Dan Brown, Inferno and the Knights Templar


English: Dante Alighieri's portrait by Sandro ...
English: Dante Alighieri’s portrait by Sandro Botticelli. Tempera 54,7 x 47,5 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Dan Brown, bookjacket image.
English: Dan Brown, bookjacket image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two Templars burned at the stake, from a Frenc...
Two Templars burned at the stake, from a French 15th century manuscript (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you all know, Dan Brown is about to release his newest tome – Inferno – this year. But of equal interest to Templar watchers is the simultaneous publication of a “companion” book called Templar Inferno.  This will explore and explain Templar themes in Dan Brown’s new book, which is ostensibly about the great fourteenth century Italian poet, Dante – author of the Divine Comedy.

Templar Inferno is written by Sanford Holst who previously wrote a book speculating on the help given by Phoenicians to Solomon in the building of the original temple in Jerusalem – titled Phoenician Secrets.  He has also penned a work on the links between freemasonry and the Templars called Sworn in Secret. Holst says his new work will shed light on those who were “instrumental in the rise, fall and survival of the Templars” and their influence on Dante’s world. He explains:

“Hundreds of Templars were burned to death but many more survived, and we even know intriguing details of their lives. The knights who refused the pope’s order to surrender were forced to live in secrecy outside the law. Their rebellious underground activities played a role in the fall of kings and the weakening of the Vatican.”

So – let’s piece together the links between the Templars, Dante and Dan Brown:

  • Hero of the Da Vinci Code Robert Langdon, Harvard academic who is an expert in symbols, finds himself in Florence
  • Dante came from Florence where he wrote The Divine Comedy between 1308 and 1321 (just after the Templars had been crushed)
  • Many Knights Templar, including the last Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were burned to death and this imagery haunted Dante as he depicted hell in the Divine Comedy
  • In case you didn’t know, the Divine Comedy involves the poet being taken on a guided tour of hell (Inferno) by the Roman poet Virgil, in which he sees many odd and haunting spectacles of torture
  • Dan Brown creates links between the collapse of the Templars and the emergence of a new financial order around families like the Medici – who built secret passageways in Florence. Now those of you like me who’ve been to Florence know there’s nothing secret about the Medici passageway that snakes very visibly above the old town. But Brown is referring to passages leading off!

Templar Inferno covers familiar ground to you – like the history of the Templar founders, those who it’s claimed survived the order’s destruction and Rosslyn chapel. If you’re going to read Dan Brown’s new opus – and I’ll gingerly raise my hand now – then I’d invest a few dollars/pounds to get the companion book now available on Amazon.

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