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By Evelyn Lord

On the 18th March 1314, in Paris, Jacques de Molay, Grand grasp of the Knights Templar, and Geoffroi de Charney, preceptor of the Knights Templar in Normandy, are resulted in the stake. ahead of the pyre at their ft is determined alight, Jacques de Molay speaks to the gazing crowd, proclaiming a curse on those that had wrongly condemned them.

A month later Pope Clement V, who had helped to sentence the Knights Templar, died. Their leader persecutor, Phlip IV of France, him to the grave a number of months later. And famine, plague and insurrection have been to keep on with. was once the Templar’s curse coming domestic to roost?

The Templar’s Curse shows the Knights Templar less than arrest, torture and trial, through penance for all times. Chronicling the dissolution of the order after the trial in 1307, this interesting new publication investigates the implications of the Templar’s persecution and their mysterious legacy. Curses, cruelty, political intrigue, revenge…the actual tale of the Knights Templar is healthier than fiction!

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C. Krey, New York: Columbia University Press (1943), 1, for example p. 526. 3 Note that both this and the preceding incident took place in July with heat and dust at their highest. Surely not a good season for campaigning and perhaps evidence of more bad advice. Some secondary sources put the siege in August, for example M. Barber, The New Knighthood, Cambridge: CUP (1994), pp. 74–5; John France dates it to July: J. France, ‘Impelled by the Love of God’, in T. ), The Crusades, London: Duncan Baird (2004), p.

12 Paris, M. (1984), Chronicles, ed. & trans. R. Vaughan, Gloucester: A. P. (1999), The Crusades c 1071-c1291, Cambridge: CUP, 271–279 14 Richard, p. 227. 15 Extracts from the accounts of Louis IX, king of France, in E. Hallam (1989) Chronicles of the Crusades, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 270. Louis’s accounts have been converted into pounds, shillings and pence, by Hallam. qxd 11/5/07 6:40 PM Page 21 CHAPTER 3 u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u Exploits in the East H ugh de Payens was back in Jerusalem from the Council or Troyes by 1130.

They reminded those who saw them of that power and domination over the landscape and the people in it. Examples of this are the massive blank walls of the Templar castle Chastel Blanc in Modern-day Syria, which still glowers over the village of Safita below, or Chastel Pelerin (Castle Pilgrim) which could accommodate 4,000 men and had corridors down which an armed knight could ride. This castle stood on a rocky outcrop protecting the coast between Caesarea and Acre. Templar castles were a sign of the colonization of the Holy Land by a foreign power and culture, and represented the oppression of the nonChristian majority population by a ruling minority.

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