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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Roman statues reused in the medieval period

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 and the destruction of Constantinople

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. This was a shameful episode in the history of Venice. It saw crusaders in the…

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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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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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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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