The Templar Knight

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How was Easter celebrated when the Knights Templar were around?

The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus was central to Christian belief. This was the idea that God had taken human form, had performed miracles and given sermons while alive and then had sacrificed himself to the most degrading form of…

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Is there a Muslim inscription on the Throne of Saint Peter?

In an early nineteenth century book in my library I came across a fascinating story that I’d like some historical sleuths out there to confirm or deny. The claim in the book is that on the Throne of St Peter…

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Venice – evidence of an evil Crusade

One of the worst atrocities committed in the name of religion must surely be the sacking of Constantinople by Christian crusaders in the year 1204. The city of Constantinople had been the capital of the eastern half of the Roman…

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The destruction of Constantinople by the crusaders – the year 1204

A Christian city destroyed by crusaders. It had resisted waves of invaders from Bulgars to Russians and the Muslim emirates. But it was brought to its knees by people it should have been able to trust. This was the betrayal…

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How did the Crusades start?

In the year 1095, Pope Urban II addressed a huge crowd at the town of Clermont in France and urged them to do something new and very exciting – to march east and fight the forces of Islam. Something terrible…

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The Crusaders in Egypt

From the middle of the twelfth century AD, the crusaders began looking at Egypt as the territory they had to annex if their venture was to have any chance of success. I say “Egypt” but of course the nation that…

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Top baddies of the Middle Ages!

    Here they are – the TOP baddies of the Middle Ages! KING JOHN OF ENGLAND Took on the barons and lost, then made to sign Magna Carta Excommunicated by the Pope Mislaid the crown jewels in a marshy…

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The Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople

The Fourth Crusade has to stand out as one of the most depressing and destructive events in history. A crusade that was notionally aimed by Christian Europe at the Muslim east but which was cynically diverted by Venice against its…

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The cable car ride up to the fort of Masada – video

I know many of you like videos of cable car rides! So here is the short ride up to the fort of Masada. This was originally a mountain palace built by Herod then it went in to a decline until…

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The birthplace of John the Baptist

Today I visited the birthplace of John the Baptist as part of my journey to Israel. The Franciscan monastery at Ein Karem – a village now swallowed up by Jerusalem – is a nineteenth century construction sitting on top of…

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