The History of Leith

December 10, 2011

On The Trail Of England’s Last Templar

Today, the standard explanation (reproduced in The Da Vinci Code) why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky is that it was on this date the Knights Templar were rounded up with papal authorisation in 1307, tortured into confessing heresy and blasphemy, their unrepentant leaders killed by various cruel means. There is a related alternative explanation to do with Judas being the 13th disciple and Christ being arrested on a Friday, setting up parallels with the Templars’ last leader, Jacques de Molay, as ‘the Second Messiah’, the argument being made that his torture consisted of being crucified to mock the fact he had said his Order could absolve sins. (Knight & Lomas’s 1998 The Second Messiah: Templars, The Turin Shroud And The Great Secret Of Freemasonry argues the Shroud is an artefact of this.) Though the fatal roundup occurred in October of 1307, this year the day-date combination of Friday the 13th falls now, at the end of Easter week. This year is the 700th anniversary of the Templars’ downfall, and so this seems as good a time as any to look at an event that has achieved ‘mythic’ status in more ways than one. To commemorate this, there will be conferences in Britain and America, which will look at an aspect neglected by scholars until now: the English Templar trials. for more click here

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