The Templar Knight

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So – where was Jesus really crucified? An Easter mystery!

So – where was Jesus really crucified? An Easter mystery!

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The Templars, hidden treasure and the Dead Sea Scrolls

In 1947, two Bedouin shepherds were herding their flock on the rocky and steep slopes near Qumran by the shores of the Dead Sea in modern Israel. The area is pockmarked by caves and a goat disappeared inside one of…

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Spain and Portugal – battle ground between Islam and Christianity

Say the word “Crusades” to many people and they automatically think of the Holy Land, Syria and Egypt. The wars between Christian knights and Muslim warriors are seen entirely as a violent confrontation that took place only in the Middle…

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From a Roman to a medieval tower

In the Middle Ages, the ruins of old Roman forts were often built on top of to create medieval castles. One great example of this is the so-called Multangular Tower in York, constructed when the city was called Eboracum by…

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A very ancient map of Jerusalem

What a history Jerusalem has experienced.  At the time of Christ, it was ruled by the Roman Empire and continued to be governed from Rome and then Constantinople until the year 637CE when Jerusalem surrendered to Arab, Muslim armies. At…

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Why the crusaders stormed a Roman temple

It was the height of the crusades in the 12th century AD and the Atabeg (Saracen ruler) of Damascus spotted a building that was ideal to convert into a fortress – the remains of a Roman temple to the goddess…

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The biblical city of Gadara – my visit

I have just returned from a ten day visit to Jordan – a country with an amazing history sandwiched between Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Over the next few blog posts, I’m going to share the incredible…

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Bits of a Roman bath in a medieval English church

Sometimes a historical site can be initially very confusing and making sense of it requires a little bit of detective work. I was in Leicester – in central England – last week. It’s a city that was hugely important in…

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Cyprus and the Knights Templar – a grim Easter anniversary!

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is now racked by a financial crisis.  Demonstrators have taken to the streets in their thousands as savers have been forced to hand up to as much as 10% of their savings to bail out…

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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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