How Switzerland became keeper of the Templar legacy


Banking on a future of mercenary service

When Ignatius of Loyola became the first "Father General" of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1540, he did so in a very different-looking continent than Europe appears today.

Pope Paul III, who approved the society’s foundation within the Catholic church, had his home in the Papal States, which existed in the northern half of the Italian Peninsula, sandwiched between the Kingdom of Naples to the south and the Holy Roman Empire to the north, with which it enjoyed a complicated relationship. For all intents and purposes it was a part of the Frankish empire, but in their realm the popes enjoyed absolute control.

To the east, around the Adriatic coast, the Papal States bordered the Venetian Republic, as did the Kingdom of Naples across the Adriatic (with Hungary and the Ottoman Empire further to the east and the Kingdom of Sicily to the west)... FULL STORY