Saturday, January 30, 2010

Demise of the Knights Templar



From the vast wealth of literature on the Templars, sometimes weighed heavily with prejudice and opinion, it becomes obvious that myths and controversy surround the Knights Templar. Depending on the source, the Templars could be practitioners of black magic, or men of noble deeds. I leave it to my readers to delve further into the subject, and to decide for themselves the strength of the connection between the Templars and the Freemasons of today. This blog is merely intended as a starting point, to lay a background of the order, hopefully encouraging more research.
What we do know is that, after the failed crusades, the Templars evolved into a more worldly order, and became a target for their evident wealth and the needs of the secular world. Philip IV (the Fair), short of money to finance a war, began a systematic persecution of the Templars. Members were arrested and imprisoned over a period of years. Torture brought confessions of sacrilegious practices, which in turn doomed the Templars to condemnation and the confiscation of their possessions. Jacques de Molay, pictured here, was the last Grand Master of the Templars. He was burned at the stake, on an island in the Seine. It is said that, as the flames leapt around his feet, he put a curse on both the pope and the king, predicting their deaths would follow his own. Both the pope and Philip IV died within a year of de Molay’s death.
For further reading, see C. G. Addison’s, The History of the Knights Templars, or the studies by E. Simon (1959) and T. W. Parker (1963).

9 comments:

Mary Ricksen said...

You won't believe this. But I have an interest in the Freemason's and loved reading more about their history. Now I have to go read the other ones!

darkangelauthor said...

Such an intricate history there...fascinating stuff, Joyce!

Linda

Joyce Moore said...

Mary: You may be interested to read my next post, and surprised to learn of a Freemason connection to a famous man! Thanks for stopping by.

Joyce Moore said...

Hi Linda: Thanks for coming by. There's a lot of good plots to be gotten from the story of the Templars. Such romance! Such knightly zeal! Seriously, though, their history is fascinating.

Donna Hatch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna Hatch said...

I admit I know very little about the Knights Templar and the Freemasons, except for what I learned from the dubious sources of that Nicholas Cage movie.
Very interesting post. Makes me want to learn more.

Catherine Delors said...

At the time of their demise, the Templars had mostly become bankers, and were the largest creditors of the French crown. Then as now, bankers are not very popular :) An easy target for King Philippe.
Some of their rituals could indeed be interpreted as sacrilegious, and were at the time of their trial. There was a fairly recent discovery of a manuscript at the Vatican Library on the topic. Fascinating story!

Joyce Moore said...

Hi Donna: I'm still learning. The Templar's history weaves through several centuries, and it fascinates me.

Joyce Moore said...

Hi Catherine: Glad you stopped by. I thought the Vatican was going to publish a book about that Chinon fragment (that was, um, misfiled?).
Loved your Mistress of the Revolution. Don't you have a new book coming out this spring?