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La France des Templiers

La France des Templiers: Sites, histoire et légendes by Jen-Luc Aubarbier is the kind of French book that you can confidently purchase without really being able to read any French. There is very little information about this edition that one can find online, so I felt that it was necessary to give the book a little boost here.

As you may have guessed from the title, the book attempts to give a broad overview of the Knights Templar traces in modern France. It contains over 300 pages and is lavishly illustrated. There are detailed maps of every region in France with all (presumably) Templar-related locations marked. Most photographs are original and very well produced.

One possible criticism of the book would address its lack of depth in covering the subject, but it requires many volumes to even approach the topic of the Knights Templar presence in France. If you are simply looking for a guide in your travels or want a starting point in your studies La France des Templiers definitely delivers!

(In these pictures I’m using my trusted paper cutting knife to hold the pages down)

france-de-templiers1 france-de-templiers2

You may also be interested in this topic:

Reference books on the Knights Templar

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The Devil’s Dare – a historical mystery novel

The Devil's DareThis book has been in the works for the past two years and I am quite pleased with how it turned out. If the novel gets traction I will be writing two sequels to finalize the story, but the book reads very well as a standalone publication.

The monastery of St. Sebastian is safely tucked away from the turmoil of the early 14th century. What dangers could possibly await Conrad, a young novice preparing to join this community of devout monks? A simple act of kindness and duty turns his life upside down. Uprooted and confused, Conrad must risk everything for a cause that has not yet been revealed to him. He can only count on the help from a reclusive hermit, whom everybody else mistrusts and fears. Is Conrad ready to face the challenges of spiritual strife?

Buy The Devil’s Dare at Amazon US
Buy The Devil’s Dare at Amazon UK

Official trailer for The Devil’s Dare:

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Famous Knights Templar who never existed

Arn the Knight Templar

Anyone reasonably well versed in medieval history should be able to produce a list of some illustrious (and sometimes ignominious) members of the Knights Templar Order. Sure enough, in popular culture (books, movies, video games) these men are often ascribed deeds and character traits that probably had nothing to do with reality, but they remain actual historic figures no matter what. However, these historic Knights Templar are often outdone is bravery, wisdom and mischief by the Templars who never existed. It is time these characters are cataloged, lest someone assumes them to be real medieval warrior monks.

Arn

Arn Magnusson is a Swedish Templar featured in the series of novels by Jan Guilou. Movie adaptations of these novels (2007 and 2008) faithfully depict Guilou’s story of Arn who has since become perhaps the most beloved fictional Templar ever.

Larmenius

Brother John Mark (Jean-Marc) Larmenius of Jerusalem was the supposed author of the document currently known as the Larmenius Charter. The provenance of this document is extremely uncertain and its authenticity is doubted even by the masonic and neo-Templar organizations that use it as a part of their lineage claims. The charter insists that Jacques de Molay made Larmenius his secret successor as the leader of the Order. Thus the Knights Templar managed to survive the persecutions and the undercover Order has been in existence ever since. Some people today believe that even though Larmenius himself never existed, the document hints at what really happened to the Order of the Knights Templar.

Brian de Bois-Guilbert

Brian de Bois-Guilbert is one of the main characters in Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe. Brian is a villain, driven by greed and lust. It can be argued that Walter Scott’s portrayal of this Templar commander has been influenced by the grim and grotesque legends about the Knights Templar which used to be especially popular in Northern France.

Thomas Marshall

In the 2011 film Ironclad, Thomas Marshall is a Templar Knight who joins the struggle of some English nobles against King John. This heroic and somewhat troubled character is very loosely based on William Marshall 2nd Earl of Pembroke whose family had close ties with the Knights Templar.

Martin of Carmaux

In Raymond Khoury’s novel The Last Templar, Martin of Carmaux is a young knight who is charged with the task of protecting the greatest secret of the Order.

It may seem that this list is short. Please suggest any names that are worthy of being included here. At the time of writing, the biggest hope for any Templar fan is that the new History Channel production Knightfall will create some very memorable characters.

See also:

Famous Knights Templar
How can one become a Knight Templar?

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Anonymous pilgrim’s account of the Knights Templar in the Holy Land

PilgrimThe original Latin text of this anonymous account has been published in Österreichische Vierteljahresschrift für katholische Theologie. The English translation is by Aubrey Stewart and is found in volume 6 of “The library of the Palestine Pilgrims’ Text Society.” As Stewart notes, these anonymous do not contain any new information. However, this brief account of the Knights Templar is interesting in its confirmation of what was commonly believed about the Order during the Middle Ages.

In this land there are two religious houses, to wit, the Temple and the Hospital. They have an exceeding great abundance of riches, for they have property in and draw revenues from every part of Europe. When they go to the wars, the Templars fight on the right wing and the Hospitallers on the left.

The Templars are most excellent soldiers. They wear white mantles with a red cross, and when they go to the wars a standard of two colours called balzaus* is borne before them. They go in silence. Their first attack is the most terrible.** In going they are the first, in returning the last. They await the orders of their Master. When they think fit to make war and the trumpet has sounded, they sing in chorus the Psalm of David, ‘ Not unto us, O Lord’ (Non nobis, Domine, Ps. 115), kneeling on the blood and necks of the enemy, unless they have forced the troops of the enemy to retire altogether, or utterly broken them in pieces. Should any one of them for any reason turn his back to the enemy, or come forth alive (from a defeat), or bear arms against the Christians, he is severely punished: the white mantle with the red cross, which is the sign of his knighthood, is taken away with ignominy, he is cast out from the society of the brethren, and eats his food on the floor without a napkin for the space of one year. If the dogs molest him, he does not dare to drive them away. But at the end of the year, if the Master and the brethren think his penance to have been sufficient, they restore him the belt of his former knighthood. These Templars live under a strict religious rule, obeying humbly, having no private property, eating sparingly, dressing meanly, and dwelling in tents.

* Obviously a corruption of Beauseant
**
The original text is corrupt

 

See also:
An account of Templar prisoners in the Holy Land after the dissolution of the Order
How can I join the Knights Templar?

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