Why the Templars lived 30 years longer than other people?
At the time when life expectancy was 25-40 years, many Templars lived till 70 and more. The main reason was their diet rich in fish, legumes, and vegetables.
Why on earth we’ve started talking about Templars? Maybe intriguing Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” boosted the interest to the Knights Templar, or simply Templars, that for nearly two centuries during the Middle Ages were among the wealthiest and most powerful of the Western Christian military orders? Maybe.
Everything in the book rotates around the greatest mystery of the Holy Grail. According to the author, the Holy Grail is not a physical chalice, but a woman, namely Mary Magdalene, who carried the bloodline of Christ. The existence of the bloodline was the secret that was contained in the documents discovered by the Crusaders after they conquered Jerusalem in 1099. The Church has suppressed the truth about Mary Magdalene and the Jesus bloodline for 2000 years because they fear the power of the sacred feminine. The Knights Templar was organized to keep the secret.
Is it true or not, we’ll probably never know, and it’s not the point of this article. The point is the surprising fact that the Templars lived almost twice longer than other people. In their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, Templar knights also were the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades for whom physical abilities were a priority. Dietary discipline was of utmost importance in keeping the needed level of fitness. The church understood that the human body needed a well-balanced diet to be able to function at an optimal level.
Bread was a staple food. It was consumed with vegetables, fish, meal and drinks.
Different meals of vegetables (cabbage, lettuces, artichokes, truffles, asparagus, etc…), beans, chick peas, and fruits were eaten. It is also known that Asian spices made their way into the diets of the Crusaders.
Broth was used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of water, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered.
By the way, at the Templar’s time potatoes didn’t find their way to Europe, although cultivation of potatoes in South America may go back 10,000 years. Historians speculate that potatoes were brought back from Central America by Spanish Conquistadors before the end of the 16th century. Sailors returning from the Andes to Spain with silver presumably brought potatoes, maize and tomatoes for their own food on the trip. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe.
The dietary and daily life rules were very strict. The Latin Rule (also known as the “Specific Behaviour for the Templar Order”) outlined the ideal behaviour of a Templar knight in 72 clauses. Rules 23 to 30 gives us great insight on not only what the Brother Templars could eat and when, but in what way they were to eat it.
On the Eating of Meat
Rule 26. “It should be sufficient for you to eat meat three times a week, except at Christmas, All Saints, the Assumption and the feast of the twelve apostles. For it is understood that the custom of eating flesh corrupts the body. But if a fast when meat must be forgone falls on a Tuesday, the next day let it be given to the brothers in plenty. And on Sundays all the brothers of the Temple, the chaplains and the clerks shall be given two meat meals in honour of the holy resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
On Weekday Meals
Rule 27. “On the other days of the week, that is Mondays, Wednesdays and even Saturdays, the brothers shall have two or three meals of vegetables or other dishes eaten with bread; and we intend that this should be sufficient and command that it should be adhered to. For he who does not eat one meal shall eat the other.”
On Friday Meals
Rule 28. “On Fridays, let Lenten meat be given communally to the whole congregation, out of reverence for the passion of Jesus Christ; and you will fast from All Saints until Easter, except for Christmas Day, the Assumption and the feast of the twelve apostles. But weak and sick brothers shall not be kept to this. From Easter to All Saints they may eat twice, as long as there is no general fast.”
- Eating meat for more than three times a week was prohibited.
- Fish was usually eaten on Fridays, and on the other days of the week.
- Moreover, based on Biblical sources against eating in excess (gluttony is a mortal sin) that portion control was also a vital part of the Templar’s diet.
- To maintain good health and prevent diseases, the Templars had to obey the strict hygienic rules: they would eat only on clean tables and had to wash their hands before eating
The Knights Templar knew very well that to function physically and mentally at the best possible level, one has to have a well-balanced and well-portioned diet. So, learn from the past.
Latin Rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Rule
The Knights Templar Diet: https://steelfighting.com/2011/12/04/the-knights-templar-diet/
The Primitive Rule of the Templars: http://www.templiers.org/regle1-eng.php