Editors' note: The following passage is taken from a treatise written in the early 12th century by the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, on behalf of the fledgling Knights Templar. It might be viewed as a combination of exhortation to the Knights, and advertisement to the population in general. Officially it is an answer to a letter written to Bernard by his friend Hugh de Payens, one of the founders of the Templars.
We have reproduced the prologue and the first five chapters of this treatise here, using the translation of Conrad Greenia. These first sections deal directly with the Knights Templar and are of great importance to students of the early military orders. The remaining sections deal allegorically with holy sites in Palestine, and are equally interesting, if less directly relevant to the foundation of the Templars. The full text, along with comprehensive notes, may be found in The Cistercian Fathers Series: Number Nineteen, The Works of Bernard of Clairvaux: Volume Seven, Treatises III, translated by Conrad Greenia, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Mich., 1977.
Copyright (C) 1996, Bernard of Clairvaux, In Praise of the New Knighthood, prologue-chapter five, translated by Conrad Greenia ocso, from Bernard of Clairvaux: Treatises Three, Cistercian Fathers Series, Number Nineteen, © Cistercian Publications, 1977, pages 127-145 (without notes). All rights reserved. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.