Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Knights Templar in the News

Pete posted this item in LISNews about re-discovered archival document that is now being published in limited facsimile edition. According to the cited BBC article, the "Chinon parchment", a contemporaneous Latin account of the investigation and trial of the Templars, was rediscovered five years ago, after having been lost for centuries due to incorrect cataloging. The document shows that the Templars tried to justify their seemingly blasphemous initiation rites (such as spitting on the cross) as necessary practice in case they should be captured by Muslims (and presumably need to feign conversion?). The Knights Templar, portrayed in the popular imagination as guardians of the Holy Grail, were suppressed by the Pope in 1312, and the last Grandmaster, Jacques de Molay, burned at the stake by order of King Philip IV on March 13, 1314.

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