The Knights Templar vs. the Davinci Code

Table of contents

The Knights Templar have been a topic of speculation since 1119, nearly ten years after they banded together to protect pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. Questions arose about their origins just as soon as they were recognized by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem as a military order. It is not only their mystery that intrigues us but also who and what they were that titillate our curiosity. During their period of influence the Templars became the second most powerful entity in the known world; surpassed only by the Catholic Church and the papacy itself. It is their acquired power in such a short amount of time that is fascinating. The DaVinci Code is the most popular work of fiction in all history (other than the Bible) and so Dan Brown’s use of the Knights Templar in this novel has brought them to the forefront of our awareness once again.

Many readers of The DaVinci Code were introduced to the Knights Templar for the first time. Dan Brown portrayed the Templars as powerful guardians of a secret treasure that would destroy the image of the Catholic Church. His novel made many assertions regarding the Templars’ power. I will reiterate those claims and then compare them with factual knowledge from various sources. Through research, actual facts regarding the power behind the Templars will be disclosed. This paper will also explore how and why the Knights Templar lost that power.Ultimately, we will see where the real power of the Templars came from versus the claims made in The DaVinci Code and why this enigmatic group holds our attention nearly one thousand years after they became a recognized order of the Catholic Church.

I argue against Brown’s claim that the Knights were controlled by a secret society called the Priory of Sion and that their power came from guarding the Holy Grail; defined in the novel as the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene and the documentation of her descendents with Jesus of Nazareth.

The non-existent secret society and the mystery documents

In the front of The DaVinci Code, before the novel begins, Dan Brown stipulates as “Fact” that the Priory of Sion was a secret society that was founded over 900 years ago: “The Priory of Sion – a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization. ” (Brown, page 1) Brown generates the following dialogue as back up to his initial claim of “Fact”: “The Priory of Sion,” he [Robert Langdon] began, “was founded in Jerusalem in 1099 by a French king named Godefroi de Bouillon, immediately after he had conquered the city. “King Godefroi was allegedly the possessor of a powerful secret – a secret that had been in his family since the time of Christ. Fearing his secret might be lost when he died, he founded a secret brotherhood – the Priory of Sion – charged them with protecting his secret by quietly passing it on from generation to generation. During their years in Jerusalem, the Priory learned of a stash of hidden documents buried beneath the ruins of Herod’s temple, which had been built atop the earlier ruins of Solomon’s Temple.These documents, they believed, corroborated Godefroi’s powerful secret and were so explosive in nature that the Church would stop at nothing to get them.

“The Priory vowed that no matter how long it took, these documents must be recovered from the rubble beneath the temple and protected forever, so the truth would never die. In order to retrieve the documents from within the ruins, the Priory created a military arm – a group of nine knights called the Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and Temple of Solomon. ” Langdon paused. “More commonly known as the Knights Templar. (Brown, page 171) So, according to Brown the Knights Templar acquired their very existence, as well as their power, exclusively from an organization known as the Priory of Sion that was established in 1099; however, research has revealed that there was no such organization from that time in history. There were two entities so named but they were created hundreds of years later: 1. ) “There was a medieval monastic order known as the Priory of Sion, but it died out and all its assets were absorbed by the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1617.

The politics of the Priory of Sion were quite modest and focused on supporting politicians determined to build low-cost houses for the working classes of Annemasse.By 1964, however, Plantard was ready to try again his luck with the Priory of Sion, this time through the version which eventually inspired The DaVinci Code. Plantard had come across the curious story of the parish church of a small French village of less than one hundred inhabitants in the Aude region, at the foot of the eastern Pyrenees Mountains, Rennes-le-Chateau, where a hidden treasure had been supposedly discovered in 1897 by the local parish priest, Berenger Sauniere (1852-1917) while renovating his church in Rennes-le-Chateau. There were those who claimed that the treasure consisted not of gold or antiques but of secret documents which enabled the parish priest to come into contact with the esoteric and political milieu of the time and become incredibly wealthy”. It is these false documents that connected the Knights Templar to the Priory of Sion in The DaVinci Code: “Their [the Knights Templar’s] true goal in the Holy Land was to retrieve the documents from beneath the ruins of the temple.

“And did they find them? ” Langdon grinned. Nobody knows for sure, but the one thing on which all academics agree is this: The Knights discovered something down there in the ruins … something that made them wealthy and powerful beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. ” (Brown, page 172) “The Templars’ potent treasure trove of documents, which had apparently been their source of power, was Clement’s true objective, but it slipped through his fingers. The documents had long since been entrusted to the Templars’ shadowy architects, the Priory of Sion, whose veil of secrecy had kept them safely out of range of the Vatican’s onslaught.As the Vatican closed in, the Priory smuggled their documents from a Paris preceptory by night onto Templar ships in La Rochelle. ” (Brown, page 174) These parchments were known as the Les Dossiers Secrets and were actually produced in the twentieth century by Philippe de Cherisey, a friend and coconspirator of Plantard’s. The name of Pierre Plantard’s original 1956 group, The Priory of Sion, undoubtedly gave Plantard the subsequent idea to claim that his organization had been historically founded in Jerusalem during the Crusades (good thing that hill in Annemasse, France was named Sion).

Plantard made up a fake pedigree of the Priory of Sion claiming that his order was the subsidiary of the Order of Sion (aka: Abbey de Notre Dame du Mont Sion) which had been founded in the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. Plantard manipulated Sauniere’s activities at Rennes-le-Chateau in order to make the parchments appear valid and, thus, substantiate his claims regarding his Priory of Sion.During the 1960s, Plantard and de Cherisey then deposited the so-called Dossiers Secrets at the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris so that people who set out to research the Priory of Sion would come across these fake documents and further corroborate Plantard’s claims. It was the goal of Pierre Plantard that these documents act as independent sources revealing the survival of a Merovingian line of Frankish kings and connecting him directly to the French throne. Henry Lincoln, one of the Holy Blood / Holy Grail authors, would oblige.We should note here that Pierre Plantard had some help with his ruse from an original story written by Noel Corbu (1912-1968), the restaurant owner and one-time detective fiction writer who acquired property in 1953 from Sauniere’s housekeeper Marie Denarnaud. Mr.

Corbu, in an attempt to generate a little extra income, wrote a story about a priest who lived in a little out of the way place known as Rennes-le-Chateau and found a secret treasure while renovating his church; an embellishment of a lie originally told by the priest to cover up ill-gotten gains (he was accused of trafficking in masses or simony in 1915). It is upon this foundation that Plantard wove his connections to the 1956 Priory of Sion and then to the Knights Templar. Thus, the Knights Templar could not have originated from a secret society known as the Priory of Sion since no such entity co-existed at the time of the order. We can deduce further that the power and purpose behind the Templars was in no way connected to this non-existent organization. Having debunked this claim made in The DaVinci Code, let us now research the historical account of the power behind the Knights of the Temple.POWER BEGETS POWER The DaVinci Code informs us that the Knights Templar did not protect pilgrims: Sophie already looked troubled. “You’re saying the Knights Templar were founded by the Priory of Sion to retrieve a collection of secret documents? I thought the Templars were created to protect the Holy Land.

” “A common misconception. The idea of protection of pilgrims was the guise under which the Templars ran their mission. Their true goal in the Holy Land was to retrieve the documents from beneath the ruins of the temple. (Brown, page 171-172) Jonathan Riley-Smith tells us in his book The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades that the first Crusade ended in 1099 with the Christian acquisition of Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, and Acre; however, there were some other cities nearby that had not been conquered thus the roads between the occupied cities were basically still in the hands of the Muslims. The taking of the Holy Land saw an influx of many Christian pilgrims but their journeys, and excursions to and from Jordan, were treacherous at best.A small group of religious men took up arms and set out to protect these pilgrims. The fact that these men were legitimate protectors of pilgrims and a group of religious men who wished to devote their military skill to defend the Holy Land made a huge difference in the eyes of King Baldwin II.

John J. Robinson explains that it was a new paradigm for a knight to take on the same triple vow that was common only to monastic orders; poverty, chastity, and obedience. These three pledges directly contrasted the life goals of secular medieval knights. The service of protecting pilgrims was greatly needed. It had been twenty years since the taking of Jerusalem and the number of pilgrims had grown to the point that they had become a substantial source of revenue. The pilgrims spent their money on travel, tolls, gifts, and tithes to the church; thus, the greatest danger to those growing proceeds was the threat to the pilgrims’ life and property. All the lands between the Christian cities were subject to marauders, Muslim zealots, slave traders, rapists, and murderers; all of which kept those revenues from getting to the Holy Land.

King Baldwin II must have been ecstatic when he heard the vows of that small group of knights who would fight to restore and maintain the flow of revenue; power begets power. The DaVinci Code continues with its own history of the Knights’ origins:Langdon quickly gave Sophie the standard academic sketch of the accepted Knights Templar history, explaining how the Knights were in the Holy Land during the Second Crusade and told King Baldwin II that they were there to protect Christian pilgrims on the roadways. Although unpaid and sworn to poverty, the Knights told the king they required basic shelter and requested his permission to take up residence in the stables under the ruins of the temple. King Baldwin granted the soldiers’ request, and Knights took up their meager residence inside the devastated shrine.The odd choice of lodging, Langdon explained, had been anything but random. The Knights believed the documents the Priory sought were buried deep under the ruins – beneath the Holy of Holies, a sacred chamber where God Himself was believed to reside. Literally, the very center of the Jewish faith.

For almost a decade, the nine Knights lived in the ruins, excavating in total secrecy through solid rock. (Brown, page 172) Some of this depiction is true. The Knights received their secular military order, circa 1119, and were given shelter at King Baldwin’s palace; specifically in the al-Aqsa Mosque (not just the stables).During the construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque in the 7th century, “… contemporary Muslim and Jewish sources record that the site was covered with garbage dumped there by Byzantine Christians, and that the two communities participated in cleaning it up as Umar watched on, until the rock upon which the Temples of Jerusalem [Solomon’s Temple] were said to have been erected was revealed. ”[9] So The Knights of the Temple, aka the Knights Templar, were so named. In the year 1128, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Abbot of Clairvaux and cousin to Hugues de Payens, assisted at the Council of Troyes.The purpose of this council was to settle certain disputes of the bishops of Paris, and regulate other matters of the Church of France.

It was at this council that Bernard traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar and where the order was given papal recognition. A letter from Saint Bernard was written to Hugues de Payens and entitled De Laudibus Novae Militiae translated as In Praise of the New Knighthood. It was this letter that propelled the Templars forward more then any other single event. The powerful association with the papacy and the Catholic Church started here; power begets power again.Once the Knights received official recognition from the papacy, Pope Honorius II, they set out with their Templar Rule to recruit more members and acquire donations to support their cause. The order owed its rapid growth in popularity to the fact that it combined the two great passions of the middle ages, religious fervor and martial prowess, into one entity. This appealed to thousands of people who were willing to take up the cause, live by the Rule, and donate all their wealth.

There is power behind wealth and in numbers of people; the Knights Templar attained both in unfathomable quantity.Dan Brown tells us in The DaVinci Code that it was the Catholic Church that was being blackmailed by the Knights of the Temple: “For almost a decade, the nine Knights lived in the ruins, excavating in total secrecy through solid rock. ” Sophie looked over. “And you said they discovered something? ” “They certainly did,” Langdon said, explaining how it had taken nine years, “but the Knights had finally found what they had been searching for. They took the treasure from the temple and traveled to Europe, where their influence seemed to solidify overnight.Nobody was certain whether the Knights had blackmailed the Vatican or whether the Church simply tried to buy the Knights’ silence, but Pope Innocent II immediately issued an unprecedented papal bull that afforded the Knights Templar limitless power and declared them ‘a law unto themselves’ – an autonomous army independent of all interference from kings and prelates, both religious and political. With their new carte blanche from the Vatican, the Knights Templar expanded at a staggering rate, both in numbers and political force, amassing vast estates in over a dozen countries.

They began extending credit to bankrupt royals and charging interest in return, …. ” (Brown, pages 172 – 173) Within ten years of their recognition by the Catholic Church that Pope Innocent II issued the bull Omne datum optimum (Every Great Gift) on the Templar order. This bull did exempt the Templars from all authority on earth, secular or temporal, except that of the pope. This enabled the Knights Templar to collect tithes but they didn’t have to pay any.

No one could ask a Templar to swear an oath or demand any change in their Rule.No monarch could impose his own civil law; one result was that they didn’t have to pay taxes. No bishop, archbishop, or cardinal could give them an order or interfere with their activities. Templars even had the power to abolish priests that didn’t suit them. This was a level of power unheard of before their time so the blackmailing scenario is feasible but not very probable. The Knights Templar were exempt from paying tithes and taxes because all their funds were used to fight for Christ. Building and maintaining fortifications required a stream of money and the Templars were ingenious in keeping it flowing.

Regular income was generated from the much needed service of money-changing in the Holy Land. However, an order of the Catholic Church was not allowed to loan money and collect interest, so the Templars invented, or at least popularized, the concept of interest deducted in advance; give a man ten dollars but create a document that says he is to pay back eleven dollars. Voila, they charged no interest and generated lots of wealth. The DaVinci Code says: “The Templars invented the concept of modern banking. For European nobility, traveling with gold was perilous, so the Templars allowed nobles o deposit gold in their nearest Temple Church and then draw it from any other Temple Church across Europe. All they needed was proper documentation. ” (Brown, page 375) The Knights Templar’s military strength, acuity, and perseverance really did make it possible to collect, store, and transport gold and other valuables to and from Europe and the Holy Land successfully.

Kings, noblemen, and pilgrims used the Knights Templar as a kind of bank or armored truck; the concept of safe deposit boxes and travelers checks originated in these activities. They did not, however, invent modern style banking; we have to give that credit to the Jews. The most obvious source of the Templars power was their fierce might and tenacity. “Knighthood, as known in Europe, was characterized by two elements, feudalism and service as a mounted combatant. Both arose under the reign of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, from which the knighthood of the Middle Ages can be seen to have had its genesis. ” These men were warrior monks who fought courageously during the crusades.Malcolm Barber, a recognized Templar scholar, illustrates that the Knights Templar were extremely zealous and had a creed to never flee a battlefield – this depiction leads many people to believe they were quite possibly insane.

Fear is a powerful weapon to wield and in the Middle Ages, fear was key to control and domination in every aspect of life. To tell a ranking official that you were not afraid of them was considered in insult. The DaVinci Code tells us that the Knights Templar were powerful due to their connection with the Holy Grail (as defined by Brown) which the following citations reveal: The Templars’ potent treasure trove of documents, which had apparently been their source of power, was Clement’s true objective, but it slipped through his fingers. The documents had long since been entrusted to the Templars’ shadowy architects, the Priory of Sion, whose veil of secrecy had kept them safely out of range of the Vatican’s onslaught. As the Vatican closed in, the Priory smuggled their documents from a Paris preceptory by night onto Templar ships in La Rochelle. ” [Emphasis added] “Where did the documents go? ” “The entire collection of documents, its power, and the secret it eveals have become known by a single name – Sangreal. ” “The legend is complicated, but the important thing to remember is that the Priory guards the proof, and is purportedly awaiting the right moment in history to review the truth.

” “What truth? What secret could possibly be that powerful? ” “Sophie, the word Sangreal is an ancient word. It has evolved over the years into another term … a more modern name. ” “… ‘Holy Grail’. ” “… but the Sangreal documents are only half of the Holy Grail treasure. They are buried with the Grail itself … and reveal its true meaning.The documents gave the Knights Templar so much power because the pages revealed the true nature of the Grail. ” (Brown, pages 174 – 175) Sophie quickly outlined what Langdon had explained earlier – the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar, the Sangreal documents, and the Holy Grail, which many claimed was not a cup … but rather something far more powerful.

(Brown, page 248) “The Holy Grail is not a thing. It is, in fact … a person. ” (Brown, page 256) “Legends of chivalric quests for the lost Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests for the lost sacred feminine.Knights who claimed to be ‘searching for the chalice’ were speaking in code as a way to protect themselves from a Church that had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned nonbelievers, and forbidden the pagan reverence for the sacred feminine. ” (Brown, page 259) The Holy Grail is Mary Magdalene … the mother of the royal bloodline of Jesus Christ. Sophie tilted her head and scanned the list of titles: THE TEMPLAR REVELATION: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ (Brown, page 273) Sophie was silent for a long moment. And these four chests of documents were the treasure that the Knights Templar found under Solomon’s Temple? ” “Exactly.

The documents that made the Knights so powerful. The documents that have been the object of countless Grail quests throughout history. ” “But you said the Holy Grail was Mary Magdalene. If people are searching for documents, why would you call it a search for the Holy Grail? ” Teabing eyed her, his expression softening. “Because the hiding place of the Holy Grail includes a sarcophagus. “The quest for the Holy Grail is literally the quest to kneel before the bones of Mary Magdalene. A journey to pray at the feet of the outcast one, the lost sacred feminine.

” (Brown, page 277) Sophie felt an unexpected wonder. “The hiding place of the Holy Grail is actually … a tomb? ” Teabing’s hazel eyes got misty. “It is. A tomb containing the body of Mary Magdalene and the documents that tell the true story of her life. At its heart, the quest for the Holy Grail has always been a quest for Magdalene – the wronged Queen, entombed with the proof of her family’s rightful claim to power. (Brown, page 278) … [Godefroi de Bouillon, descendant in the Merovingian bloodline and founder of the Priory of Sion] “ordered the Knights Templar to recover the Sangreal documents from beneath Solomon’s Temple and thus provide the Merovingians proof of their hereditary ties to Jesus Christ” [through Christ’s marriage to and subsequent children with Mary Magdalene]. (Brown, page 279) This personification of the Knights Templar by Dan Brown is simply not true; he created it to further his plot and keep the readers enthralled.

Mission accomplished.As previously illustrated, the Knights Templar were powerful in their own right and not because they were created to protect the holy grail for a secret society known as the Priory of Sion. The things that actually made the Knights Templar powerful were as follows:

  1. the papacy and their association with the Catholic Church;
  2. the view the masses had of them as good, righteous, and true;
  3. the trust that the nobles and lay peoples put in them;
  4. their wealth and ingenuity in creating and sustaining that wealth;
  5. their own righteous attitude, tenacity, and fervor;
  6. the fear they invoked – including fear on the battlefield; and
  7. the secrecy that they were determined to sustain.


The enigmatic Knights Templar would have probably faded into history if it had not been for the mention of knights (secular or devout) in the popular literary works of the Templar’s time. The unfinished poem of Chretien de Troyes, regarded by many as the oldest known Grail romance, tells of the adventures of a knight named Perceval, also the name of his poem. Another name for the same poem is Conte del Graal translated as The Story of the Grail (c. 190).

Chretien died before he revealed exactly what the grail was; however, the knights did not cease to exist in the written word. Wolfram von Eschenbach (1170-1220) continued the thread with his grail romance poem known as Parzival. Wolfram’s character, Parzival, is the representation of the slow and stumbling progress of an honorable man reaching toward the highest earthly responsibilities. In parallel incidents, it tells of a knight’s adventures that have already been recognized by his peers as unmatched by any other knight. Even though the Knights Templar were not named specifically they are assumed to be the basis for the character since the Templars coexisted with the authors. Here is where the connection between the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar begins; in poems and other fictional writings that made people feel good. In many of these grail romances it was discerned that the grail was a plate or a vessel that Christ was believed to have ate off of or drank out of at the last supper.

This item was then used to catch droplets of his blood while he hung from the cross, dying. So, from a vessel holding the blood of Christ we don’t have to jump very far to get to a pregnant woman carrying Jesus’ baby (still a vessel holding the blood of Christ). Mary Magdalene was merely a logical choice as the notorious vessel. Referencing the Templars as the guardian of the Holy Grail was also a logical choice; they had been depicted in literature doing just that for hundreds of years. I must say that Dan Brown’s idea of having Mary Magdalene’s physical remains as the actual object was a bit gruesome. Writers still find it easy to use the Templars in their tales because the Knights were a secretive order.The Knights Templar Encyclopedia tells us that the Templars’ central archives were shipped to Cyprus while the Saracens were taking Acre in August of 1291.

After the Templars were suppressed in 1312 all of their records were passed on to their rivals, the Knights Hospitallars who were also residing on Cyprus. It is believed that when the Turks took Cyprus in 1571 most of these archives were destroyed; however, it is through the Hospitallars’, and a few other sources such as the chronicles of William of Tyre, that we still have some records today, a few of which still await translation.These facts are not only enlightening but assist our understanding of why there is so much myth and mystery surrounding the order. The fact that the Knights Templar have remained in the forefront of our thoughts all these years is simply amazing. The Templars continue to be used by everyday writers in all kinds of genre and forums which touch the varying aspects of individual interests and personalities. Yes, all of their efforts keep us coming back for more. Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code entertained readers everywhere.

Sony Pictures’ movie of his story spread the tale to an even wider audience. New video games rose up everywhere and in all different languages. The Knights Templar were introduced to new generations for the first time and this is why we remain fascinated with them. Whether they are depicted as bad guys or good guys they were once a real order of warrior monks and that fact gives at least a little credence to all new manifestations. It is from this research that I hypothesize the true power behind the Knights Templar comes from the universal psychology of the masses.We, as human beings, have basic needs that must be met (food, shelter, and security) and when we find a safe source to fulfill any of those needs, we latch on to it. Initially the Templars came to us in a manner that provided protection of our physical well being, enabling us to seek spiritual fulfillment.

As our protectors of faith they took on an even stronger idealistic role that helped them to become ‘established’ within the universal psyche. Once fully accepted by the people of the day to be their protectors, the people supported them without question. This is where the true power lies, in the minds and actions of the masses. Any entity with the ability to control the perception of the majority is a powerful entity indeed.


  1. Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. Holy Blood Holy Grail. New York: Dell Publishing, 1982.
  2. I actually bought this book for my research. It was used to establish an understanding of where Dan Brown came up with his crazy facts. de Troyes, Chretien. Perceval, Or, The Story of The Grail. New York: Pergamon Press, 1983. This is the version I referenced for the noted source. The actual unfinished work was circa 1190 and is not listed in the Library of Congress.
  3. Barber, Malcolm. “The Knights Templar. Slate, April 20, 2006, http://www. slate. com/id/2140307/? nav=tap3 (accessed October 26, 2008). This was a good place to start. It established a basic scholarly overview of my topic by a renowned and trusted source.
  4. Barber, Malcolm. The New Knighthood. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Malcolm Barber is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading. This was my bible. I was able to use this book as noted in this paper and to verify or throw out information from other sources. Barber, Malcolm, and Keith Bate.
  5. The Templars: Selected Sources. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Reprint, New York: Palgrave, 2002. Malcolm Barber is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading. This book was translated and Annotated by Malcolm Barber and Keith Bate and it comprises a substantial collection of translated material illustrative of its history. I used it only for the noted referenced. Bernard of Clairvaux; translated by M.
  6. Conrad Greenia. In Praise of The New Knighthood: A Treatise On The Knights Templar and The Holy Places of Jerusalem. Kalamazoo, Mich. : Cistercian Publications, 2000. Very important document; without it, there may never have been a Catholic order called the Knights of the Temple.Bold, Kevin. “Baphomet: A “Mystery” Solved At Last? ,” 1995.
  7. Stephen Dafoe. http://www. templarhistory. com/solved. html. Interesting article, I did not use it in this paper. Boudicca, Laura.
  8. “Knights Templar Page,” April 10, 2008. Church of Y Dynion Mwyn. http://www. tylwythteg. com/templar. html. Interesting article, I did not use it in this paper.
  9. Brown, Dan. The Davinci Code. New York: Anchor Books, 2003. I liked this book and the creativity of those who were responsible for its basis; Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln (especially Lincoln). Not to forget Noel Corbu and Pierre Plantard.If you take out the FACT page it is an entertaining work of fiction without as much controversy. Fodor’s Guide to The Davinci Code: On The Trail to The Best-Selling Novel.
  10. Edited by Jennifer Paull, and Christopher Culwell. First ed. New York: Fodor’s Travel / Random House, 2006. This book was okay; however, I did not find it very useful in my research. I am glad I bought it though; it is fun to see the pictures of the actual places. Charbonnel, Josaephe Chartrou. (From Old Catalog).
  11. Paris: Les Presses universitaires de France, 1928. This source was translated by Malcolm Barber. I used it only for the noted reference.Correll, Larry, and Susan Correll. “Priory of Sion,” Timothy Ministries. http://timothyministries. org/theologicaldictionary/default.
  12. aspx? theword=priory%20of%20sion This is merely one definition of the Priory of Sion; short and to the point. The Vatican Publishing House. “THE PARCHMENT OF CHINON – Chinon, Diocese of Tours, 1308 August 17th – 20th,” Unknown. The Vatican Publishing House. http://asv. vatican. va/en/doc/1308.
  13. htm#top. I used this source only for the noted reference. This website appears to be the official website of the Vatican – it says it is the Holy See. Dafoe, Stephen. Baphomet: The Pentagram Connection,” Stephen Dafoe. http://www. templarhistory.
  14. com/pentagram. html. TemplarHistory. com is an online resource of information on the history, mystery, myth and legacy of the Knights Templar that was started by Templar author Stephen Dafoe in the fall of 1997. Interesting article, I did not use it in this paper. Dafoe, Stephen. “The Templar Hierarchy,” Stephen Dafoe.
  15. http://www. templarhistory. com/hierarchy. html. TemplarHistory. com is an online resource of information on the history, mystery, myth and legacy of the Knights Templar that was started by Templar author Stephen Dafoe in the fall of 1997.Interesting article, it was my first resource regarding the structure of the order.
  16. I received the same information in several other sources; however, the Templar hierarchy was not used in this paper. Dafoe, Stephen. “Who Were The Knights Templar? ,” Stephen Dafoe. http://www. templarhistory. com/who. html.
  17. TemplarHistory. com is an online resource of information on the history, mystery, myth and legacy of the Knights Templar that was started by Templar author Stephen Dafoe in the fall of 1997. An overview. de Sede, Gerard;. The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-chateau. Translated by Bill Kersey. Worcester Park: DEK, 2001.
  18. Gerard de Sede was a surrealist writer. This book reveals a plausible explanation of the source of Sauniere’s wealth and untangles the astounding hoax which includes false genealogies and international conspiracies. Gerard de Sede wrote a magazine article about Gisors, which in turn was responsible for his acquainting himself with Pierre Plantard and soon a collaboration developed between them that inspired Gerard de Sede’s 1962 book, Les Templiers sont parmi nous, ou, L’Enigme de Gisors (“The Templars are Amongst Us, or The Enigma of Gisors”), which also paved the way for the introduction of the mythical Priory of Sion.Pretty interesting stuff these collaborations. Editee pour la premiere fois et traduite en fran? cais par J. -B. Chabot.
  19. Chronique De Michel Le Syrien, Patriarche Jacobite D’antioche (1166-1199). 4 vols. Bruxelles: Culture et Civilisation, 1963. This source was translated by Malcolm Barber. I used it only for the noted reference. Gonen, Rivka. Contested Holiness: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Perspectives On The Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
  20. Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Pub. House, 2003. Rivka Gonen is the former Senior Curator of the Department of Jewish Ethnography at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and a participant in the Temple Mount Excavations.The book is a straightforward survey and history enhanced with modern-day perspectives on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. I used it only for the noted reference. Griffith-Jones, Robin. The Da Vinci Code and The Secrets of The Temple.
  21. Grand Rapids, Mich. : William B. Eerdmans Pub. , 2006. Robin Griffith-Jones works at the Temple Church in England and this book is the accumulation of what her presents to visitors. Parchments known as the Les Dossiers Secrets which were actually produced by Philippe de Cherisey is hat I pulled from an excerpt of this source, although it is common knowledge and found in many sources. GNU Free Documentation License.
  22. “Origins of medieval knighthood,” Last updated 10-18-2008: 22:50. The Wikimedia Foundation. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Knight. This provided me with the definition of secular knight. I could then compare it with the definition of a Knights Templar.
  23. Haag, Michael, Veronica Haag, and James McConnachie. The Rough Guide to The Davinci Code. Edited by Mark Ellingham. rev. ed. N. p.: Rough Guides Ltd. , 2006. This was a somewhat useful source.Some of the websites no longer work but we needed it for class and it was handy to look up other peoples topics. Hindley, Geoffrey. The Crusades: A History of Armed Pilgrimage and Holy War. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003.
  24. Reprint, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.While focusing on the relationship between the papacy and the 14th-century crusades, this study illuminates other fields of activity in Avignon, such as papal taxation and interaction with Byzantium. Housley analyzes the Curia’s approach to related issues such as peacemaking between warring Christian powers, the work of Military Orders, and western attempts to maintain a trade embargo on Mamluk, Egypt. I used it only for the noted reference. Housley, Norman, ed. Knighthoods of Christ: Essays On The History of The Crusades and The Knights Templar, Presented to Malcolm Barber. Aldershot, England.
  25. Reprint, Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.Technically the essay I pulled this from was called “The Military Orders and the East, 1149-1291 written by Jonathan Riley-Smith which begins on page 137 of the collection edited by Norman Housley. It provide the information I needed and was a good source. Introvigne, Massimo. “Beyond The Da Vinci Code: History and Myth of the Priory of Sion,” June, 2005. CESNUR Center for Studies On New Religions. http://www. cesnur. org/2005/pa_introvigne. htm.
  26.  Jones, Greg. Beyond Da Vinci. New York: Seabury Books, 2004. This book is short, concise, and understandable. Greg Jones presents the facts openly and shows the flaws when they are there in a way that is simply debatable. I used it only for the noted reference.
  27. Moore, Malcolm. “Vatican paper set to clear Knights Templar,” October 7, 2007.Telegraph Media Group Limited 2008. http://www. telegraph. co. uk/news/worldnews/1565252/Vatican-paper-set-to-clear-Knights-Templar. html.
  28. Article was printed verbatim under the CHINON PARCHMENT. Very useful. Riley-Smith, Jonathan, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of The Crusades, Oxford ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Jonathan Riley-Smith is Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Cambridge.
  29. Ruth Mazo Karras, Joel Kaye, William Kenan, and E. Ann Matter, eds.Law and The Illicit in Medieval Europe. Middle Ages series. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
  30. Ruth Mazo Karras is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. Joel Kaye is Professor of History at Barnard College. William R. Kenan is Jr. Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. E. Ann Matter is Associate Dean for Arts and Letters in the School of Arts and Sciences.
  31. Various scholars make the case that the development of law is deeply implicated in the growth of medieval theology and Christian doctrine. I used it only for the noted reference.Schein, Sylvia. Fideles Crucis: The Papacy, The West, and The Recovery of The Holy Land, 1274-1314. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprint, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. Schein is a PhD who challenges the view that the fall of Acre in 1291 was a watershed dividing the “classical age” of the crusade from the late Middle Ages, when the ideal had become sterile, the obsessive dream of a handful of individuals.
  32.  Strayer, Joseph R. The Reign of Philip The Fair. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1980. Strayer (1904-1987) taught at Princeton University and was chair of their History Department from 1941-1961. I wasn’t able to get my hands on this book, only the noted reference. Newman, Sharan. The Real History Behind The Templars, 10th ed. New York: Penguin Group, 2007. Sharan Newman was a PhD candidate at UC Santa Barbara, CA at the time this book was published.
  33. She is also a longtime member of the Medieval Academy and has served on the advisory board for the Medieval Association of the Pacific. I bought this book for my research and found it very useful in collaborating less scholarly sources as well as the noted reference. Nicholson, Helen, and David Nicolle. God’s Warriors: Knights Templar, Saracens and The Battle for Jerusalem, Pbk ed. New York, NY, USA: Osprey Pub. , 2006. This is a good source for information about the battle of Hattin in 1187 and “rival military elites”.
  34. Helen Nicholson actually wrote about the Knights Templar.I used it only for the noted reference. Phillips, Jonathan. Defenders of The Holy Land: Relations Between The Latin East and The West, 1119-1187. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprint, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. I used this source only for the noted reference; however, I also viewed various clips on you-tube with this author in them.
  35. I took notes because he was very good. The author has his doctorate. Ralls, Karen. Knights Templar Encyclopedia. Edited by Gina Talucci. New Jersey: The Career Press, Inc. , 2007.
  36. The author is a Ph. D. medieval historian and religious studies scholar.I bought this one for my research and used to confirm or debunk various other sources. Robinson, John J. Dungeon, Fire, and Sword: The Knights Templar in The Crusades. New York: M.
  37. Evans & Co. , 1991. The author is a member of the Medieval Academy of America, the Organization of American Historians, and Royal Overseas League of London. This was the most enjoyable research book of them all. I lost many hours just because I couldn’t stop reading it. The context is not dry but flows more like novel. Valletta, Malta.
  38. “The “Priory of Sion” Hoax / Part 1: A Barkeeper’s Myth,” MalGo Media Services Ltd. http://www. avinci-the-movie. com/priory-of-sion-1. html. Part one: This was a good site for getting the explanation in chronological order with a lot more detail. I also verified information found in Massimo Introvigne’s site.
  39. There is no author listed on site so it was very suspect until verified. Valletta, Malta. “The “Priory of Sion” Hoax / Part 2: The rich, poor Priest,” MalGo Media Services Ltd. http://www. davinci-the-movie. com/priory-of-sion-2. html.
  40. Part two: This was a good site for getting the explanation in chronological order with a lot more detail. I also verified information found in Massimo Introvigne’s site.There is no author listed on site so it was very suspect until verified. Valletta, Malta. “The “Priory of Sion” Hoax / Part 3: BCC is taken by,” MalGo Media Services Ltd. http://www. davinci-the-movie.
  41. com/priory-of-sion-3. html. Part three: This was a good site for getting the explanation in chronological order with a lot more detail. I also verified information found in Massimo Introvigne’s site. There is no author listed on site so it was very suspect until verified. von Eschenbach, Wolfram. Parzival.
  42. Harmondsworth, Eng. Reprint, New York, N. Y. : Penguin Books, 1980. This is the version I referenced for the noted source.The actual works were written between 1200 and 1210 and are not listed in the Library of Congress. William Chester Jordan.
  43. The French Monarchy and The Jews: From Philip Augustus to The Last Capetians. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989. I used this source only for the noted reference.

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