Archaeology & History
Why did the Knights Templar live so long ?
By T.K. Randall
April 10, 2016 · 21 comments
The Knights Templar lived much longer than most other people. Image Credit: Karl Friedrich Lessing
Researchers have revealed the most likely reason why the enigmatic order had such a high life expectancy.
Originally founded to help protect Christian pilgrims from bandits and highwaymen in the Holy Land, the monastic order of the Knights Templar would go on to become extremely rich and prosperous.
Now in a new study, researchers have been revisiting the time of the order in an effort to solve one of its most enduring mysteries - why did members of the Knights Templar seem to live in excess of 60 years at a time in history when the average lifespan was only 25-40 years ?
The order's original Grand Master Hugues de Payens for instance lived to the age of 66 while Grand Master Jacques De Molay, who was burned at the stake, had reached the grand old age of 67.
The key to the order's longevity, it turns out, was its diet and hygiene practices.
"Washing hands before eating was mandatory," wrote study co-author Francesco Franceschi. "Moreover, the refectory was always very clean with tablecloths available. As for food, hunting was strictly forbidden. Fish, cheese, olive oil and fresh fruit were much appreciated."
Such habits were not typical of the Middle Ages - a time when most people ate diets rich in fats and calories which led to health problems such as diabetes, gout and high blood pressure.
The Knights Templar, it seems, may have actually enjoyed a better diet than most of us do today.
Source: Discovery News
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