Even 700 years after the suppression of the Order of the Temple and the execution of the last grandmaster, Jacques de Molay, there is no shortage of publications on this influential military order. Yet unlike other medieval institutions the Templars are subject to speculative fiction and popular myth which threaten to swamp the fruits of scholarly endeavour. Fortunately, recent years have produced a thriving academic scholarship which is challenging these myths. More and more sources are currently being edited, particularly those for the trial of the Templars (1307–1312). Others are still awaiting indepth study, among them, surprisingly, the greater part of the charters that cover more than 150 years of the Order’s history.
The papers in this volume step into this gap and critically evaluate new directions in Templar studies on the basis of as-yet unedited source material. Open issues and desiderata regarding the sources are discussed and from a range of inspiring results a new status quaestionis is proposed that will not only provide a better understanding of the Order’s archaeological, economical, religious, administrative and military history, but also set new points of departure for the editing of charters and administrative documents. The papers here are grouped into six sections, focusing on the headquarters of the Order, its charters, manpower and finance, religious life and finally the suppression and the Order’s afterlife.