Seemingly untouchable for nearly two centuries, the Templars fell from grace spectacularly after the loss of the Holy Land: in 1307, all Templars in France were arrested on charges of heresy, homosexuality, denial of the cross and devil worship. The order was suppressed by the Pope in 1312, and Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master, was burnt at the stake as a heretic two years later.
The myth of the Templars was born and in the ensuing seven centuries, they have exerted a unique influence over European history: orthodox historians see them as nothing more than soldier-monks whose arrogance was their ultimate undoing, while others see them as occultists of the first order, the founders of Freemasonry, possessors of the Holy Grail and creators of the Turin Shroud. Sean Martin considers both the orthodox and conspiratorial version of events, and includes the latest revelations from the Vatican Library.
©2004 Pocket Essentials; (P)2008 Summersdale Publishers Ltd
What would have been an interesting overview of the history of the Knights Templar has been spoiled by poor production. Frequent mispronunciations and mistakes by the reader (an event during the Third Crusade was read to have happened in 1888 instead of 1188) are annoying. And the technical quality of the production, especially the editing, is so poor as to be distracting.
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