Found this quoted in Michael Haag’s “Tragedy of the Templars.” Al-Arabi, a distinguished Andalusian Muslim, says the following about Palestine:
“The country is theirs [the Christians] because it is they who work its soil, nurture its monasteries and maintain its churches.”
The twist is that this was written on the eve of the First Crusade, because al-Arabi stayed in Jerusalem in the years 1093-1095. This puts many things into perspective. When the call was made for the First Crusade the plight of Palestinian Christians was continuously stressed by Pope Urban II and those who helped him preach the message. What is sometimes not realized is that Christians have been living in Palestine continuously from the earliest days of Christianity. They were by no means in the minority even after Muslim invaders imposed their rule on the land, enforcing heavy taxation of the “infidels”, and sporadically resorting to outright violence. The daily life of Palestine prior to the First Crusaders depended entirely on its Christina population, not the elite and warrior classes of different Muslim groups who were wrestling over control in the region.
Image by Stéphanie Gromann.
I found this in a list of heraldic devices on the internet.
Gradatim vincimus - We conquer by degrees
Degrees, of course, being the operative word
One of the weaker points in Raymond Khoury’s “The Last Templar” is the use of the phrase Veritas vos liberabit (The truth will set you free). This Bible verse from John 8 is enigmatically presented as a common Templar motto, because it can be supposedly seen on the walls of some Templar castle in France (Chateau de Blanchefort, to be precise). I was unable to find any references to this inscription. Seriously, if every Templar castle had this inscription prominently displayed… According to the novel, the markings are there, in plain sight. Why can’t I find any pictures with these words anywhere? The answer is probably quite simple. This phrase never was used as a motto by the legendary military order. If you are trying to find a Bible verse that defines this elite group of warrior monks, there is nothing better that the words from the book of Psalms: Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini Tuo da Gloriam. Not to us, not to us, O Lord, But to thy name give glory. There is irrefutable evidence that the Knights sang a hymn containing these words before going into battle. They were much less concerned about their own future than about glorifying the name of the Lord.
P.S. According to one of the comments I have received, the name of the castle is Chateau Blanquefort. The book clearly states Blanchefort. Perhaps it is a minor issue, because I would be sufficiently happy to see any Templar structure or document with this phrase.
Umberto Eco used the Knights Templar history and lore in his novel Foucault’s Pendulum. At least two quotes from this book are occasionally used to summarize the meaning of all things Templar in modern culture.
Ci sono anche i matti senza Templari, ma quelli coi Templari sono i più insidiosi.
There are lunatics who don’t talk about the Templars, but those who do are the most insidious.
I Templari c’entrano sempre.
The Templars have something to do with everything.
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