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Knights Templar

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Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:41 am

They seem to be all the rage at the moment in various books. An interesting and fasinating subject when you realise their rapid rise to fame and fortune followed by their swift decline. Stories abound of the treasures they amassed whilst 'protecting piligrims' to the Holy Land.

It is said their wealth came from a form of currency exchange enabling travellers to deposit money with them allowing them to travel almost cash free. Almost as sudden as their rise, they were hounded and accused of treason, heresy and in some cases witchcraft. They were disbanded.
All that is left of them is some temples and castles around Europe.
In London, at the joining of The City of London and London Town, you will find The Temple. This is an area bound by it's own walls, which can be found on Fleet Street, it's other boundaries are located on the Victoria Embankment. It is now ironically the place of Barristers and their chambers. Where many move between here, the Inns of Justice (Law Courts) and the Inns of Chancellery in Chancellery Lane and of course The Old Bailey, dressed in gowns and wigs. Admist this is the Temple itself, the chaple of the Knights Templar, know known to people who have watched films as the Da Vinci Code.
Strangely I used to walk past this on a regular basis as a cut through to some parts of Fleets Street. It is a lovely building from the outside. Perhaps one day I will retrace my steps and have a look inside this church.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:45 am

Found this on my home page news thought you might like to read it.



By Philip Pullella Reuters - Friday, October 12 01:25 amVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it had closely guarded for 700 years.

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A reproduction of the minutes of trials against the Templars, "'Processus Contra Templarios -- Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars'" is a massive work and much more than a book -- with a 5,900 euros (4,125 pounds) price tag.

"This is a milestone because it is the first time that these documents are being released by the Vatican, which gives a stamp of authority to the entire project," said Professor Barbara Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican's Secret Archives.

"Nothing before this offered scholars original documents of the trials of the Templars," she told Reuters in a telephone interview ahead of the official presentation of the work on October 25.

The epic comes in a soft leather case that includes a large-format book including scholarly commentary, reproductions of original parchments in Latin, and -- to tantalise Templar buffs -- replicas of the wax seals used by 14th-century inquisitors.

Reuters was given an advance preview of the work, of which only 799 numbered copies have been made.

One parchment measuring about half a metre wide by some two metres long is so detailed that it includes reproductions of stains and imperfections seen on the originals.

Pope Benedict will be given the first set of the work, published by the Vatican Secret Archives in collaboration with Italy's Scrinium cultural foundation, which acted as curator and will have exclusive world distribution rights.

The Templars, whose full name was "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon", were founded in 1119 by knights sworn to protecting Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099.

They amassed enormous wealth and helped finance wars of some European monarchs. Legends of their hidden treasures, secret rituals and power have figured over the years in films and bestsellers such as "The Da Vinci Code".

The Knights have also been portrayed as guardians of the legendary Holy Grail, the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper before his crucifixion.

The Vatican expects most copies of the work to be bought up by specialised libraries at top universities and by leading medieval scholars.

BURNED AT THE STAKE

The Templars went into decline after Muslims re-conquered the Holy Land at the end of the 13th century and were accused of heresy by King Philip IV of France, their foremost persecutor. Their alleged offences included denying Christ and secretly worshipping idols.

The most titillating part of the documents is the so-called Chinon Parchment, which contains phrases in which Pope Clement V absolves the Templars of charges of heresy, which had been the backbone of King Philip's attempts to eliminate them.

Templars were burned at the stake for heresy by King Philip's agents after they made confessions that most historians believe were given under duress.

The parchment, also known as the Chinon Chart, was "misplaced" in the Vatican archives until 2001, when Frale stumbled across it.

"The parchment was catalogued incorrectly at some point in history. At first I couldn't believe my eyes. I was incredulous," she said.

"This was the document that a lot of historians were looking for," the 37-year-old scholar said.

Philip was heavily indebted to the Templars, who had helped him finance his wars, and getting rid of them was a convenient way of cancelling his debts, some historians say.

Frale said Pope Clement was convinced that while the Templars had committed some grave sins, they were not heretics.

SPITTING ON THE CROSS

Their initiation ceremony is believed to have included spitting on the cross, but Frale said they justified this as a ritual of obedience in preparation for possible capture by Muslims. They were also said to have practised sodomy.

"Simply put, the pope recognised that they were not heretics but guilty of many other minor crimes -- such as abuses, violence and sinful acts within the order," she said. "But that is not the same as heresy."

Despite his conviction that the Templars were not guilty of heresy, in 1312 Pope Clement ordered the Templars disbanded for what Frale called "the good of the Church" following his repeated clashes with the French king.

Frale depicted the trials against the Templars between 1307 and 1312 as a battle of political wills between Clement and Philip, and said the document means Clement's position has to be reappraised by historians.

"This will allow anyone to see what is actually in documents like these and deflate legends that are in vogue these days," she said.

Rosi Fontana, who has helped the Vatican coordinate the project, said: "The most incredible thing is that 700 years have passed and people are still fascinated by all of this."

"The precise reproduction of the parchments will allow scholars to study them, touch them, admire them as if they were dealing with the real thing," Fontana said.

"But even better, it means the originals will not deteriorate as fast as they would if they were constantly being viewed," she said.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  Mel_Kim on Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:13 pm

Interesting read that Maggs and there is a lovely Templar Church (round one) in Cambridge which is worth going to I went round it a few years ago but I must when I go to London next go to the Templar Church.
The Templars were the worlds first bank and King Philip IV of France, who was heavy in debt to the Templars and the Pope who feared there power did a real hatchet job on them. so they were accused of all sorts that were totally untrue. The Pope excommunicated them which meant no one of any rank or station even clergy could help them in any way. Then under torture they were made to make statements that were untrue then to be burned at the stake.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:17 pm

As with all these charges I think there is an element of greed involved. I think alot of people accused of witchcraft in the past mainly women owned land or in this case, the King and some say the Pope owed them money that they could never repay.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  Mel_Kim on Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:32 pm

Yes I agree with you Maggs just look at Henry VIII who could and did almost anything to get what he wanted including killing two wives. Witchcraft was used lots of times as a good excuse to get rid of someone Henry VIII wanted to use that against Anne Bolynne but it would not wash the case in history that makes me mad is the one of Janet Douglas wife of the 6th Lord Glamis (Queen Mothers family) because James V hated the Douglases he waited untill Lord Glamis died then had Lady Janet burned at the stake in Edinburgh Castle for witchcraft. But going back to the Templars because King Philip owed massive sums to the Templars and because both he and the Pope did not like the power they held that was the reason they got rid. Its a bit like when Henry VIII broke with the Church in Rome made himself the head of the church and closed down and stripped Churches of land and wealth (dissolution of the monasteries) alot of Stately Homes now are ex monasteries one which springs to mind is Woburn.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:23 am

The Stewarts and the Douglas'es were always enemies which is strange when you think that they fought side by side with Robert the Bruce.
There is a room in Stirling Castle which you are not allowed to go into any more, it is towards the back of the Castle, under the archway near the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment musuem. If you go under the archway you come out into a garden, at the side of the archway is a set of stairs leading to this room, where one of the James (can't remember which one) invited the Earl of Douglas to dine with him. It was a trap, and Douglas was supposed to have ran down the stairs screaming, dying as the king and his courtiers, followed him stabbing him. He is said to haunt the room and the garden.


It's strange but there was also a charge of witchcraft laid against Bothwell the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots, it was long reputed that he dabbled in witchcraft. Strange that when you think his nephew and cousin to Mary's sonJames (VI/I) was also accused of witchcraft.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  Mel_Kim on Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:24 am

That was interesting Maggs did not know that I dont know alot about James I but I know he was obsessed about witches etc and I think he may have even wrote a book on the subject. I know alot more about Charles I but Charles II is one of my favourite historical period.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:09 am

I think it was bred into James VI/I, you have to remember he did not see his mother after he was a baby. There were stories that Bothwell had bewitched Mary, at that time Scotland was in the middle of an upheaval. The Reformation was in full swing, once Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England, the fractions fought. It was quite easy to whispher 'witchcraft' against certain people.
I do know that James believed witches tried to drown himself and his bride Anne of Denmark. They were supposed to have called up a storm which nearly wrecked the ship they were returning to Scotland on.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  Mel_Kim on Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:20 pm

Again I did not know that so that explains why he had a thing about witches etc we did not cover James much in history and it was not untill my mate from scotland asked for some help for her son in a history lesson as she explained that in Scotland they did more of the history of Scotland and knew lots about Mary Queen of Scots but not much about Elizabeth I which I was the opposite so we learnt a few things from each other. bigredgrin
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:44 pm

I did both in my years in Scotland but really I only had about 21/2 years in Scotland. I was really surprised and offended when I was tossed out a class for saying Anne Boleynn was pregnant when she married HenryVIII.
Next time I go home I will get a good history book and you can borrow it.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  Mel_Kim on Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:39 pm

Maggs that teacher did not know her history then because you are so right about Anne Boleyn there has always been a mystery on the exact date they were married but its believed to have been at either Whitehall or Westminster on 25th January 1533 and delcared valid on 28th May 1533 Elizabeth was born on 7th September 1553 but Henry only married her when he found out she was expecting that is why after all those years of saying no to Henry she could see he was losing interest and gave in as she knew that only by becoming pregnant could she hope to keep Henry and become Queen all the history points to the fact Anne was pregnant before she married Henry.
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Re: Knights Templar

Post  magssdoc on Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:07 pm

You are talking about 1970 here Mel, it wasn't mentioned then.
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