Jacques De Molay and the Knights Templars' contribution to Western society comes mainly from their role in the development of chivalry. The ideology of the Templars was a combination of austerity and secular knightly ideals. The Templars cherished liberty, religion, and honor, coupled with an active sense of justice and a determination of courage to its best end. Civilization continues to be fascinated by men of such high moral standing.
Barber, M. (1978). The trial of the Templars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Martin, E. (1978). The trial of the Templars. London: George Allen & Unwin.
The trial of the Templars occurred in two phases. The ordinary Knights were judged by provincial councils. The leadership of the Knights, including De Molay, were reserved for judgment by a papal commission. Preliminary inquiries for most of the Knights were accompanied by the cruelest methods of torture in order to extort confessions. The secrecy of the Templars' rites was used as a tool against them, giving Philip's group the opportunity to infer from this mystery the most monstrous of accusations. The Templars were accused of spitting upon the Cross, of denying Christ, of permitting sodomy, of worshipping an idol, all in the most impenetrable secrecy: "the fantasies which were produced by some suspects in order to satisfy the inquisitors who had placed them under torture or mental pressure were then taken up by the prosecution and elaborated into new charges against other suspects, who then produced new fantasies, and so on" (Partner, 1990, p. 78). Although there was a great lack of evidence, the Templars' aloofness and steadfastness for maintaining secrecy worked against them.