Knights Templar and popular culture

The original historic Knights Templar were a Christian military order, the Order of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, that existed from the 12th to 14th centuries to provide warriors in the Crusades. These men were famous in the high and late Middle Ages, but the Order was disbanded very suddenly by King Philip IV of France, who took action against the Templars in order to avoid repaying his own financial debts. He accused them of heresy, ordered the arrest of all Templars within his realm, and had many of them burned at the stake. The dramatic and rapid end of the organization led to many stories and legends developing about them over the following centuries. The Order and its members increasingly appear in modern fiction, though most of these references portray the medieval organization inaccurately.

In modern works, the Templars generally are portrayed as villains, misguided zealots, representatives of an evil secret society,[1] or as the keepers of a long-lost treasure. Several modern organizations also claim heritage from the medieval Templars, as a way of enhancing their own image or mystique .

Modern organizations

Further information: Knights Templar (Freemasonry)

Since at least the 18th century Freemasonry has contained references to the Knights Templar, incorporating Templar symbols and rituals in a number of Masonic bodies.[1]

The most well known reference to the Knights Templar in Freemasonry, is the Degree of Knight of the Temple, or "Order of the Temple," the final order joined in "The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta" commonly known as the Knights Templar. Freemasonry is traditionally open to men of all faiths, asking only that they have a belief in a supreme being, but membership in this Masonic body (and others) is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in the Christian religion. These Knights Templar often take part in public parades and exhibitions, wearing distinctive uniforms and have had a number of high-profile members such as Henry Ford, and Harry S. Truman.

In the later 20th century, masonic Knights Templar have become themselves the subject of pseudohistorical theories connecting them to the medieval order, even though such a connection is rejected by Masonic authorities themselves[2] and the source known to historians.[3]

The Order of the Solar Temple is one infamous example of a "neo-Templar" group, founded in 1984, that claimed descent from the original Knights Templar; there are several other self-styled orders that also claim to be descended from, or revivals of, the Templar Order. Another Templar-related order, the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, is a charitable organization founded in 1804 which has achieved United Nations NGO special status.[4] They are a part of the larger Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH), commonly called Knights Templar International.[5] Some members of the OSMTH claim to be the direct descendants of the original Knights Templar using the Larmenius Charter as proof, however this document is suspected to be a forgery.[6]

Scholarly reception

The popularity of the Knights Templar in modern fiction and their presence in pseudohistorical or fringe literature has received scholarly attention.

At the 2004 Annual Conference of the American Culture Association, their call for papers was specifically about such conspiracy theories relating to the Templars and their association with other legends and mysterious organizations.[1] Literary theorists puzzle over Umberto Eco's use in his novel Foucault's Pendulum, of the Templars as a symbol of postmodernist rewriting of history. Historian Malcolm Barber writes that "Mystic Templars are omnipresent in all good conspiracy theories."[7] On Day to Day, a program on American NPR, host Alex Chadwick discussed "the literary fascination with the Knights Templar."[8] In Poland, the Toruń Museum had an exhibition entitled "The Knights Templar - History and Myth" which offered a description, "Apart from pieces of "high art", the exhibit will grant equal importance to "popular culture" items (literature, film, Internet content) exploring the subject of the Knights Templar."[9] And in 2007, a National Post editorial noted that "the Templars remain a living presence in popular culture. This has happened precisely because the historical record concerning their sudden annihilation in the early-14th century at the hands of Philip IV ("the Fair") of France has been so sparse and ambiguous. Time and revolution have damaged and dispersed the sources, and made the Templars a magnet for speculation and imagination."[10]

Popular themes are their supposed association with the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, and the supposed historical connection to the Freemasons.

The historical Templars had their first headquarters on the Temple Mount, which had been assigned to them by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem.[11][12] They were in operation there for 75 years. Pseudo-historical books such as The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail theorise that the Templars could have discovered documents hidden in the ruins of the Temple, possibly "proving" that Jesus survived the Crucifixion or possibly "proving" Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children by her. Indeed, the supposition that the Templars must have found something under the Temple Mount lies at the heart of most Templar legends and pseudo-historical theories, also popularised by French author Louis Charpentier (1966).[13] There is no physical or documentary evidence, however, to support such a supposition. It is true that they are documented as having carried a piece of the True Cross into some battles,[14] but this was probably a portion of a timber that was discovered during the 4th century by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine.[15]

Relics and treasure

There are various legends concerning a treasure that some Templars managed to hide from King Philip and that was later lost.[16] One particular story concerns Rennes-le-Château, where a treasure was supposedly found in the 19th century; one speculative source for that treasure was the long-lost treasure of the Templars.[17] In 1910 publication by one Joaquín Miret y Sans, the case is made that the Knights Templar hid and buried the great treasure in Vrana, Zadar County, because Ramón from Serò near Granja del Pairs in Noguera (comarca) in Catalonia gave a generous gift to the Knights Templar into the hands of their Grand Master Arnold of Torroja. This Ramón was the son of Romana the daughter of Benesmiro de Siponto who was the justitiarius of Monte Sant'Angelo and who was sent by Pope Alexander III as a notifier to Šibenik.[18]

Hugh J. Schonfield (1984)[19] argued that the Knights Templar may have found the Copper Scroll treasure of the Qumran Essenes in the tunnels beneath the Temple Mount. He suggested that this might explain one of the charges of heresy which were later brought against the knights by the Medieval Inquisition.

Holy Grail

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) seems to be the source of the story that has the Holy Grail found by the Order and taken to Scotland during the suppression of the order in 1307, where it remains buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel.

A 2006 book claims that the Grail was instead taken to Northern Spain, and protected by the Knights Templar there.[20]

Ark of the Covenant

Graham Hancock in his The Sign and the Seal (1992) claimed that the Templars discovered secrets of the Masons, builders of Solomon's Temple, Zerubbabel's Temple, and Herod's Temple at the Temple Mount, along with knowledge that the Ark of the Covenant had been moved to Ethiopia before the destruction of the first temple.[21] Hancock claims that allusion to this is made in engravings on the Cathedral at Chartres, the construction of which was greatly influenced by Bernard of Clairvaux, the Order's patron. Further links to both the search by the order for the Ark and to its discovery of ancient secrets of building are supposedly suggested by the existence of the monolithic Church of Saint George in Lalibela, Ethiopia, which stands to this day but whose construction is incorrectly attributed to the Knights Templar.

Shroud of Turin

Another legendary object that is claimed to have some connection with the Templars is the Shroud of Turin. The shroud was first publicly displayed in 1357 by the widow of a nobleman known as Geoffrey of Charney,[22] described by some sources as being a member of the family of the grandson of Geoffroi de Charney, who was burned at the stake with De Molay.[23]

In 2009, Barbara Frale, a paleographer in the Vatican Secret Archives, claimed that the Shroud of Turin had been kept by the Templars after 1204. Frale also claimed that "the burial certificate of Jesus the Nazarene", imprinted in fragments of Greek, Hebrew and Latin writing, is visible on the shroud.[24]

The so-called Templecombe painting, a painting discovered in 1945 by Mrs Molly Drew in the roof of an outhouse of a cottage in Templecombe, England,[25] has been alleged to be a copy of the image on the Turin Shroud, and therefore evidence of the Turin Shroud being in the possession of the Knights Templar during its "hidden years".[26] The painting has been on display in St Mary's Church in the village since 1956 (the only Templar-related site to have survived there), and has been carbon-dated to c. 1280.[27] Some people believe that it is a Templar-commissioned image of either Jesus Christ or the severed head of John the Baptist,[28] although it is without a Halo.[29]

De Molay's curse

Malcolm Barber (2006) discusses a supposed curse uttered by the last Grand Master of the Templar Order, Jacques de Molay, as he was burned at the stake in 1314. Jacques de Molay supposedly cursed Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V, saying that he would meet them before God before the year was out. Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died later that year in a hunting accident.

Barber traces this story to a verse chronicle attributed to Geoffrey of Paris (La Chronique métrique attribuée à Geffroi de Paris, ed. A. Divèrres, Strasbourg, 1956, pp. 5711–5742). Geoffrey of Paris was "apparently an eye-witness, who describes Molay as showing no sign of fear and, significantly, as telling those present that God would avenge their deaths".[30]

Albert Pike claimed the Knight Kadosh, the 30th degree within the Ancient Accepted and Scottish Rite, commonly known as a 'Vengeance degree', involved the trampling on the Papal tiara and the royal crown, destined to wreak a just vengeance on the high criminals for the murder of de Molay.[31] The figure of Hiram Abiff representing Jacques de Molay, with the three assassins representing Philip IV of France, Pope Clement V and Squin de Florian.[32] Malcolm Barber has cited a masonic legend that resembles Pike's claims, in Louis Claude Cadet de Gassicourt Le Tombeau de Jacques Molai (Paris, 1796, first edition).[33]

A series of mid-20th-century novels, Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings) by Maurice Druon, which were first published in 1955, expanded on the story of the curse of Jacques de Molay and the French monarchy in the fourteenth century.

A frequent recurring legend relates how when Louis XVI was guillotined, an anonymous French Freemason rushed from the crowd, dipped his hand in the king's blood (or grabbed the head and held it) and yelled, "Jacques de Molay, thou art avenged!" This story first appeared in The Illuminatus! Trilogy, a work of science fiction, in 1975.[34]

Claims of hidden survival

Supposed continuity in Freemasonry

Some historians and authors have tried to draw a link from Freemasonry and its many branches to the Templars. Degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite such as the Knight of Saint Andrew, the Knight of Rose-Croix, and the 32nd Degree in Consistory make reference to a "Masonic Knights Templar" connection, but this is usually dismissed as being ceremonial and not historical fact.

John J. Robinson argues for the Templar-Masonic connection in his book Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, in which he alleges that some French Templars fled to Scotland after the suppression of the Order, fearing persecution from both Church and state. He claims they sought refuge with a lodge of Scottish stonemasons within which they began to teach the virtues of chivalry and obedience, using the builders tools as a metaphor; and eventually they began taking in "speculative masons" (men of other professions) in order to ensure the continuation of the Order. According to Robinson, the Order existed in secret in this form until the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1717. An example of Templar-Masonic transitory symbolism can supposedly be found in Rosslyn Chapel owned by the first Earls of Rosslyn, a family with well documented ties to Scottish Freemasonry, however Rosslyn Chapel itself dates from at least 100 years after the suppression of the Templars.

The case is also made in Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's book The Temple and the Lodge.

However, historians Mark Oxbrow, Ian Robertson,[35] Karen Ralls and Louise Yeoman[36] have each made it clear that the Sinclair family had no connection with the Medieval Knights Templar. The Sinclairs' testimony against the Knights at their 1309 trial is not consistent with any alleged support or membership. In "The Templars and the Grail"[37] Karen Ralls states that among some 50 who testified against the Templars were Henry and William Sinclair.

Knights Templar in Scotland

Since the 1980s, there has been a growing body of publications in both popular fiction and pseudohistory which construct a continuity between the historical presence of the Knights Templar in Scotland with the emergence of Masonic Scottish Knights Templar in the early modern period.

The idea of an association with Rosslyn Chapel originates in the 1982 The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail[38] and entered mainstream pop culture with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (2003), reinforced by the subsequent film of the same name (2006).[39] Numerous books were published after 2003 to cater to the popular interest in supposed connections between Rosslyn Chapel, Freemasonry, the Templars and the Holy Grail generated by Brown's novel.

The tale of a missing Templar fleet is supposedly based on the protocol of the interrogation of Jean de Châlons by the Inquisition. He claimed that he had heard that preceptor of the French Templars, Gérard de Villiers, had been warned of his imminent arrest. De Villiers had escaped with 50 horses and eighteen galleys. De Châlons' son, Hugues de Châlons, escaped with him carrying the wealth of his uncle, Hugues de Pairaud.[40] In Baigent and Leigh's The Temple and the Lodge, the fleet carried the treasure of the Paris preceptory of the Templars.[41]

Scotland became the destination of the fleet over four centuries later, in the claims of George Frederick Johnson, an exiled Jacobite living in Austria. Johnson, however, turned out to be a fraudster who was probably called Johann Samuel Leuchte. After a chequered career based on alchemy and forgery, "Johnson" convinced a masonic lodge in Jena that he possessed the highest secrets of masonry, and having declared the rest of German masonry irregular, brought a surprising amount of lodges under his control. Exposed as a fraud by Karl Gotthelf von Hund in 1764, he was later apprehended by a previous victim, and spent the rest of his life in prison.[42]

Hund's initial attraction to Johnson was spurred by a need to find his own superiors. He had been received into the Order of the Temple by high ranking Jacobites in Paris during 1743, being introduced to Charles Edward Stuart himself. After the failure of the 1745 rebellion, his masters were either in hiding or dead, and had lost interest in maintaining their Templar offshoots, leaving Hund with a depleted ritual book which he had to reconstruct from memory. As Johnson's collection of lodges now looked to him for leadership, the Rite of Strict Observance was born. Again, the foundation myth alleged that Freemasonry was started by Templar refugees under the protection of Robert the Bruce. This time, they had travelled from France through England disguised as stonemasons, and their use of masonic symbols in their allegories paid tribute to this deception.[42][43]

Under Hund's leadership, the Rite of Strict Observance became the most popular branch of Freemasonry in the German states, with lodges all over Continental Europe. However, Hund's continuing inability to produce, or even contact his "Unknown Superiors" led to increasing dissatisfaction. Six years after his death, a convent meeting in Wilhelmsbad from 1782 to 1783 finally agreed that Freemasonry had no connection to the Templars, and Strict Observance ceased to exist, most lodges being absorbed into the Rectified Scottish Rite. For most of the previous two decades, the most common foundation myth among German masons stated that Freemasonry came from the Knights Templar, protected and allowed to flourish in Scotland.[44]

In 1815, Claude Thory, a respected French scientist and Freemason, claimed that Robert the Bruce had created the Order of St. Andrew for masons who had supported him at Bannockburn, which was later joined to the Order of Heredom, which he founded at Kilwinning.[45] In 1837, a Scottish Freemason called James Burnes, in attempting to revive a Scottish order of "Knights Templar", expanded the masonic link to Bannockburn. He introduced the Knights Templar as the bearers on Freemasonry to Scotland, and had the Templars play a crucial part in the battle. This appears to be the basis of subsequent tales of Templar involvement at Bannockburn. The contemporary Royal Order of Scotland makes use of a similar foundation myth, which is no more intended to be taken as historical fact than any other piece of masonic allegory.[46]

Discoverers of the New World

Further information: Westford Knight

Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982) further embellished the "lost fleet" topos discussed above, alleging that the Templars in these ships "fled to the New World by following old Viking routes", i.e. making one of the pre-Columbian voyages to America.[47] Since the popularisation of Holy Blood, Holy Grail with the commercial success of Dan Brown's 2003 novel, there have been numerous allusions to this idea in American pop culture.

A supposed Templar treasure in Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada is featured in the 2004 movie National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage.[48]

As early as 2001, historian Helen Nicholson in a popular history of the Templars dispels the idea that the Templars could "spare ships to indulge in world exploration".[49] The Templar Code for Dummies (2007) also points out the historical implausibility of this scenario.[50]

Friday the 13th

There is a modern urban legend to the effect that the tradition of Friday the 13th being unlucky originates with the date of the simultaneous arrest of many templars at the behest of Philip IV on Friday, 13 October 1307.[51][52]

Notable examples

Novels and comics

A brief list of some works which have featured the Knights Templar:

Film & TV




  1. 1 2 3 Masons, Templars and the Holy Grail: Historical Conspiracies and Popular Culture
  2. [Knights Templar FAQ], accessed January 10, 2007.
  3. Robert L D Cooper, The Rosslyn Hoax?, Lewis 2006, pp68-70
  4. "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as at 31 August 2006" (PDF). United Nations Economic and Social Council. 31 August 2006. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
  5. "Rear Admiral Ret. James J. Carey". Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  6. Hodapp, Christopher; Alice Von Kannon (2007). The Templar Code for Dummies. For Dummies. p. 176; 384. ISBN 978-0-470-12765-0.
  7. Barber's The New Knighthood (Cambridge U Press, 1995) paraphrased by Elaine Graham-Leigh
  8. Knights Templar Inspires Trio of Best-Selling Books
  9. "THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR - HISTORY AND MYTH" at Toruń, District Museum, October 23 - November 28, 2004
  10. Marni Soupcoff, "The Post editorial board: The truth about the Templars", National Post (October 22, 2007).
  11. Dent, JD. Baldwin II. History Bookshop. Retrieved on 2007-07-17.
  12. Adrian J. Boas, Archaeology of The Military Orders: A Survey of The Urban Centres, Rural Settlements and Castles of The Military Orders in The Latin East (c.1120-1291) (Routledge, 2006). ISBN 0-415-29980-2
  13. Louis Charpentier, Les Mystères de la Cathédrale de Chartres (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1966), translated The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral (London: Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation, 1972).
  14. Piers Paul Read, The Templars, p. 159
  15. Read, p. 27
  16. Robinson, John J. (1994). Dungeon, Fire and Sword. Michael O'Mara Books. ISBN 1-85479-956-8. See p. 472.
  17. Burl, Aubrey. (2002). God's Heretics. Sutton. ISBN 0-7509-2572-8. See p. 240.
  18. Les cases de Templers y Hospitalers en Catalunya; aplech de noves y documents històrichs (1910), Miret y Sans, Joaquín, Subject: Templars in Catalonia; Knights of Malta in Catalonia, Publisher: Barcelona Impr. de la Casa Provincial de Caritat. Denkschriften, der kaiserl. Akademie der Wissenschaften, philosophisch-historische Klasse, 49. Band, Wien 1904. Biblioteca Provinciale di Foggia, Monumenta edita ac illustrata 703.-1130. Archivio di Stato di Napoli.
  19. Hugh J. Schonfield, The Essene Odyssey: The Mystery of The True Teacher and The Essene impact on The Shaping of Human Destiny (Element Books, 1984). ISBN 0-906540-49-6
  20. Juan García Atienza, The Knights Templar in the Golden Age of Spain: Their Hidden History on the Iberian Peninsula (Destiny Books, 2006). ISBN 978-1-59477-098-2
  21. Hancock, G: The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, Toronto: Doubleday, ISBN 0-671-86541-2
  22. Barber, The New Knighthood, p. 332
  23. Newman, p. 383
  24. Owen, Richard (26 April 2009). "Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican". The Times. Retrieved 24 October 2010. her study of the trial of the Knights Templar had brought to light a document in which Arnaut Sabbatier (...) was shown "a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man" and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times.
  25. Templecombe in relation to the history of the Knights Templar was mentioned by Charles G. Addison, The History of The Knights Templars, the Temple Church, and The Temple, page 224 (Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans; 1842).
  26. Ian Wilson, The Turin Shroud, (Victor Gollancz Ltd; 1978 ISBN 0-575-02483-6)
  27. Abbas and Templecombe – a history
  28. The History Channel, Lost Worlds: Knights Templar, July 10, 2006 video documentary. Directed and written by Stuart Elliott
  29. Karen Ralls, Knights Templar Encyclopedia: The Essential Guide to The People, Places, Events and Symbols of the Order of the Temple, page 202 (Career Press, 2007).ISBN 978-156414-926-8
  30. Malcolm Barber, The Trial of The Templars, page 357, footnote 110, Second edition (Cambridge University Press, 2006). ISBN 0-521-67236-8. In The New Knighthood Barber referred to a variant of this legend, about how an unspecified Templar had appeared before and denounced Clement V and, when he was about to be executed sometime later, warned that both Pope and King would "within a year and a day be obliged to explain their crimes in the presence of God", found in the work by Ferretto of Vicenza, Historia rerum in Italia gestarum ab anno 1250 ad annum usque 1318 (Malcolm Barber, The New Knighthood, pages 314-315 (Cambridge University Press, 1994). ISBN 0-521-55872-7
  31. Arthur Edward Waite, Secret Tradition In Freemasonry, page 497 (Plymouth: The Mayflower Press, 1937). Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC; 2002. ISBN 0-7661-2664-1
  32. Arthur Edward Waite, Emblematic Freemasonry and the Evolution of its Deeper Issues, page 98 (London: W. Rider & Son, 1925).
  33. Malcolm Barber, The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple, page 393, footnote 11 (Cambridge University Press, 2000). ISBN 0-521-55872-7
  34. (Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson, Illuminatus! Part I: The Eye in the Pyramid (USA: Dell, 1975). ISBN 0-440-04688-2
  35. "The Da Vinci Connection", Sunday Herald, 14 November 2004
  36. "Historian attacks Rosslyn Chapel for 'cashing in on Da Vinci Code'",, 03-May-06
  37. Ralls, Karen, The Templars and the Grail. Quest Books; 1st Quest edition (May 25, 2003), ISBN 0-8356-0807-7 (see p.110 - quoting "The Knights Templar in England" p.200-1)
  38. with numerous repetitions during the 1980s to 2000s, see also e.g. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge, Arrow, 1998. Tim Wallace-murphy and Marilyn Hopkins, Rosslyn, Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail, Element, 2000, pp120-122
  39. "Hollywood legend Tom Hanks makes donation to Rosslyn Chapel restoration". The Scotsman. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  40. Malcolm Barber, The Trial of the Templars, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p101
  41. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge, Arrow, 1998, pp100-101
  42. 1 2 Ladislas de Malczovich, A Sketch of the Earlier History of Masonry in Austria and Hungary, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, v6, 1893, pp85-91
  43. R. F. Gould, A Concise History of Freemasonry. Gale & Poulden, London 1904, pp 411-414
  44. Trevor W. McKeown, The Rite of Strict Observance, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M, 2007, accessed 14 April 2014.
  45. Claude Antoine Thory Acta Latomorum, Paris, 1815, p6
  46. Robert L.D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider 2006, pp. 158-160.
  47. The History Channel. The Templar Code. May 17, 2006.
  48. S. Brent Morris (2006). The complete idiot's guide to freemasonry. Google Books. p. 194. ISBN 9781592574902. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  49. "The Templers did have ships to carry personnel, pilgrims and supplies across the Mediterranean between the West and East and back, but if the Hospital after 1312 is any guide they did not have more than four galleys (warships) and few other ships, and if they needed more they hired them. They certainly could not spare ships to indulge in world exploration ... [T]he records of the port of La Rochelle show that the Templars were exporting wine by ship. This was not a fleet in any modern sense: again, those would have been transport vessels rather than warships, and the Templars probably hired them as they needed them, rather than buying their own. ... The ships would have been very small by modern standards, too shallow in draught and sailing too low in the water to be able to withstand the heavy waves and winds of the open Atlantic, and suited for use only in the relatively shallow waters of the continental shelf. What was more, they could not carry enough water to be at sea for long periods." Nicholson, Helen (2001). The Knights Templar: A new history. Phoenix Mill Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire UK: Sutton Publishing Limited. pp. 12,191–92. ISBN 0-7509-2517-5.
  50. Quote: "As for having 18 galleys that may have left from La Rochelle, history doesn't back that up...In shipping records from La Rochelle of the period, there is no record that the Templars had 18 galleys, much less that 18 galleys were at La Rochelle. Reports in the years leading up to the arrest seem to imply that the Templars (and the Hospitallers, for that matter) actually had very few large ships – some suggest no more than four – and hired more from merchant shippers when needed" - Christopher Hodapp, Alice Von Kannon, The Templar Code for Dummies, page 157 (Wiley Publishing Inc., 2007). ISBN 978-0-470-12765-0
  51. on the existence of the urban legend: "Friday the 13th". Retrieved 2007-03-26.
  52. "Why Friday the 13th is unlucky". Retrieved 2007-03-26. "The claim that the Friday the 13th superstition began with the arrest of the final Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques Demolay, on Friday, October 13, 1307, is a modern-day invention." On the historical date of the arrest, see: A Knight Templar Abroad: Or, Reminiscences of Travel Beyond the Sea, 1885, By W. Harlan Cord, Page 202. 1885. Retrieved 2013-11-01.; Burnes, James (1840). Sketch of the history of the Knights templars, 1840, Edinburgh By James Burnes, Page 31.
  53. Dr. Cathy Schultz, "Making the Crusades Relevant in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN", History in the Movies and Providence Journal (5/6/05).
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