope Urban II, a guest of his grandfather's, call for what would become the First Crusade, and he had seen his grandfather and his uncle leave on the crusade, never to return. He grew up knowing both Robert d'Arbrissel, one of the most famous of the wondering preachers and Geoffrey of Vendôme, a powerful prince of the Church. He had also seen that same Geoffrey humiliate his older brother in the full curia of Anjou. In his career in Aquitaine he had displayed talent and vigor as a military leader for Count Vulgrin. And as a younger son with nothing to inherit, giving up a wealthy heiress, perhaps moved by his father's own deep religiosity, he had found the perfect solution in the military order of the Templars. The organization and wealth that allowed the Templars to gain their reputation, for good and bad, was in large part the legacy of Robert of Craon.

Wait for the movie. The article is a bit academic.

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