Did the Templars Go to America?

Did the Templars Go to America?

The question of whether the Knights Templar, a medieval Catholic military order, reached the shores of America before Columbus is a topic that has long fascinated historians, conspiracy theorists, and Templar enthusiasts alike. This idea of Templars in America is controversial, as it challenges the broadly accepted narrative of historical events. This article aims to analyze the arguments and evidence presented by those who suggest that the Templars may have discovered America. 

Templars: A Brief Overview

Before delving into the central question, it is critical to understand who the Knights Templar were. Established around 1119 CE, the Templars started as a small group of knights sworn to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Over time, they evolved into a powerful and wealthy organization with estates throughout Europe and the Middle East. The Templars were also famed for their maritime skills, leading many to wonder, “Did the Templars have the ships to come to America?

What Nationality Were the Knights Templar?

The Knights Templar, formally known as The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, was a medieval Christian military order established in the early 12th century. The order’s founders were French knights who pledged to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land during the tumultuous time of the Crusades. Consequently, the initial membership of the Templars was predominantly French.

However, as the order gained approval and recognition from the Church and expanded its operations, it attracted members from across Europe. The Knights Templar, at its zenith, was a pan-European organization. The order’s properties, called preceptories, were spread throughout many regions, including England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the Holy Roman Empire.

Knights who joined the order were required to swear vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, similar to the commitments made by monks. Despite the initial French dominance, the Templars eventually included members of various nationalities from across Europe. The multinational character of the order facilitated its operations across different countries and made it one of the most influential organizations of the medieval era.

Hence, while the Knights Templar began as a French-founded organization, it quickly grew into a multinational entity with knights from numerous European nations. Its expansive reach and diverse membership contributed significantly to the order’s vast power and enduring legacy.

Evidence of Templars in America

Those who argue that the Templars reached America often point to various pieces of circumstantial evidence. In the American Northeast, several stone structures and artifacts bearing symbols associated with the Templars. For instance, the Newport Tower in Rhode Island and the Westford Knight carving in Massachusetts, dating back to pre-Columbian times, have been touted as evidence of the early Templar presence in America.

Another prominent argument revolves around the Kensington Runestone, discovered in Minnesota in 1898. The runestone contains an inscription in Old Norse, which some believe tells a story of Templar explorers. However, the authenticity of this artifact remains hotly contested among scholars.

Templars’ Maritime Abilities

A crucial aspect of the Templars in America theory lies in assessing the Templars’ naval capabilities. The Templars were well-known for their maritime activities in the Mediterranean, including the transport of pilgrims and goods. They maintained a sizable fleet and had access to the best shipbuilding technology of the time.

But could these ships have made the journey to America? The answer to “When did the Templars come to America?” is predicated on the possibility of such a voyage. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Templars could have built vessels capable of transatlantic journeys. Their ships would likely have been similar to the Norse longships or the slightly later cog – a type of ship known to have been used by the Templars.

Analysis of the Theory: Did the Templars Discover America?

While these points offer tantalizing possibilities, we must approach them critically. The Templars certainly had the maritime capabilities for transatlantic voyages, but capability does not equate to execution. The majority of the Templars’ activities were concentrated in the Mediterranean and Middle East, and no solid historical documents suggest a Templar interest in exploring the Atlantic in-depth.

Additionally, the archaeological evidence provided is largely speculative. Many historians believe the Newport Tower and Westford Knight are likely the product of later European settlers, not the Templars. The Kensington Runestone’s credibility is widely disputed, with many experts classifying it as a modern hoax.

Finally, it is important to consider the geopolitical context of the time. The Templars were primarily a religious and military organization, not explorers. Their focus was on the Holy Land and defending Christian interests there rather than on discovering new lands.

Templar’s Holy Grail in America

The notion of the Templars’ Holy Grail in America is an intriguing part of Templar lore that blends history, mythology, and speculative theories. According to this idea, the Templars, rumored to be the keepers of the Holy Grail, may have transported this sacred artifact to America during their alleged pre-Columbian voyage.

Yet, the historical and archaeological evidence supporting this theory is thin at best. As per Christian lore, the Holy Grail refers to the vessel – be it a dish, plate, or cup – that Jesus used during the Last Supper, which is believed to hold miraculous properties. The connection between the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail is largely a product of medieval Arthurian legends and later mythologizing rather than historical facts.

Even the claim that the Templars traveled to America before Columbus is considered a fringe theory by mainstream historians due to a lack of conclusive evidence. The idea of them transporting the Holy Grail to America is even more speculative.

In truth, while the story of the Templars bringing the Holy Grail to America makes for exciting fiction and thought-provoking speculation, it remains unsupported by the weight of historical evidence. As such, it should be approached as a part of the rich tapestry of Templar-related myths and legends rather than an established historical fact.

Were the Knights Templar Black? 

The Knights Templar was an international Christian military order founded in the early 12th century, primarily of European descent. While their original members were mostly French, their ranks eventually included members from across Europe as they expanded. They pledged to defend Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Crusades, which marked their identity as a Western Christian organization.

The question “Were the Knights Templar Black?” is often posed in the context of exploring the diversity of this historic order. Yet, no definitive historical evidence points to the existence of Black members within the Knights Templar. Given the sociopolitical context and the racial dynamics of medieval Europe, it is doubtful that the Knights Templar included people of African descent. The Templars were primarily composed of knights from the European nobility, an overwhelmingly white demographic during the Middle Ages.

That being said, the medieval world was more interconnected than commonly believed, and there were indeed interactions between Europe and Africa. Still, these interactions did not translate into a significant presence of Black knights in the Templar order. Therefore, while the Templars had a broad geographic scope, their racial and ethnic composition was likely predominantly white, reflecting the demographics of medieval European nobility.

Conclusion: The Veracity of the Templars in America Theory

The theory that the Templars discovered America remains unproven in light of current evidence. While the idea is fascinating and makes for excellent storytelling, the lack of concrete historical and archaeological evidence makes it a fringe theory rather than an accepted historical fact.

However, as we continue to delve into the past with improved technology and methodologies, who knows what discoveries await? Until then, the idea of the Templars in America will continue to captivate imaginations and inspire lively debate.

In the end, the enduring legacy of the Knights Templar is not merely about whether or not they reached America; it’s about their significant influence on the medieval world and the intrigue that their order still generates today.