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Archaeology & History

Why did the Knights Templar live so long ?

By T.K. Randall
April 10, 2016 · Comment icon 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 | Comments (21)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by White Unicorn 8 years ago
Modern day Knights Templar have nothing to do with the originals. Modern groups are just using the name because of its mystique. One modern Knights of Templar degree is said to be have been degree renamed in honor of the original Knights but not of the same order in itself.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Bloodflower 8 years ago
Medieval Knights Templars diet: https://steelfighting.com/2011/12/04/the-knights-templar-diet/ The knights had mainly fruit also. These knights were very fit and understood hygiene well.
Comment icon #14 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I would also imagine the Knights were able to get the best medical care possible for that time, which couldn't hurt either along with the diet.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Calibeliever 8 years ago
One of the best predictors of longevity is wealth.
Comment icon #16 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
They chose ... wisely?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Dyna 8 years ago
Some of you seem to have missed that this is about the historic group clearly living into the 60's is nothing today. reread...
Comment icon #18 Posted by kobolds 8 years ago
now days alot fake knights templar group/organization . don't bother to look or google to find how to join . general rules. - if you are qualified , they will find you . - only a master is allow to recruit apprentice . - only when pass test apprentice then you can become a knight and only at certain ages you can take the test , if failed then you have to wait until another which can be 10 to 20 years later . and each knight carry a family name & title - as apprentice, you are work for free - once you join there's no quit, after you die, you property / money will belong to the templar - kni... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by HollyDolly 8 years ago
The knights Templar were also in case anyone has forgotten were also religious as well,not just warriors. Most monastic orders of men and women follow a similar diet as they mentioned. Of course there was drunkness and gluttony amongst monks and friars too. Many religious orders like the Discalced Carmelites, Carthusians, Trappists and others still to this day follow this type of diet. Most think of the Knights Templars of France, but they were also in Spain and Portugal,England and Germany. Never have been able to find out much in enlish about them in other countries. I'm mainly interested in... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by White Unicorn 8 years ago
The knights Templar were also in case anyone has forgotten were also religious as well,not just warriors. Most monastic orders of men and women follow a similar diet as they mentioned. Of course there was drunkness and gluttony amongst monks and friars too. Many religious orders like the Discalced Carmelites, Carthusians, Trappists and others still to this day follow this type of diet. Most think of the Knights Templars of France, but they were also in Spain and Portugal,England and Germany. Never have been able to find out much in enlish about them in other countries. I'm mainly interested in... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by keithisco 8 years ago
Just a couple of aggravating facts... 1. Freemasonry developed in the late 15th Century (possibly) but first definitive date is 1717 in London 2. "The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon" (correct form of address for the Knights Templar) were disbanded by Pope Clement V in 1312, therefore there is a 400 year gap between the two "organisations" 3. Many high ranking Templars were executed but by no means all of them 4. Portugal accepted ALL Knights Templar and gave them freedom and security in that nation (the same as in Scotland) 5. Average life - expectancy data is heav... [More]


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