The Templar Knight

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Thirteen Black Death skeletons found in London

Thirteen skeletons have been unearthed in the Farringdon area of London – believed to be victims of the fourteenth century Black Death. The terrible plague hit England in the period after the Knights Templar were disbanded and swept away entire…

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Pope Benedict XVI resigns – is this unprecedented?

The Pope announced that he intended to resign today on grounds of ill health and age – leaving office before the end of the month. In recent centuries, the view has been that popes continue until they croak but Pope…

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The destruction of Constantinople by the crusaders – the year 1204

A Christian city destroyed by Christian crusaders – such was the fate of Constantinople. 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…

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The Donation of Constantine – a medieval forgery

It’s one of the most incredible and audacious forgeries of the medieval church – and nobody doubts it was completely made up.  A letter from the Emperor Constantine to his bishop of Rome, Silvester, granting the city to the church…

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The incredible medieval stories depicted in a railway station

In the magnificent entrance hall of the Sao Bento station in Porto, northern Portugal, is a display in painted tiles of key scenes in medieval history from that country. It’s an amazing riot of historical kitsch that has visitors to…

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Saint Nicholas – the real Santa Claus

At Christmas, our thoughts might turn to Santa Claus or Father Christmas. We’re told from childhood that he’s based on a true figure called Saint Nicholas. But he’s certainly drifted far from the original person. THE IDEAL TEMPLAR CHRISTMAS PRESENT:…

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Best medieval movies of all time!

So, what are the top medieval movies of all time? Last year Total Film compiled its top 16 “epic medieval movies” which you can see by clicking HERE.  I’ve gone through some of my favourite films based in the Middle…

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Tough being a woman in the Middle Ages

In her excellent book Medieval Women – Oxford University research fellow Henrietta Leyser uncovers some astonishing nonsense that people believed about women in the medieval period. She also finds that women could exercise real power and influence but they really…

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Saint George and his chains – in Cairo

You all know about Saint George and the Dragon and if you’re English, you’ll be aware that he is the patron saint of England. But there’s a lot more to this saint who was venerated in the Middle Ages. How…

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Was the devil always ugly – apparently not!

We’re used to the devil being depicted as a monstrous and hideous figure. But in early depictions, he could actually be quite handsome. And he might even be seen wearing blue and not the demonic red we are more used…

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