The Templar Knight

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Reusing Roman buildings during the Templar period

Medieval walls were often built on top of earlier Roman fortifications as can be seen in York

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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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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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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 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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Saint Lucy with her eyes on a plate

One of many Christian saints reputedly martyred by the emperor Diocletian – Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the blind. Appropriately, as she either had her eyes gouged out by a Roman soldier or tore out her own eyes…

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A Pope on trial – short story!

A book club I know just started a competition asking members to write a story called ‘Theological Downfall’. Well, I couldn’t resist. 500 word limit and so I concocted something in two hours based around a real event in the…

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King Solomon’s Ring and its magical powers

My favorite programme Legend Quest went in search of King Solomon’s Ring this week – fronted as ever by the hyper-active Ashley Cowie, self-styled ‘archaeological explorer’. Off he went to find this biblical ring that can give its owner superhuman…

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Vatican scandal – a history of papal wickedness

Corrupt and evil popes through history

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Why were the Knights Templar formed?

To find the Holy Grail of course! Well, that’s if you subscribe to the Dan Brown view of things.  But what was the official narrative for the foundation of the Templars?  Michael Haag in his book ‘The Templars’ recounts the…

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