Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Rule of the Templars


The first rule for the Templars, called the Primitive Rule, was composed in Latin and was the result of discussions concerning the establishment of the Order at the Council of Troyes in 1129. The Primitive Rule was translated into French sometime after the Council of Pisa in May of 1135, since it contains clauses not found in the original Latin version, and a list of feast days first set forth at the Pisan council. Several French-language additions were made to the Primitive Rule over the years, including sections concerning Hierarchichal Statutes (dating to 1165), Penances (one section c.1257-1267, another after 1268), Conventual Life (before 1187), Holding of Ordinary Chapters (after 1187?), and Reception into the Order. While many copies of the Primitive Rule came into circulation, the other parts of the rule were restricted to maintain the secrets of the Order, largely for defensive purposes. The rule is valuable for what it tells of the everyday lives of the brothers, as well as the military strategies employed by these monk-soldiers in their efforts to defend the Holy Land.


Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, W. 132.
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds fr., 1977
Dijon, Archives Départementales, H 111 (stolen in 1985) 
Rome, Accademia dei Lincei, cod. 44, A14

La Règle du Temple. Edited by Henri Courzon. Paris : Librarie Renouard, 1886

tr. The Rule of the Templars. Translated by J. M. Upton-Ward. Rochester: The Boydell Press, 1992.

Secondary Literature

Simonetta Cerrini, "La Tradition Manuscrite del la Regle du Temple," in Autour de la Premiere Croisade, Actes du Colloque de la Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1996, 203-219.


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