The knights templar 1 of 2 First banking institution

Since the birth of Christianity in Rome, the ultimate goal for its followers was to visit sacred places in accordance with their religion. Pilgrims travel from across Europe to Jerusalem just to fulfill their life long devotion to their scriptures. The emergence of Islam altered the seemingly seamless journey of the pilgrims to Jerusalem. The siege of Jerusalem in 637 by the Rashidun army came to an end giving the Muslims control over it. This didn’t stop the pilgrims from making the journey even after the city fell under Muslim control. As the number of pilgrims increased, bandits took advantage and harassed the devotees on the route to Jerusalem.The greatest threat was the appearance of a group of Muslim fanatics that massacred “infidels” as one of their Islamic duties. Because of this a new order of knights was formed in 1118 in Jerusalem. These Knights took charge of the safety of the pilgrims on the road to their Holy land. They were among the most feared knights of that time as their devotion to the scriptures gave them the willingness to die. The attempt to regain Jerusalem from the Muslims gave rise to the first international bankers fueled primarily by conquests.

The Templars started out living poor and a life of devotion to the scriptures. However, as the continuing crusades against the Muslims went on, they slowly accumulated wealth as papal bulls authorized them to keep whatever they acquired from the Muslims. The Templars also accepted gifts from the faithful as well as transporting valuable items from major trading routes and shipping lanes. Over the course of 200 years, the Knights gained dizzying amounts of wealth, land and at one point nearly 800 castles which later on served as full service banks. The Knights became bankers of Monarchs for their mortgages as well as offering loans to finance wars with their headquarters in Paris.

A knight could deposit money in Jerusalem and make a withdrawal in the form of gold coins when he arrives in Paris. The Knights templar has transformed into an institution of great wealth and power. Nobody could seem to match their strength and they even planned to form their own state just like how the Teutonic knights formed Prussia. However, all of these would come to an end and all their wealth and influence would be brought down over a loan and a series of Theocratic harassment by a struggling monarch, King Philip IV of France.

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