The Templar Knight

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Do the Templars control the world today?

I meet and talk to people in very different situations who are convinced that the Knights Templar in some guise or other control the world. How do they come to this view? A few months ago, I was talking to…

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Magna Carta – a feminist charter?

There’s been plenty of talk in the UK about the 799th anniversary of Magna Carta this month – with the 800th anniversary looming next year. Politicians have been banging on about the need to use this ancient document to re-instil…

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The Templars and Magna Carta

Next year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta by King John – one of the least liked monarchs of the Plantagenet dynasty.  What is often unappreciated is the role that the Knights Templar played in the…

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Christmas: The Visitation – a medieval depiction

This is one of a series of Christmas posts showing medieval depictions of the birth of Christ and an insight into how a Knight Templar might have celebrated the season. So here goes with The Visitation – the event sacred…

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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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Why did England expel the Jews in the Middle Ages?

It’s not the most pleasant episode in English medieval history to look back on but it happened during the Templar period and we can’t ignore it.  Fortunately, we have an excellent book by Robert Winder called ‘Bloody Foreigners’ to fall…

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More about violence in the Middle Ages

I mentioned Steven Pinker‘s new book ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature‘ on the history of violence and his view that contrary to what many believe, violence is actually on the decline – relatively speaking.  To illustrate his point, he…

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Telling the time in the Middle Ages

Imagine you had no watch, no mobile phone….basically, no way of telling the time.  Further imagine that you are in the middle of a field with your plough and oxen, working on the lord’s desmesne – then how do you…

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Ironclad – Templar movie

When a Templar movie has the strapline – heavy metal goes medieval – you might want to think twice about pressing the play button. But I’m a brave person and persevered. The movie starts with ‘bad’ King John (boo hiss) signing Magna…

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Prester John – the imaginary king who could help the Knights Templar

Prester John was a fabled king who medieval chroniclers imagined ruled lands in the East or Africa. He was a Christian, possibly a Nestorian, and some hoped he could be an ally against the Muslim realms. There were all sorts…

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