Barbara Frale’s new book is due in January. A few quotes from the Citizen:
In 2001, a second-year student of ancient documents at the Vatican stumbled across the Chinon chart, a 58- by 70-centimetre parchment misfiled in the secret archives for 400 years. “I thought I was dreaming,” Barbara Frale told the Citizen in an e-mail. “It took six months for me to fully grasp that it was real.”
Ms. Frale, who is writing a book about her find, says the document shows that Pope Clement V did not excommunicate the Templar leaders, but absolved them of heresy and brought them back into the church. Rumours about sodomy and idolatry were misunderstood military hazing rituals. “Historians had concluded that the Templars were innocent, but most people still thought they were heretics, occultists and the like,” she wrote.
“Now we have definitive proof. The Templars were not heretics. The order, which was a military brotherhood, simply practised a secret ritual that was grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted.”
Ms. Frale went on to get her PhD at the University of Venice and is now a historian on staff at the Vatican Secret Archives. Her book, The Templars: The Secret History Revealed is to be published by Arcade in January. Her publishers advertise it as “an explosive new history of the medieval world’s most powerful military order, the Templars — and the momentous discovery that finally allows the full story to be told.”
“The revelations will be extremely interesting,” Ms. Frale told the Citizen. “For now, I can’t say a word.”
I am sensing that there will be a lot of hype building up in the media. But most curiosly, did Ms. Frale discover something else? All these recent Templar-related events are beginning to sound somewhat orchestrated. I would also like to point out that the title of Frale’s book is strikingly non-academic. It is definitely appealing to a very wide audience.