The 1074 call for Crusade by Pope Gregory VII

On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II delivered his speech at Clermont Ferrand, aimed at arrousing the people to start a armed pilgrimage to deliver the Holy Land from the hands of the "pagans", that later became known as the First Crusade. Of this speech several quite different versions have been delivered to our time by primary sources.

Therefore Pope Urban's speech is relatively well known in our days. Less known is the speech delivered by Pope Gregory VII in 1074. In this speech Pope Gregory VII suggested a military expedition to assist the Byzantine empire against the Seljuk Turks, following the defeat of the Byzantine army under Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes by the Seljuk Turks at Manzikert in 1071.

Pope Urban II: call to crusade at Clermont, November 27, 1095

On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II delivered his speech at Clermont Ferrand, aimed at arrousing the people to start an armed pilgrimage to deliver the Holy Land from the hands of the "pagans", a pilgirmage that later became known as the First Crusade. Of this speech several quite different versions have been delivered to our time by primary sources. Below are the version of Fulcher of Chartres and the one of Robert the Monk. 

An earlier founding date of the Templar Order reconstructed

In his book Hugues de Payns en Orient (2019), François Gilet investigates many primary and other sources, after which he reaches a detailed renewed reconstruction of the founding years of the Knights Templar. Confronting all of the chronicles allows him to develop a synthesis of the beginnings of the Temple Order and to move the genesis of their predecessors, today called "proto-Templars", to the year 1115.

The Templar cavalry charge

"The nearest thing that we have to a cavalry manual is the The Rule of the Templars, which in its present form seems to date from the thirteenth century. In several Rules such as 148 - 168 it lays down painstakingly detailed instructions for military behaviour including the delivery of a charge, and this within the framework of monastic discipline.

Templar trials retold in a convincing historical novel

The Templar trials of 1307-1314 are well documented by their records which were investigated by many scientists. There are, for instance, Malcolm Barber's classic The Trial of the Templars (2006), Helen Nicholson's The Proceedings Against the Templars in the Britisch Isles (2011), and more recently Alain Demurger's The Persecution of the Knights Templar: Scandal, Torture, Trial (2019). 

However accurate and descriptive these monumental scientific studies are, they focus mainly on the scientific facts, as they should. They are not intended to elaborate on how the people of the day, the Templars concerned in the first place, experienced, felt about and dealt with what happened. For this, historical fiction may come to the rescue, as far as it is sufficiently researched and based on historical data. A good example of such a novel is Non Nobis by Hanny Alders.

The Templar Rule: its multiple origin and long development

The Primitive Rule of the Temple originated as result of the Troyes Council of January, 1129. During that council Hughes de Payens, the major founding member of the group of knights that from about 1119 lived in the former Al-Aqsa mosque on Table Montain, related an account of this group's foundation and history. 
According to William of Tyre, writing between 1170 and 1184, Hughes and his knights first lived as regular canons who professed vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience to Warmund, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. This can be taken as evidence that a certain form of communal rule already existed during the decade that preceeded the Troyes Council, and the Rule originating there.

October 13, 1307 - the Templars' demise remembered and retold

On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France, also known as Philips the Fair, had all of the Templars throughout the domains of France arrested in one surprising campaign. This was done on the basis of the King's secret orders to his baillis and sénéchaux throughout France, dated September  14, 1307. 

Martyrologies and legendaries: local roots of Medieval Templar communities

Among the books discovered in Templar churches (during the investigations following the Templar arrests of October 13, 1307; TN) were many psalters, legendaries, martyrologies, and antiphonals, but also books for different offices (officiaria) and breviaries. (...) The legendaries and martyrologies recorded in the inventories are also of particular interest in this context for their potential insights into the devotional idiosyncrasies of Templar communities.