Friday the Thirteenth; the Arrest and Trials of the Templars

At the beginning of October 1307 Jacques de Molay was mainly concerned with fending off the proposed union of the Templars and the Hospitallers and with getting together the men and materials necessary to retake the Holy Land. He seems to have had no idea that Philip the Fair was already preparing the mass arrest of every Templar in France.

De Molay may have even felt that he had a real chance of success. The new pope, Clement V, had proclaimed from the beginning of his pontificate that the recovery of the Holy Land was one of his main goals.1 King Philip also seemed disposed to leading a crusade, although the terms under which he would do so weren’t what the master of the Temple had in mind. Philip wanted the Templars disbanded and a new order created, possibly under the leadership of his younger brother, Charles de Valois.2 Charles had married Catherine de Courtenay, granddaughter of the last Western emperor of Constantinople, and he had dreams of one day retaking the city from the Greeks and ruling it himself.3

Therefore, De Molay seems to have been oblivious to the coming storm. When he came to Paris in October 1307, he had no idea that Philip had already sent out the order for the arrest of every Templar in France.

Why did Philip decide that the Templars would be his next target? It’s not really clear, even with the mass of material his counselors wrote to justify his actions. If we take these documents at face value, the pious king had recently been horrified to learn that the Templars were not as they seemed. Instead of being the pillars of Christendom, a bulwark against the heathen, they had really renounced Christ and were working actively against Him and, by extension, against the most Christian king of France and, oh yes, the papacy.

One month before the arrest, on September 14, 1307, Philip sent secret orders to his officials throughout the land. His words leave no doubt of his shock and horror at what he was asking them to do: “A bitter thing, a doleful thing, a thing horrible to contemplate, terrible to hear, a detestable crime, an execrable pollution, an abominable act, a shocking infamy, something completely inhuman, even more, outside of all humanity.”!!!4

The men who received this must have been quaking in their boots as they read, not knowing what monster was about to be unleashed. Philip’s orders continue in this way for a full page before he lets on that the perpetrators of this evil are, gasp, the Templars! “Wolves in sheep’s clothing, under the habit of their order, they insult the faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ, crucified for the salvation of mankind, is crucified again in our time.”5

He then reveals the blasphemies that they are guilty of. These would become familiar to everyone soon, but one has to wonder what the bailiffs and seneschals felt when they heard them for the first time.

In their initiation ceremonies, Philip states, the Templars ritually deny the faith three times. Then they spit three times on the face of the cross. Finally, the new recruit strips naked and kisses the Templar who has recruited him, first at the base of the spine, then on the navel, and then on the mouth, “as is the profane rite of their order.”6

As if that isn’t enough, then the new recruit to the Templars is told that he must now give himself to the other brothers, not refusing anything they ask, lying together in “this horrible and dreadful vice.”7 And, by the way, they also worship idols.

Philip winds up by telling his officials that he is only taking this drastic step at the request of the Inquisitor General of Paris, and with the permission of the pope, because the Templars pose a clear and present danger to all the people of Christendom. Therefore, he commands his men to arrest all the Templars in their jurisdiction and hold them. The officials are also to seize all their goods, both buildings and property, and hold them for the king (ad manum nostrum—“for our hand”), without using or destroying anything. Because, of course, if it should turn out that the Templars were innocent, everything ought to be returned to them just as they left it.8

Guillaume de Paris, the Inquisitor, was also Philip’s private confessor. Of course that didn’t affect his loyalty to the Faith or to the pope, not at all.

Everything was in place.

On Thursday, October 12, 1307, Jacques de Molay attended the funeral of Catherine de Courtenay, the wife of Charles de Valois. He was given a place of honor and even held one of the cords of the pall.9 That night, he must have gone to bed feeling fairly sure of his place in court society.

I have often heard that our superstition about Friday the thirteenth being an unlucky day stems from the arrest of the Templars. It’s very difficult to trace the origin of a folk belief. It does seem that thirteen was an unlucky number long before the Templars, and there are traditions that Friday is an unlucky day, perhaps stemming from Friday being the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. I haven’t been able to discover when the two beliefs were joined. It was certainly unlucky for Jacques and the rest of the Templars. In fact, Jacques’ world was shattered in the predawn hours of the next morning, Friday, October 13, when the Temple in Paris was invaded by agents of the king. “All the Templars that could be found in the kingdom of France were, all at once, in the same moment, seized and locked up in different prisons, after an order and decree of the king.”10

It’s not clear if they knew at first what they were charged with. Jacques de Molay had apparently heard the rumors of improprieties in the order and had asked Pope Clement to look into them.11 Clement promised to do so but put the matter off because of his chronic illness. Neither man seemed to feel it was anything urgent.

By October 24, Jacques de Molay had confessed to every misdeed his accusers suggested. He did this, the records state, not because of torture or fear of torture or because he’d been thrown into prison but “on the contrary, he spoke the pure truth for the good of his soul.”12

Almost all of the Templars arrested that night produced almost identical confessions within the next few weeks. Either they were obviously guilty or the inquisitors had all been working from the same script.

People who heard of this tended to one side or the other depending on their experience with the Templars and their distance from the court of Philip the Fair. James II, king of Aragon, wrote to Philip that he was astonished by the accusations, as the Templars had “lived as religious men in these parts in a laudable manner according to popular opinion.”13 Edward II of England, Philip’s son-in-law, told him that he and his council found the whole matter “more than is possible to believe.”14

The person who was most amazed, apart from the imprisoned Templars, was Pope Clement. As one of the exempt orders, the Templars were answerable only to the pope. Not even the local bishops could prosecute them. This had been a source of friction ever since the military orders had been founded. Therefore, for the king of France—who was, when all is said and done, only a layman—to arrest and question the Templars without even telling the pope first, that was just too much.

Clement let Philip know that he wasn’t happy. He immediately wrote to the king, “You . . . have in our absence, violated every rule and laid hands on the persons and property of the Templars. You have also imprisoned them and, what pains us even more, you have not treated them with due leniency [that means “you tortured them”] . . . Your hasty act is seen by all, and rightly so, as an act of contempt towards ourselves and the Roman Church.”15

Clement was right to be alarmed. He remembered only too well what had happened to Boniface VIII in his hometown in Italy, when he had made an enemy of Philip. How much more dangerous was it for a pope to challenge Philip the Fair in his own kingdom? Clement had been driven out of Rome and was at that time in Poitiers. Still, he had to say something. Philip seemed to be usurping the role of leader of the faithful. Clement probably knew that he was already widely regarded as nothing more than Philip’s puppet. But this was going too far. The pope knew that he had never agreed to let Philip’s men arrest the Templars, but Philip had told everyone that he had blessed the deed.

Clement had to find a way to get control of the situation.

Philip argued in return that, since the Templars were so dangerous and the threat so imminent, as a good Christian and crowned defender of the faith, he had no choice but to act, since the pope wouldn’t. Clement didn’t agree with that, nor did the masters at the University of Paris when Philip put the matter to them.16

Actually, Philip never said just what threat the Templars posed. There was a veiled insinuation that they might be luring more men into the pernicious heresy of the order, but there was no mention of an upcoming plot to destroy the kingdom or assassinate the pope. As a matter of fact, until Jacques de Molay confessed, none of the charges were anything but rumors. But after Jacques and other leaders of the Templars admitted their guilt, the fate of the Templars was sealed.

Still, it would be another five years before the order was officially dissolved. The story of these years reflects the politics and emotional climate of the time as much as the guilt or innocence of the Templars.

They were, to some extent, pawns in the struggle of Pope Clement to escape the control of the king of France. They also suffered from the resentment of local bishops and priests against the exempt orders along with a popular feeling that the Templars had grown too arrogant and powerful. Added to that was a growing unease in Europe about heresy and the beginning of a belief that it was somehow connected to sorcery and magic.17 This was to culminate in the seventeenth century, during the “Enlightenment,” with the witch trials.

At first, Clement simply tried to make the best of a bad situation. In order to appear that he was in charge, on November 22, 1307, he ordered that all Templars in all countries be arrested. He also sent emissaries to try to find out what was going on.

While the pope dithered, the king’s men continued to question the Templars energetically. It was said that at least thirty-six of them died as a result.18


Most of the charges against the Templars are so commonplace that for a long time people assumed that Philip and his counselors had made them up. Accusations of defacing holy objects, idolatry, sexual deviation, and wild orgies have been staples of condemnations of outsiders since long before the Christian era.19 As a matter of fact, the accusation of heresy without orgies seems to be almost unheard of, even against groups that preach celibacy.

In any case, it turns out that at least one person was spreading salacious stories about the Templars in the months before the arrests. A man from Gascony, Esquin de Floyran, had been trying to get the kings of Europe to pay attention to him for some time. He had first gone to King James II of Aragon with the information, but James had told him that his stories were nonsense.20

Undaunted, Floyran took his information to Philip the Fair, who was much more receptive and sent spies into the Templar commanderies to find out if the charges were true. The spies reported back that they were.21 It’s not clear exactly how the spies found that out. They don’t seem to have actually joined the Templars themselves. Perhaps they hung about in local taverns asking servants and others. That’s what investigators do on television.

The Templars were aware of Floyran’s accusations, but don’t seem to have been that worried about him. For an experienced leader, Jacques de Molay acted in a manner that was most unworldly.

In January 1308, Floyran wrote a letter to King James II to say “I told you so.” In it he specifies that he told James that the Templars denied Christ and spit on the cross, that they were encouraged to have sex with each other, and that the reception ceremony included kissing on various parts of the body. He reminds James that “you were the first prince in the whole world to whom I exposed their actions. . . . In this you were unwilling, lord, to give full credence to my words.”22 He then goes on to give the main reason for his letter: “My Lord, remember that you promised me . . . that if the activities of the Templars were found to be proved, you would give me 1,000 livres in rents and 3,000 livres in money from their goods.”23

There is no record of James paying.

I haven’t found anything that indicates where Esquin de Floyran found the information about the Templars in the first place. Was he a good citizen reporting a crime or a greedy bastard with an ax to grind? As with so many things, we may never know.


For several centuries, people have debated this question. Some people have said that they must have been guilty. If they weren’t doing something bad, why were their reception ceremonies secret? Others have assumed that there was something in the charges but the actions weren’t signs of heresy. The spitting on the cross and denying of Christ were just tests to judge the obedience of the new recruit. The kisses were just medieval boyish high spirits, to show humility. The ceremony was nothing more serious than a fraternity initiation.24

Some people have taken the confessions more seriously. They have assumed that at least parts of the confessions reflected real events and used them to assert that the Templars were really a secret mystical and/or pagan society.25While they were accused of blasphemy and denial of the divinity of Jesus, none of the accusations imply that the Templars had a coherent secret agenda.

I believe that many of those searching for explanations have ignored the situation that the Templars found themselves in as well as the beliefs of the world in which they lived.

First of all, most of the men arrested were not knights, but “serving brothers” or even servants. The average age of those questioned in Paris was 41.46 years.26Jacques de Molay was at least in his early sixties. Others were still in their teens and had only recently joined the order. This was natural, as all men of fighting age were sent to the East as soon as possible, so the ones left in France would have been either too old and infirm to fight or not yet trained. But it meant that the weakest of the brothers were the ones who fell into Philip’s trap.

In order to make sense of the accusations against the Templars and their confessions, one needs to understand how heresy was viewed at this time. It was not enough simply to believe something that went counter to Church teaching. One had to hold to a contrary belief even after the accepted doctrine was explained. Also, the heresy usually was ignored unless the believer tried to convert others.

An established group of heretics who didn’t answer to Church or civil authority could lead to a breakdown of society. This was one reason why kings and other rulers were eager to stamp it out. This danger had been made all too clear fifty years before the Templar trial when whole counties had refused to obey local religious leaders, preferring the teaching of the Cathars.

However, in theory, the Church did not want to punish sinners, but save them. Therefore, if a heretic confessed, showed contrition, and was prepared to do penance, he or she would be forgiven and brought back into the fold. In the case of the Templars, when they were arrested, they were presumed to be guilty. A chronicler reports, “Some of them confessed, sobbing, to most or all of these crimes. These were allowed, it seems, to repent. Some others were questioned with various tortures, or frightened by the threat or sight of the torture instruments. Still others were led or coerced by inviting promises. Many were tormented and forced by starvation in the prison to swear to the truth of the accusations.”27

After days or weeks of imprisonment and torture, it may well have seemed to the Templars that it would make more sense just to confess, do the penance, and get on with their lives. Seen in this light, the mass confessions make some sense.

What is amazing is that the confessions were retracted. The chronicler is also amazed. “But a great number of them denied absolutely everything, and more, who had at first confessed, later recanted and persisted in their denials right up to the end. Some among them died while being tortured.”28

Finally, Pope Clement became fed up with Philip’s determination to continue the unauthorized interrogation of the Templars. Since the king insisted that he was only acting on behalf of Guillaume de Paris, the papal inquisitor, Clement was able to find a loophole. In February 1308, he suspended the Inquisition in France, “thereby bringing the trial of the Templars to a dead-end.”29

But it was too late to go back. Templars all over Christendom were in prison or on the run. Their goods had been confiscated. And the Grand Master had confessed to horrible crimes that, by extension, made every Templar suspect of the same.

Clement may have been hoping to make the investigation of the Templars purely an internal matter, but Philip was having none of that. He stepped up his media campaign against the Templars. One of his clerks, Pierre Dubois, wrote a “people’s proclamation,” supposedly a reflection of popular French opinion. It was written in French and widely distributed throughout the kingdom. In it, the “people” profess themselves to be horrified by the “buggery of the Templars.”30 They are also upset about the confessions of blasphemy and can only imagine that the Templars have bribed the pope to stop the proceedings.31

Instead of attacking the Templars, the proclamation goes for Pope Clement, who is really an easier target. It accuses him not only of taking bribes but of putting many of his relatives in important positions in the Church. Both of these things were true. His nephew Bernard de Fargues had been made archbishop of Rouen. Another nephew, Arnaud de Cantiloup, became archbishop of Bordeaux.32 Yet another, Gaillard de Preissac, was given the bishopric of Toulouse.33 The pope was very much a family man.

Clement had reason to be nervous, as the letter continued to hint that a pope who didn’t act in the interests of the faith might not be around long.

This was followed by a second proclamation, in Latin, that focused more on the sins of the Templars but still begged the king to see that the pope take action at once. “The people of the Kingdom of France urgently and devotedly ask Your Majesty that however . . . the discord between you and the pope over the punishment of the Templars, he swore to uphold the Catholic faith.”34 Again it urges the king to help the pope see his duty and condemn the Templars.

The king then called together a group of representatives from the kingdom, consisting of minor local officials and bourgeoisie. He put the matter to them as spokesmen for the people of France and they came through by agreeing that something should be done.35

Clement got the message. Even so, he refused to allow the king to judge the order. In early 1309, he set up a papal commission to interview the Templars in custody and gather evidence for a decision on the order as a whole. He had already announced that there would be a general council of the Church that would meet in October 1310.36


Pope Clement’s commission, headed by Gilles Aycelin, archbishop of Narbonne, didn’t meet until August 9, 1309. The bishops issued a proclamation that all who wished to defend the Templars should come to meet with them at the monastery of St. Genevieve, in Paris.

The first day they met no one came.

The second day no one came.

The third day no one came, even though the porter, John, had shouted the invitation all over the city.

The same thing happened for the following five days. Finally, the commission was about to adjourn and try again in November. After all, everyone knows August is when the French all leave Paris for someplace cooler.

However, they made one last attempt. They sent a letter to the bishop of Paris asking if he could hurry things up a bit. The bishop decided to go to see the Templars for himself and found that some did want to testify. It’s hard to get away to attend a meeting when you’re shackled to a wall.

The next day seven Templars appeared, including the Visitor, Hugh de Pairaud. However, each one told the commission that they were “simple knights, without horse, arms or land and had no idea how to defend the order.”37When Hugh was led in, he said only that the Templars were an honorable order and only the pope should judge them.38

This wasn’t the defense the commission had in mind.

A few men did straggle in later. One, Peter of Sorayo, had left the Templars some time before and had come to Paris looking for work. No, he didn’t know anything bad about the order, but could the commission give him a handout? Another couple of men had been sent by Templars in Hainault in the north, to find out what was going on.39 They didn’t know what they were supposed to defend.

The commission adjourned until November.


When the cardinals returned in November, they found an entirely different situation, although the first witness didn’t give any indication of that. It was Jacques de Molay.

The Grand Master of the Templars insisted that he thought it unlikely that the pope would want to destroy an order that had done so much for the faith. He added that he couldn’t afford counsel, for he had only four denarii to his name. The commission had his previous confession read to him. Upon hearing it, “he made the sign of the cross twice over his face and moved his hands in other signs, seeming to be stupefied by this.”40

Either Jacques was a great actor or his two years in prison had rattled his brains.

Undaunted, the commission continued to interview Templars. Some repeated their confessions but, day by day, they seemed to gain courage. Ponsard of Gizy, preceptor of the first commandery at Payns, admitted that he had previously confessed to all the charges. Then he told the cardinals that he and the others had only done so through force and fear because they had been tortured, and all information gathered that way was false.

Ponsard then told the commission whom he thought might have had a grudge against the order. One of the four men he listed was Esquin de Floyran.41

Other Templars began to come forward. Some recanted their confessions. Others, who had never confessed, told of the torture they had endured, designed to get them to admit wrongdoing. Some had had their hands tied behind their backs and then were pulled up by their wrists until their arms were dislocated.42 One man told the commission that weights had been hung from his genitals and other parts of his body during the questioning.43 Another had had grease rubbed over his feet and then held to a fire until the skin was burned away.44 Many had been starved and confined in spaces too small to rest in comfort. Even the ones who hadn’t been tortured knew that it was happening. Several men admitted that the threat of torture had been enough to make them give in.

Eventually nearly seven hundred Templars came forward. Most of them felt that they were too ignorant to present a solid legal defense but finally one of the priests of the order, Peter of Bologna, was convinced to speak for all. Peter had been trained as a lawyer and had been the Templar representative to the papal court in Rome.45His rhetoric was a match for that of the king’s counselors.

On April 23, 1310, Peter and three other defenders came before the commission and declared that the actions of King Philip had been outside of law and reason. “The proceedings against the Order had been ‘rapid, unlooked for, hostile and unjust, altogether without justice, but containing complete injury, most grave violence and intolerable error,’ for no attempt had been made to keep to proper procedures.” He added that as a result of this sudden and horrible arrest, imprisonment, and torture, the Templars had been deprived of “freedom of mind, which is what every good man ought to have. Once a man is deprived of his free will, he is deprived of all good things, knowledge, memory and understanding.”46

This passionate speech was followed by a demand for all the documentation heretofore gathered in the case, along with the names of all witnesses called and to be called. The defenders also demanded that witnesses not be allowed to talk with each other and that the testimony be kept secret until it was sent to the pope.47

The commission agreed. Suddenly, there seemed to be a hope that the Templars would be declared innocent and at last, after two long years, set free.


It was now May of 1310, almost three years after the arrests. The Templars had not yet been judged as an order. Most were still imprisoned at various places in France. Philip the Fair still did not have legal access to their property. It was beginning to look as though he might have to give it all back. Philip needed to take decisive action.

By an odd coincidence, the new archbishop of Sens, Philip de Marigny, was the brother of King Philip’s new favorite counselor, Engerrand de Marigny. Now, at that time, Paris was under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Sens. It also happened that, while the commission had been set up to try the Templars as an order, the local bishops had the right to try and sentence individual Templars. The archbishop decided to do just that. He announced that the Templars imprisoned in Paris would be tried in the archiepiscopal court.

This sent the defenders into a panic. Peter of Bologna and the others hunted down the commission even though it was a Sunday. Peter begged them to prevent the archbishop from taking them, especially those who had confessed under torture and then recanted. The level of terror is clear even in the notorial records, which repeat the plea verbatim.

“It would be against God and justice and completely overturn this investigation. . . . We call upon the Pope and the Apostolic See both out loud and in writing . . . that all the brothers who have offered or will offer a defense be taken under the protection of the Apostolic See. We beg the pope, again we beg, and we beg with the greatest urgency!”48

The image of these brave men standing in the chapel of St. Eligius at the monastery of St. Genevieve, in the Sunday calm, pleading for their lives, is a haunting one. We don’t know how it affected the commissioners. Gilles Aycelin, who was also a counselor of the king, excused himself from making a decision. The other commissioners asked the Templars to return at vespers that afternoon, to hear their answer.

This is one of those times when it’s hard for me to keep a scholarly objective.

The commissioners William Durant, bishop of Mende; Reginald of La Porte, bishop of Limoges; Matthew of Naples; and John of Mantua, archdeacon of Trent, joined by John of Montlaur, archdeacon of Maguelonne, returned to face Peter and his comrades.

They told the Templars that there was nothing they could do. The law was clear on this and they couldn’t poach on the territory of the archbishop of Sens. They were very sorry, but that was that.49

Were these men sticklers for the law? Were they cowards, afraid of Philip the Fair? Did they believe that the Templars were guilty and deserved whatever they got? They definitely knew that they were putting all the Templars in grave danger.

Two days later, the archbishop of Sens ordered the burning of fifty-four Templars. They “were burned outside of Paris in a field not far from the convent of the nuns of Saint Anthony.”50 The victims seem to have been picked at random from those who had not yet been reconciled with the Church. Only a few of them had said they would defend the order.51

And yet, they all died proclaiming their innocence. “All of them, not one excepted, refused to admit to the crimes of which they were accused and persisted firmly and consistently in general denial, not ceasing to declare that it was without cause and unjust that they were sentenced to death. A great number of people saw this with great astonishment and excessive shock.”52

The shock rippled back to the Templars still in prison. Now no one was eager to defend the order. The pope either wouldn’t or couldn’t protect them. The pillar they had trusted to support them had crumbled.

The next witness brought before the commission, Aimery of


Philip the Fair watches as Templars burn. (The British Library)

Villiers-le-Duc, was so terrified that he told the commission he would confess anything as long as it would keep him from the flames. Trying to distance himself from the order as much as possible, Aimery appeared with his beard shaved and without his Templar mantle. He was clearly upset. “And when the commissioners saw that the witness was at the edge of a precipice,” they told him to go home and not to reveal anything of what he had said.53

Things were looking bad for the Templars, but they were about to get worse. The next time that the commissioners asked to see Peter of Bologna, the best trained of the defenders, they were told that he had vanished. When they asked for more information, they were told that he had suddenly returned to his former confession, then broken out of jail and fled.54


There weren’t many Templars who had the legal training to argue their case, and his loss was a severe blow.

PETER of Bologna was never seen or heard from again. You can draw your own conclusions.

One scholar has suggested that the increased interest in education shown by the Hospitallers in the fourteenth century might be due to “how much the illiteracy and legal incompetence of the Templars had contributed to their downfall.”55 The effect of the loss of their main advocate seems to support this theory.

The commission continued off and on until June 1311 but the heart had gone out of it. Most of the Templars who came forward did not attempt to defend the order but rather to confess their crimes. They seemed eager to outdo each other in the details of their blasphemous reception into the order. They minutely described the crosses they had spat on or next to. The heads they were supposed to have adored were gold or copper or flesh. They looked like a woman, a monster, or a man with a long gray beard.56Everyone seems to have had their own personal idol.57

In the end the commissioners closed the proceedings and had all the information sent to Pope Clement at Avignon. They made no recommendation as to the fate of the Templars.

That was now up to Pope Clement and the Council of Vienne.


Sophia Menache, Clement V (Cambridge University Press, 1998) p. 17. Catherine’s death just before the arrest of the Templars (see below) may have forced Charles to revise his plans for conquest.


Jean Favier, Phillippe le Bel (Paris: Fayard, 1978) p. 315.


Ibid., p. 309.


Georges Lizerand, Le Dossier de L’Affaire des Templiers (Paris, 1923) p. 16. “Res amara, res flebilies, res quidam cogitatu horribilis, auditu terribilis, detestabilis crimine, execrabilis scelere, abhominabilis opers, detestanda flagicio, res penitus inhumana, immo ab omni humanitate seposita.”


Lizerand, p. 18, “gerenets sub specie agni lupum et sub religionis habitu notre religioni fidei nequiter insultantes, dominum nostrum Jhesum Christum, novissimis temporibus, pro humani generic redemtione crucifixum.”


Ibid., “juxta prophanus ordinis sui ritum.”


Ibid., “professionis sue voto se obligant quod alter alterius illius horribilis et tremendi concubitus vicio.”


If you believe this, I have some land in Atlantis I’d like to sell you.


Malcolm Barber, The Trial of the Templars (Cambridge University Press, 1978; new edition forthcoming) p. 47.


Continuator of Guillaume de Nangis, Chroniques capétiennes Tome II 1270-1328 (Paris: Paleo, 2002) p. 92. Guillaume was attached to the court of Philip and his chronicle follows the information given in the public announcements.


Barber, p. 48.


Lizerand, p. 37, “immo dixit puram veritatem propter salutem anime sue.”


Quoted in Alan Forey, The Fall of the Templars in the Crown of Aragon (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2001) p. 3.


Barber, p. 69.


Quoted in Menache, p. 207.


Barber, p. 80. And darned brave it was of them, too.


Norman Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons.


Jules Michelet, Le Procés des Templiers (Paris, 1841-51; rpt. Paris: CNRS, 1987) Vol. I p. 36.


There are a number of books that address this. For medieval attitudes: Jeffrey Richards, Sex, Dissidence, and Damnation: Minority Groups in the Middle Ages (Routledge University Press, 1991), and Norman Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons (St. Albans, 1976). Also anything by Jeffrey Burton Russell.


Alan Forey, The Fall of the Templars in the Crown of Aragon (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2001) p. 2.


Barber, p. 66.


Translated in Malcolm Barber and Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources Translated and Annotated (Manchester University Press, 2002) p. 256.


Barber and Bate, p. 257.


Alain Demurger, Jacques de Molay: Le Crepuscule des Templiers (Paris: Payot, 2002) p. 294. Demurger leans to this belief. He feels that the reception ceremony existed but was a sort of hazing.


This is the premise in, Maichael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (London: Jonathan Cape, 1982). I do not, under any circumstances, recommend this book.


Barber, p. 54.


Guillaume de Nangis, p. 94.




Menache, p. 218.


Lizerand, p. 84, “la bougrerie du Templiers.” My modern dictionary says it means “idiocy.” Maybe it does today but, trust me, that’s not what it meant in the fourteenth century. Actually, the word only came into use in the thirteenth century, and was applied to theCathars and so carried with it a sense of heresy as well as homosexual practice.


Lizerand, p. 86.


Menache, p. 48.


Lizerand, p. 87, note 4.


Lizerand, p. 96. “Cum instancia devote supplicat populus regni Francie quatinus advertat regia majestas quod quelibet . . . pro domino popa allegate (sunt) super dsicordia punitionis Templariorum inter vos commota, fidem catholice profitbatur se tenere et tenebat.”




Barber, p. 126.


Michelet, vol. I, p. 28, “quod simplex miles, sine equis, armis et terra, erat, et non posset nec sciret ipsum ordinem defendere.”


Ibid., vol. I, p. 29.


Ibid., vol I. pp. 32-33.


Ibid., vol. I, p. 34, “bis signum cruciscoram facie sua et in aliis signis pretendere, videbatur se esse valde stupefactum de hiis.”


Ibid., vol. I, p. 36. While most of the report is in Latin and only gives the gist of what each man said, this part, in Middle French, seems to be a direct quote.




Ibid., Vol. I, p. 218, “fuit questionatus ponderibus apensis in genetalibus suis et in aliis menbris quasi usque ad exeminacionam.”




Barber, p. 244.


Quoted and summarized in Barber, pp. 168-69. Where is Peter of Bologna when we need him?


Barber, pp. 169-70.


Michelet, pp. 264-65.


Michelet, p. 265; Barber, p. 177.


Continuator of Guillaume de Nangis, vol. II, p. 279.


Barber, Trial, p. 179


Continuator of Guillaume de Nangis., p. 283.


Michelet, vol. I, p. 276.


Barber, pp. 181-82.


Anthony Luttrell, “The Hospitallers of Rhodes and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus,” in The Meeting of Two Worlds: Cultural Exchange between East and West during the Period of the Crusades ed. Bladimir P. Goss (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute, 1986) p. 161.


Barber, p. 185.


For more on this, please see chapter 40, Baphomet.

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