The Templar Knight

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Were the Templars the first bankers in world history?

It’s often claimed that the Knights Templar were the first bankers or financiers so Tony McMahon investigates whether this is actually true

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Stealing bits of Roman statues in the Middle Ages

During the Templar period, the patron saint of Venice wasn’t Saint Mark but Saint Theodore of Amasea. He was one of those martyrs during the Roman period. His statue was placed on top of a pillar in what is now…

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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 The Devil Got His Horns

On BBC Four this week, historian Alastair Sooke tackled the vexed question of how the devil got his horns? Did he always look as we imagine him? Well, if we go back to the start of Christianity – there are…

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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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