Key to the Sacred Pattern

06 June 2006

Knights Templar Reading Lists

In the last few years there has been a ton of books written on the Templars. The following are good starting points for not only the known history of the Order, but a primer on the conjectural side of Templar history.

Dungeon, Fire and Sword; John Robinson

John Robinson, author of Born in Blood, writes his history of the Knight's Templar in this text. While the text is informative on the Templar's, it tends to turn into a history of the Crusades and the politics of the era. Robinson does have a story telling style to his history and the text is recommended to those who are looking for an over view of what is historically known about the Templars. For those who are looking for speculation about what the Templars could have done or what they might have been involved in during the Crusades, this is not a text you'll want to pick up.

The Templars : Knights of God; Edward Burman

This is a very concise overview of the Templars during the Crusades. The weakness of most texts dealing with the Templars is that the focus tends to be on the Crusades, and mention of the Templars is an after thought. Knights of God attempts to break that mold. The author’s focus is very clear in trying to report on what is known about the organization. It’s a good starter text for anyone wishing to get a historical background of the Knights.

The Trial of the Templars;Malcomb Barber

Malcolm Barber is one of the world’s leading medieval historians. He has written a number of histories of the Templars and of the Crusades. I decided to put this one on the reading list because of the events it deals with. To understand any post 1307 conjectural history of the Templars, one must understand how and why they fell from power. Barber takes a close look at the surviving documentation to report on this subject in depth. There is a very scholarly air about Barber’s writing, but it is in no way impenetrable to the armchair historian.

Sign and the Seal : The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant; Graham Hancock

If one says nothing else about Graham Hancock, it would be that he is a man of adventure. Hancock's was a journalist for a number of prominent English newspapers during the 1970's, and was the Economist's East African correspondent in the early 80's. Trained as a sociologist at Durham University, Hancock's travels impressed upon him that what we know about history is not really what we know about history. It is from this framework we come to Hancock's first crypto-historical book the Sign and the Seal.

Hancock's theory is that the Holy Grail is the Ark of the Covenant. Hancock became fascinated with the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia while on assignment there in 1983. The Falasha's folklore tells that the Ark of the Covenant was taken from Israel by Solomon and The Queen of Sheba's son, and returned to Ethiopia. There exists a church in Axum, that Christian Ethiopians believe houses the Ark. Hancock goes on to claim that the Knights Templar figured out where the Ark was and went to Ethiopia to find it.

Hancock's arguments are rather compelling. The present day practices of Ethiopian Christians and architecture bearing Templar Crosses, go a long way in presenting his case. Should the Ark of the Covenant still exist, Hancock's argument will make you think there is no better place in the world that it would reside.

As to the Holy Grail connection, Hancock uses Grail Literature as a hidden code to decipher that the Grail is the Ark. While the argument for the Ark residing in Ethiopia is compelling, the link between the Grail and the Ark is not so. The strength of this text is in Hancock's interviews with Ethiopian Religious leaders and research into the history of Ethiopia.

The Templars and the Grail : Knights of the Quest

Dr. Karen Ralls explores the legendary and literary links between the Templars and the quest for the Grail. I was fortunate enough to meet Karen at a conference in 1999 in London. At the time she was an Deputy Curator of the Rosslyn Chapel Museum. Her insights on things Grail related yield some interesting results. She also supports the web site Ancient Quest

1 comment:

Ben Hammott said...

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