The piastre or piaster is any of a number of units of currency. The term originates from the Italian for "thin metal plate"; the name was applied to Spanish and Hispanic American pieces of eight, or pesos, by Venetian traders in the Levant in the 16th century. These pesos, minted continually for centuries, were accepted by traders in many parts of the world. After the countries of Latin America had gained independence, pesos of Mexico began flowing in through the trade routes, became prolific in the Far East, taking the place of the Spanish pieces of eight, introduced by the Spanish at Manila, by the Portuguese at Malacca; when the French colonised Indochina, they began issuing the new French Indochinese piastre, equal in value to the familiar Spanish and Mexican pesos. In the Ottoman Empire, successive currency reforms had reduced the value of the Ottoman piastre by the late 19th century so as to be worth about two pence sterling. Hence the name piastre referred to two distinct kinds of coins in two distinct parts of the world, both of which had descended from the Spanish pieces of eight.
Because of the debased values of the piastres in the Middle East, these piastres became subsidiary units for the Turkish and Egyptian pounds. Meanwhile, in Indochina, the piastre continued into the 1950s and was subsequently renamed the riel, the kip, the dong in Cambodia and Vietnam respectively. French Indochinese piastre 1⁄100 of the Egyptian pound 1⁄100 of the Jordanian dinar 1⁄100 of the Lebanese pound 1⁄100 of the Libyan pound 1⁄100 of the South Sudanese pound 1⁄100 of the Sudanese pound 1⁄100 of the Syrian pound 1⁄100 of the Turkish lira 1⁄180 of the Cypriot pound Early private bank currency issues in French-speaking regions of Canada were denominated in piastres; the term is still unofficially used in Quebec, Franco-Manitoban, Franco-Ontarian language as a reference to the Canadian dollar. When used colloquially in this way, the term is pronounced and spelled "piasse" or "pyahs", it was based on 120 units, a quarter of, "30 sous", still in slang use when referring to 25 cents.
Piastre was the original French word for the United States dollar, used for example in the French text of the Louisiana Purchase. Calling the US dollar a piastre is still common among the millions of speakers of Cajun French and New England French. Modern French uses dollar for this unit of currency as well; the term is still used as slang for US dollars in the French-speaking Caribbean islands, most notably Haiti. Many newcomers to Canada Quebec, mistakenly pronounce the term as "pièce" from pièce de monnaie but it is pronounced as "piasse" in French or "pyahs" in English pronunciation. Piastre is 1⁄100 of the Turkish new lira, as well as the old lira; the piastre is still used in Mauritius when bidding in auction sales to the way that guineas are used at racehorse auctions. It is equivalent to 2 rupees. Piastra Decaen piastre Eckfeldt, Jacob Reese. A manual of gold and silver coins of all nations, struck within the past century. Showing their history, legal basis, their actual weight and value chiefly from original and recent assays.
With which are incorporated treatises on bullion and plate, counterfeit coins, specific gravity of precious metals, etc. with recent statistics of the production and coinage of gold and silver in the world, sundry useful tables. Assay Office of the Mint. p. 132
Strozzi is the name of an ancient Florentine family, who like their great rivals the Medici family, began in banking before moving into politics. Until its exile from Florence in 1434, the Strozzi family was by far the richest in the city, was rivaled only by the Medici family, who took control of the government and ruined the Strozzi both financially and politically; this political and financial competition was the origin of the Strozzi-Medici rivalry. While the Medici ruled Florence, the Strozzi family ruled Siena, which Florence attacked, causing great animosity between the two families. Soon afterwards, the Strozzi married into the Medici family giving the Medici superiority. Palla Strozzi neglected the family bank, but played an important part in the public life of Florence, founded the first public library in Florence in the monastery of Santa Trinita, as well as commissioning the important Strozzi Altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano, he played a leading part in forcing the exile of Cosimo de' Medici in 1433, but after Cosimo's pardon a year was himself exiled, never returned.
Filippo Strozzi il Vecchio, son of Matteo Strozzi and of Alessandra Macinghi, was exiled as a young man and became a successful banker in Naples. He was a condottiero or leader of mercenary soldiers and after his reconciliation with the Medici and return in 1466, began the Palazzo Strozzi, finished by his son Filippo II. Filippo II is the most well known member of the family. Although married to Clarice de' Medici, a daughter of Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici and member herself of the Medici family, he was vehemently opposed to the hegemony the Medicis had acquired as the unofficial rulers of the Florentine republic and was among the leaders of the uprising of 1527. Michelangelo's Doni Tondo was commissioned by Agnolo Doni to commemorate his marriage to Maddalena Strozzi. After the republic was overthrown in 1530 Alessandro de' Medici attempted to win Filippo Strozzi's support, but Strozzi declined and instead retired to Venice. After the murder of Alessandro in 1537 he assumed leadership of a group of republican exiles with the object of re-entering the city but having been captured and subsequently tortured he committed suicide.
Filippo Strozzi's older son Piero, married Laudomia de' Medici, fought in Scotland against the English, in France against the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, was made a Marshal of France in 1554. He took part in the French siege of Calais, died of wounds incurred in battle at Thionville, in Lorraine, in 1558. A younger son Leone was a distinguished admiral in the service of France and fought against the Medici, he died of a wound received while attacking Sarlino in 1554. Another son, Lorenzo Strozzi went into the Church in France, ended as a cardinal and Archbishop of Siena from 1565; the son of Piero, Filippo di Piero Strozzi was born in exile in France and served as a royal page and in the French army, before being captured and killed by the Spaniards at the Battle of Terceira. Senator Carlo Strozzi formed an important library and collected a valuable miscellany known as the Carte Strozziane, of which the most important part is now in the state archives of Florence, he was the author of a Storietta della città di Firenze dal 1219 al 1292 and a Storia della casa Barberini.
It is unclear whether Bernardo Strozzi, a prominent and prolific Italian Baroque painter born and active in Genoa and Venice, was a part of this immediate family. The poet Giulio Strozzi was a member of the family, he adopted the composer Barbara Strozzi, his natural daughter. The Strozzi acquired by marriage the titles of Princes of Dukes of Bagnolo. A branch of the family built the Palais Strozzi there; the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence belonged to the family until 1937 when it was sold to the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni. From 1999 it became property of the Italian State. Today, Strozzi descendents are still living in Florence and elsewhere; the Villa Cusona is the Tuscan home of the family, operated as a vineyard by Prince Girolamo Strozzi and his family. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family were regular holiday visitors to the Villa Cusona. In 2013, the villa was seized as part of a fraud investigation. Alessandra Macinghi Bardi, Filippo Strozzi Niccolini, Filippo Strozzi Guasti, Le Carte Strozziane.
Other Women's voices Wittkower, Rudolf. "14". Pelican History of Art and Architecture Italy, 1600–1750. 1980. Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 351–2. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Strozzi". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Womentalking.co.uk: Feature article on Strozzi Princesses Richard A. Goldthwaite, Private Wealth in Renaissance Florence, p. 30 books.google.de
Besançon is the capital of the department of Doubs in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in the border with Switzerland. Capital of the historic and cultural region of Franche-Comté, Besançon is home to the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional council headquarters, is an important administrative centre in the region, it is the seat of one of the fifteen French ecclesiastical provinces and one of the two divisions of the French Army. In 2016 the city had a population of 116,466, in a metropolitan area of 251,293, the second in the region in terms of population. Established in a meander of the Doubs river, the city was important during the Gallo-Roman era under the name of Vesontio, capital of the Sequani, its geography and specific history turned it into a military stronghold, a garrison city, a political center, a religious capital. Besançon is the historical capital of watchmaking in France; this has led it to become a center for innovative companies in the fields of microtechnology and biomedical engineering.
The University of Franche-Comté, founded in 1423, every year enrolls more than 20,000 students. The greenest city in France, it enjoys a quality of life recognized in Europe. Thanks to its rich historical and cultural heritage and its unique architecture, Besançon has been labeled a "Town of Art and History" since 1986 and its fortifications due to Vauban has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008; the city is first recorded in 58 BC as Vesontio in the Book I of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico. The etymology of Vesontio is uncertain; the most common explanation is that the name is of Celtic origin, derived from wes, meaning'mountain'. During the 4th century, the letter B took the place of the V, the city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion and underwent several transformations to become Besançon in 1243; the city sits within an oxbow of the Doubs River. During the Bronze Age, c.1500 BCE, tribes of Gauls settled the oxbow. From the 1st century BC through the modern era, the town had a significant military importance because the Alps rise abruptly to its immediate south, presenting a significant natural barrier.
The Arar River formed part of the border between the Haedui and their hereditary rivals, the Sequani. According to Strabo, the cause of the conflict was commercial; each tribe claimed the tolls on trade along it. The Sequani controlled access to the Rhine River and had built an oppidum at Vesontio to protect their interests; the Sequani defeated and massacred the Haedui at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the help of the Arverni tribe and the Germanic Suebi tribe under the Germanic king Ariovistus. Julius Caesar, in his commentaries detailing his conquest of Gaul, describes Vesontio, as the largest town of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe, mentions that a wooden palisade surrounded it. Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Bisanz in Middle High German, arrived at the modern French Besançon; the locals retain their ancient heritage referring to themselves as Bisontins. It has been an archbishopric since the 4th century. In 843, the Treaty of Verdun divided up Charlemagne's empire.
Besançon became part of Lotharingia, under the Duke of Burgundy. As part of the Holy Roman Empire since 1034, the city became an archbishopric, was designated the Free Imperial City of Besançon in 1184. In 1157, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa held the Diet of Besançon. There, Cardinal Orlando Bandinelli asserted before the Emperor that the imperial dignity was a papal beneficium, which incurred the wrath of the German princes, he would have fallen on the spot under the battle-axe of his lifelong foe, Otto of Wittelsbach, had Frederick not intervened. The Imperial Chancellor Rainald of Dassel inaugurated a German policy that insisted upon the rights and the power of the German kings, the strengthening of the Church in the German Empire, the lordship of Italy and the humiliation of the Papacy; the Archbishops were elevated to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1288. The close connection to the Empire is reflected in the city's coat of arms. In 1290, after a century of fighting against the power of the archbishops, the Emperor granted Besançon its independence.
In the 15th century, Besançon came under the influence of the dukes of Burgundy. After the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, the city was in effect a Habsburg fief. In 1519 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, became the Holy Roman Emperor; this made him a francophone imperial city. In 1526 the city obtained the right to mint coins, which it continued to strike until 1673. All coins bore the name of Charles V; when Charles V abdicated in 1555, he gave the Franche-Comté to Philip II, King of Spain. Besançon remained a free imperial city under the protection of the King of Spain. In 1598, Philip II gave the province to his daughter on her marriage to an Austrian archduke, it remained formally a portion of the Empire until its cession at the peace of Westphalia in 1648. Spain regained control of Franche-Comté and the city lost its status as a free city. In 1667, Louis XIV claimed the pr
A credit card is a payment card issued to users to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. The card issuer creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance. A credit card is different from a charge card, which requires the balance to be repaid in full each month. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers to build a continuing balance of debt, subject to interest being charged. A credit card differs from a cash card, which can be used like currency by the owner of the card. A credit card differs from a charge card in that a credit card involves a third-party entity that pays the seller and is reimbursed by the buyer, whereas a charge card defers payment by the buyer until a date; the size of most credit cards is 85.60 mm × 53.98 mm and rounded corners with a radius of 2.88–3.48 mm, conforming to the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 standard, the same size as ATM cards and other payment cards, such as debit cards.
Credit cards have a printed or embossed bank card number complying with the ISO/IEC 7812 numbering standard. The card number's prefix, called the Bank Identification Number, is the sequence of digits at the beginning of the number that determine the bank to which a credit card number belongs; this is the first six digits for Visa cards. The next nine digits are the individual account number, the final digit is a validity check code. Both of these standards are maintained and further developed by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17/WG 1. Credit cards have a magnetic stripe conforming to the ISO/IEC 7813. Many modern credit cards have a computer chip embedded in them as a security feature. In addition to the main credit card number, credit cards carry issue and expiration dates, as well as extra codes such as issue numbers and security codes. Not all credit cards do they use the same number of digits. Credit card numbers were embossed to allow easy transfer of the number to charge slips. With the decline of paper slips, some credit cards are no longer embossed and in fact the card number is no longer in the front.
The concept of using a card for purchases was described in 1887 by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel Looking Backward. Bellamy used the term credit card eleven times in this novel, although this referred to a card for spending a citizen's dividend from the government, rather than borrowing, making it more similar to a Debit card. Charge coins and other similar items were used from the late 19th century to the 1930s, they came in various sizes. Each charge coin had a little hole, enabling it to be put in a key ring, like a key; these charge coins were given to customers who had charge accounts in department stores, so on. A charge coin had the charge account number along with the merchant's name and logo; the charge coin offered a simple and fast way to copy a charge account number to the sales slip, by imprinting the coin onto the sales slip. This sped the process of copying done by handwriting, it reduced the number of errors, by having a standardized form of numbers on the sales slip, instead of various kind of handwriting style.
Because the customer's name was not on the charge coin anyone could use it. This sometimes led to a case of mistaken identity, either accidentally or intentionally, by acting on behalf of the charge account owner or out of malice to defraud both the charge account owner and the merchant. Beginning in the 1930s, merchants started to move from charge coins to the newer Charga-Plate; the Charga-Plate, developed in 1928, was an early predecessor of the credit card and was used in the U. S. from the 1930s to the late 1950s. It was a 2 1/2" × 1 1/4" rectangle of sheet metal related to military dog tag systems, it was embossed with the customer's name and state. It held a small paper card on its back for a signature. In recording a purchase, the plate was laid into a recess in the imprinter, with a paper "charge slip" positioned on top of it; the record of the transaction included an impression of the embossed information, made by the imprinter pressing an inked ribbon against the charge slip. Charga-Plate was a trademark of Farrington Manufacturing Co.
Charga-Plates were issued by large-scale merchants to their regular customers, much like department store credit cards of today. In some cases, the plates were kept in the issuing store rather than held by customers; when an authorized user made a purchase, a clerk retrieved the plate from the store's files and processed the purchase. Charga-Plates speeded back-office bookkeeping and reduced copying errors that were done manually in paper ledgers in each store. In 1934, American Airlines and the Air Transport Association simplified the process more with the advent of the Air Travel Card, they created a numbering scheme that identified the issuer of the card as well as the customer account. This is the reason the modern UATP cards still start with the number 1. With an Air Travel Card, passengers could "buy now, pay later" for a ticket against their credit and receive a fifteen percent discount at any of the accepting airlines. By the 1940s, all of the major U. S. airlines offered Air Travel Cards.
By 1941, about half of the airlines' revenues came through the Air Travel Card agreement. The airlines had started offering i
Money is any item or verifiable record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money. Money is an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money, like any note of debt, is without use value as a physical commodity, it derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender. Counterfeit money can cause good money to lose its value; the money supply of a country consists of currency and, depending on the particular definition used, one or more types of bank money. Bank money, which consists only of records, forms by far the largest part of broad money in developed countries.
The word "money" is believed to originate from a temple of Juno, on Capitoline, one of Rome's seven hills. In the ancient world Juno was associated with money; the temple of Juno Moneta at Rome was the place. The name "Juno" may derive from the Etruscan goddess Uni and "Moneta" either from the Latin word "monere" or the Greek word "moneres". In the Western world, a prevalent term for coin-money has been specie, stemming from Latin in specie, meaning'in kind'; the use of barter-like methods may date back to at least 100,000 years ago, though there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied on barter. Instead, non-monetary societies operated along the principles of gift economy and debt; when barter did in fact occur, it was between either complete strangers or potential enemies. Many cultures around the world developed the use of commodity money; the Mesopotamian shekel was a unit of weight, relied on the mass of something like 160 grains of barley. The first usage of the term came from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC.
Societies in the Americas, Asia and Australia used shell money – the shells of the cowry. According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, it is thought by modern scholars that these first stamped coins were minted around 650–600 BC. The system of commodity money evolved into a system of representative money; this occurred because gold and silver merchants or banks would issue receipts to their depositors – redeemable for the commodity money deposited. These receipts became accepted as a means of payment and were used as money. Paper money or banknotes were first used in China during the Song dynasty; these banknotes, known as "jiaozi", evolved from promissory notes, used since the 7th century. However, they did not displace commodity money, were used alongside coins. In the 13th century, paper money became known in Europe through the accounts of travelers, such as Marco Polo and William of Rubruck. Marco Polo's account of paper money during the Yuan dynasty is the subject of a chapter of his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, titled "How the Great Kaan Causeth the Bark of Trees, Made Into Something Like Paper, to Pass for Money All Over his Country."
Banknotes were first issued in Europe by Stockholms Banco in 1661, were again used alongside coins. The gold standard, a monetary system where the medium of exchange are paper notes that are convertible into pre-set, fixed quantities of gold, replaced the use of gold coins as currency in the 17th–19th centuries in Europe; these gold standard notes were made legal tender, redemption into gold coins was discouraged. By the beginning of the 20th century all countries had adopted the gold standard, backing their legal tender notes with fixed amounts of gold. After World War II and the Bretton Woods Conference, most countries adopted fiat currencies that were fixed to the U. S. dollar. The U. S. dollar was in turn fixed to gold. In 1971 the U. S. government suspended the convertibility of the U. S. dollar to gold. After this many countries de-pegged their currencies from the U. S. dollar, most of the world's currencies became unbacked by anything except the governments' fiat of legal tender and the ability to convert the money into goods via payment.
According to proponents of modern money theory, fiat money is backed by taxes. By imposing taxes, states create demand for the currency. In Money and the Mechanism of Exchange, William Stanley Jevons famously analyzed money in terms of four functions: a medium of exchange, a common measure of value, a standard of value, a store of value. By 1919, Jevons's four functions of money were summarized in the couplet: Money's a matter of functions four, A Medium, a Measure, a Standard, a Store; this couplet would become popular in macroeconomics textbooks. Most modern textbooks now list only three functions, that of medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, not considering a standard of deferred payment as a distinguished function, but rather subsuming it in the others. There have been many historical disputes regarding the combination of money's functions, some arguing that they need more separation and that a s
Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits; as of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera. Located on the Gulf of Genoa in the Ligurian Sea, Genoa has been one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean: it is the busiest in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea and twelfth-busiest in the European Union. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba due to its glorious impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006 as Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli; the city's rich cultural history in art and cuisine allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Andrea Doria, Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Mazzini, Renzo Piano and Grimaldo Canella, founder of the House of Grimaldi, among others.
Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of Northwest Italy, is one of the country's major economic centers. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages; the Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the city's prosperity since the middle of the 15th century. Today a number of leading Italian companies are based in the city, including Fincantieri, Selex ES, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo STS, Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone, Piaggio Aerospace, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Costa Cruises; the flag of Genoa is a red cross on a white field. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege." The patron saint of Genoa was Saint Lawrence until at least 958, but the Genoese transferred their allegiance to Saint George at some point during the 11th or 12th century, most with the rising popularity of the military saint during the Crusades.
Genoa had a banner displaying a cross since at latest 1218 as early as 1113. But the cross banner was not associated with the saint. A depiction of this flag is shown in the Genoese annals under the year 1227; the Genoese flag with the red cross was used alongside this "Saint George's flag", from at least 1218, known as the insignia cruxata comunis Janue. The saint's flag was the city's main war flag, but the cross flag was used alongside it in the 1240s; the Saint George's flag remained the main flag of Genoa at least until the 1280s. The flag now known as the "St. George's Cross" seems to have replaced it as Genoa's main flag at some point during the 14th century; the Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms shows it, inscribed with the word iustiçia, described as: And the lord of this place has as his ensign a white pennant with a red cross. At the top it is inscribed in this manner; the city of Genoa covers an area of 243 square kilometres between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains. The city stretches along the coast for about 30 kilometres from the neighbourhood of Voltri to Nervi, for 10 kilometres from the coast to the north along the valleys Polcevera and Bisagno.
The territory of Genoa is popularly divided into 5 main zones: the centre, the west, the east, the Polcevera and the Bisagno Valley. Genoa is adjacent to two popular Ligurian vacation spots: Portofino. In the metropolitan area of Genoa lies Aveto Natural Regional Park. Genoa has a humid subtropical climate in the Köppen climate classification, since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as oceanic or Mediterranean; the average yearly temperature is around 19 °C during 13 °C at night. In the coldest months: December and February, the average temperature is 12 °C during the day and 6 °C at night. In the warmest months – July and August – the average temperature is 27.5 °C during the day and 21 °C at night. The daily temperature range is limited, with an average range of about 6 °C between high and low temperatures. Genoa sees significant moderation from the sea, in stark contrast to areas behind the Ligurian mountains such as Parma, where summers are hotter and winters are quite cold.
Annually, the average 2.9 of nights recorded temperatures of ≤0 °C. The coldest temperature recorded was −8 °C on the night of February 2012. Average annual number of days with temperatures of ≥30 °C is about 8, average four days in July and August. Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C, from 13 °C in the period January–March to 25 °C in August. In the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds
History of the Knights Templar
The Knights Templar were the elite fighting force of their day trained, well-equipped and motivated. Not all Knights Templar were warriors; the mission of most of the members was one of support – to acquire resources which could be used to fund and equip the small percentage of members who were fighting on the front lines. There were three classes within the orders; the highest class was the knight. When a candidate was sworn into the order, they made the knight a monk, they wore white robes. The knights could receive no private letters, he can not have any vow in any other Order. He could not have debt more than he could pay, no infirmities; the Templar priest class was similar to the modern day military chaplain. Wearing green robes, they conducted religious services, led prayers, were assigned record keeping and letter writing, they always wore gloves. The mounted men-at-arms represented the most common class, they were called "brothers", they were assigned two horses each and held many positions, including guard, squire or other support vocations.
As the main support staff, they wore black or brown robes and were garbed in chain mail or plate mail. The armor was not as complete as the knights; because of this infrastructure, the warriors were well-trained and well armed. Their horses were trained to fight in combat armored; the combination of soldier and monk was a powerful one, as to the Templar knights, martyrdom in battle was one of the most glorious ways to die. The Templars were shrewd tacticians, following the dream of Saint Bernard who had declared that a small force, under the right conditions, could defeat a much larger enemy. One of the key battles in which this was demonstrated was at the Battle of Montgisard; the famous Muslim military leader Saladin was attempting to push toward Jerusalem from the south, with a force of 26,000 soldiers. He had pinned the forces of Jerusalem's King Baldwin IV, about 500 knights and their supporters, near the coast, at Ascalon. Eighty Templar knights and their own entourage attempted to reinforce.
They met Saladin's troops at Gaza, but were considered too small a force to be worth fighting, so Saladin turned his back on them and headed with his army towards Jerusalem. Once Saladin and his army had moved on, the Templars were able to join King Baldwin's forces, together they proceeded north along the coast. Saladin had made a key mistake at that point – instead of keeping his forces together, he permitted his army to temporarily spread out and pillage various villages on their way to Jerusalem; the Templars took advantage of this low state of readiness to launch a surprise ambush directly against Saladin and his bodyguard, at Montgisard near Ramla. Saladin's army was spread too thin to adequately defend themselves, he and his forces were forced to fight a losing battle as they retreated back to the south, ending up with only a tenth of their original number; the battle was not the final one with Saladin, but it bought a year of peace for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the victory became a heroic legend.
Another key tactic of the Templars was that of the "squadron charge". A small group of knights and their armed warhorses would gather into a tight unit which would gallop full speed at the enemy lines, with a determination and force of will that made it clear that they would rather commit suicide than fall back; this terrifying onslaught would have the desired result of breaking a hole in the enemy lines, thereby giving the other Crusader forces an advantage. The Templars, though small in number joined other armies in key battles, they would be the force that would ram through the enemy's front lines at the beginning of a battle, or the fighters that would protect the army from the rear. They fought alongside King Louis VII of France, King Richard I of England. In addition to battles in Palestine, members of the Order fought in the Spanish and Portuguese Reconquista. Though an Order of poor monks, the official papal sanction made the Knights Templar a charity across Europe. Further the resources came in when members joined the Order, as they had to take oaths of poverty, therefore donated large amounts of their original cash or property to the Order.
Additional revenue came from business dealings. Since the monks themselves were sworn to poverty, but had the strength of a large and trusted international infrastructure behind them, nobles would use them as a kind of bank or power of attorney. If a noble wished to join the Crusades, this might entail an absence of years from their home. So some nobles would place all of their wealth and businesses under the control of Templars, to safeguard it for them until their return; the Order's financial power became substantial, the majority of the Order's infrastructure was devoted not to combat, but to economic pursuits. By 1150, the Order's original mission of guarding pilgrims had changed into a mission of guarding their valuables through an innovative way of issuing letters of credit, an early precursor of modern banking. Pilgrims would visit a Templar house in their home country, depositing their valuables; the Templars would give them a letter which would describe their holdings. Modern scholars have stated that the letters were encrypted with a cipher alphabet based on a Maltese Cross.