This page is divided into three categories: sites related to the medieval Knights Templar
and cross-cultural issues during the Crusades, library and archival sites
Library/Information Science, and
Culture. These are sites that I have found and used on-the-job.
For a calendar of events in Templar history, try The Knights Templar Calendar.
These sites all relate to the Templars and/or the Crusades. The Crusades in Palestine lasted from Pope Urban II's call to arms in 1095 C.E. until the fall of Crusader Acre to the Mamelukes in 1291. The Reconquista (Spanish Crusades) lasted from the late 11th century (The Arab conquest occurred in the 8th century) until the fall of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.
The Templars (The Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon) founded the first military religious Order. The two other main Orders were called the Knights of the Hospital (Hospitallers) and the Teutonic Knights. The original Templars were nine secular knights who took religious vows (but kept their swords) in 1119. They made their headquarters near the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. As their main task, they patrolled the bandit infested roads around Jerusalem.
So successful was the Temple that it quickly became a formal monastic order (in 1129, at the Council of Troyes). In a world of feudal allegiances, the Templars answered (in theory) only to the Pope. Reality was somewhat more complicated. The Templars fought Saladin, Baibars, and half of the crusading Kings who descended upon Palestine from time to time. By the 13th century, they and the Hospitallers were the two largest landholders in Palestine. They were also successful in Spain, where they built up an extensive network of associates that included both men and women, Christians and non-Christians. In some cases (such as Villastar, in northern Valencia) the Templars recolonized entire, abandoned villages with their own confratres and serfs.
The Templars survived the fall of Acre, but not by many years. On October 13, 1307, most of the Templars in France (including the Order's Master) were arrested by the secret police of Philip IV (the Fair), King of France. Philip was a wasteful and aggressive King; he desired the Order's money. He worked on the greed of other Kings to effect arrests in Spain, Cyprus, and England as well. In Germany, Templars showed up at their hearing in full armor, and left unmolested.
After a long and inconclusive trial, the Order of the Temple was suppressed by the papal bull Vox in Excelso at the Council of Vienne on March 22, 1312. It did not effectively cease to exist, however, until the burning of its last Master, Jacques de Molay, as a relapsed heretic on March 18, 1314.
Most of the Temple's remaining members were assigned to the Hospitallers or the Teutonic Knights. Some fled to seek asylum with the Muslims. In Portugal, the Templars and Hospitallers were combined into the Order of the Knights of Christ. In Aragon, they became the Order of Montresa. Neither of these orders were as independent as the Templars had been in Palestine.
The Templars were known by various names: The Temple, the Order of the Temple, the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon (English); Milites Templi, Milites Christi, or Fratres (Latin); les Templiers or les Freres (Old and Modern French); Militia del Temple, Cavalleria del Temple, Templers, or Templarios (Catalan and Castillian); and al-dawiyeh (Arabic).
Thanks to the paranoid fantasies of Guillaume de Nogaret (the lawyer, royal counselor, and 'Keeper of the Keys' who prosecuted the Templars for Philip), the Templars have a formidable historiography in the occult world. Some of these sites reflect that reputation. Others are straightforward medieval history sites. Still others reflect masonic or mystical, gnostic associations (which are not supported by even the shallowest reading of the Templar Rule, alas). I make no apologies on either side. I pick what interests me.
If you know of a good site that isn't here, please e-mail me and let me know. Eventually, I'd like to build a fairly comprehensive list of sites for both the casual and scholarly.
- The Knights Templar Preceptory Portcullis Very good site for basic information on the Templars and their infrastructure. It's been around, off and on (more off than on in the past few years) since 1995. It appears to back for good, now. Mind the sound file, it may confuse older computers.
- St. Bernard of Clairvaux's In Praise of the New Knighthood Original text translated into English (Includes medieval illumination of Christ riding ahead of the crusaders, with a sword between his teeth).
- St. Bernard of Clairvaux's In Praise of the New Knighthood Original text translated into English (No graphics version).
- The Primitive Rule of the Templars Original text of the Latin Rule translated into English. This is a Spanish site, but includes (with her permission) Judith Upton-Ward's translation of the Rule into English.
- Council of Vienne Book chapter about the Council of Vienne.
- The Catholic Encyclopedia: Military Orders
- Medieval Sourcebook: The Crusades Many of the links have broken with ORB going down, but there are still some working ones.
- Archivo de la Corona de Aragon Entry for the ACA in the Spanish government registry (Centro Virtual Cervantes) of State archives.
- CBUC Consorci de Biblioteques Universitaries de Catalunya. Online Union catalog of the University libraries in Catalonia (northeastern Spain). In Catalan.
- El Temple en Espaņa Brief history of the Templars in Spain. In Castillian/Spanish.
- Templarios y Hospitalarios Brief history of the Templars in Barberā, north of Tarragona in eastern Catalonia. In Castillian/Spanish.
- Un mas Templer Article about the Templars in Vilafranca, near Barberā. In Catalan.
- The Order of Santiago Brief history of the Spanish Military Order of Santiago.
- The Library of Iberian Resources Online This used to be a bibliography of Spanish history sources. It is now an online collection of English language books of Spanish history by major authors in the field, including Alan Forey's The Templars in the Corona de Aragon.
- L'histoire du Temple Brief history of the Templars. In French.
- European Templar Heritage Research Network Grand Priory of Victoria page for the ETHRN. Includes mission statement, background and contact information for ETHRN.
- The Romanian Club for Templar Studies
- Rosslyn Chapel--the official website
- Rosslyn Templars Website
- Knights Templars-links Provided by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller-British Grand Priory.
- The Knights Templar in Britain Mostly photos of sites--some of the photos are of medieval Templars and some of later Masonic artifacts.
- Leeds City Council--Temple Newsam Homepage for Temple Newsam house, the site of a Templar preceptory near Leeds, England.
- The Knights Templar in Devon Brief history of the Templars in Devon, with an emphasis on colour and legend over facts.
- Bristol's Medieval Churches: Temple Church Brief history of the Templars in Bristol, and of the few ruins there that survived the bombing during WWII.
- Margaret Mee--A Trail Across Four Continents Biograpy of Margaret Mee, the British botanical artist, which discusses her supposed Templar ancestry.
- Irish Historical Mysteries: The Knights Templar Brief history of the Templars in Ireland.
- The Skeptic's Dictionary Before you start putting up photos of that 'prehistoric' radio you just found in your backyard, you might want to take a hopskip through the search engine on this nifty website.
- A&E's Behind the Scenes: Ivanhoe Some History of Scott and the Crusades, as well as some fairly accurate pics of medieval Templars.
- Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East
- Medieval History of the Middle East
- Middle East Medievalists
- The Middle Ages Trust Web Site Locator
- The Middle Ages in Movies
- The Pillaged Village A medieval site that does not take itself seriously.
- Moors and Christians in Villajoyosa Website promoting a reenactment in Villajoyosa (a coastal town in southeastern Spain) of a battle between Moors and Christians, which occurs in July.
- Knights Templar New York, USA based Templar links.
- James W. Prairies WWW Page Templar and Masonic links.
- Library of the Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario List of library holdings.
- The Priory of Tortosa SCA group dedicated to the Crusades.
- Start Your Own Chapter House SCA rules for forming a Templar baillie.
- The Holy Order of the Knights of the Temple of Solomon
- The Knights Templar History of the Temple, mythical and otherwise.
- Templar Books Publisher of books on Templarism, "Templar History Magazine" and the Masonic magazine, "A Fourth Part of a Circle".
- The Knights Templar of England and Wales Includes an electronic archive containing back issues of the organization's magazine: "Temple".
- Welcome to Our Worlds Group website that includes a links page about the Templars.
- Ordo Templi Orientis History Research about modern day neo-Templarism.
- Conspiracy Theory: Who's Controlling History? Article on the origins of conspiracy theories--including those surrounding the Templars. Some historical inaccuracies, though the overall theory is interesting.
- Knights Templar Oasis Homepage for the Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of Oriental Templars) in New England.
- The Animal Mummy Project in the Cairo Museum Site dedicated to conserving Egyptian animal mummies.
- Templars Yahoo group dedicated to discussion of the Templars. Was originally Templars@Onelist.
- Templars in Iberia Yahoo group dedicated to discussion of the Templars and Spanish military orders in Spain and Portugal.
- Templarios y otras ordenes MSN group dedicated to discussion of the Templars and other military orders. In Castillian/Spanish.
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This list is fairly self-explanatory. There are links to library home pages from Rhode Island to Tasmania (literally), history resources, book sellers, foreign language aids, ftp OPACs, newsgroups, and listservs.
- University of Rhode Island Library Science Home Page
- University of Rhode Island Library Includes the library's OPAC (online catalogue).
- American Library Association (ALA)
- Special Libraries Association (SLA)
- International Federation of Libraries Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
- North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG)
- Top 200 Technical Services Benefits of Home Page Development Was: Top 200 Cataloging Resources.
- History: A Guide to Internet Resources
- Philatelic Museums and Libraries This means postage stamps.
- National Library of Australia (NLA)
- State Library of Tasmania Includes the library's OPAC.
- African Imprint Library Service
- Barnes and Noble on-line
- Search Engines Links to: Fast Search, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, Direct Hit, Google, HotBot, iWon, LookSmart, Lycos, MSN Search, Netscape Search, Open Directory and Yahoo.
- Internet Alaska
- University of St Andrews Homepage Includes the University Library's OPAC.
- WOYAA! The African Internet Portal Africa search engine.
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This is something of a grab bag but my main cultural interests include: the U.S. Peace Corps (I'm an RPCV), international news, Arab and African culture, ancient history,and anything out of left field. If you want to listen to an Arab music station on-line, hear the latest from the Burmese political opposition, find out what the Sudanese are really saying about us all here in the good old USA, or watch the Pope in real-time (I kid you not), check out this list.
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My Writing Page Check out my latest publications, both fiction and nonfiction.
Da Vinci's Inquest/Da Vinci's City Hall
Da Vinci's City Hall Episode Guide
The Knights Templar Calendar
- The Concrete Cave: Announcements and discussion list for my writing and my cowriter's.
- The Stolen Briefcase: Discussion list for the CBC crime series, "Intelligence".
- Beauseant: Discussion list about the Knights Templar, their history and legends.
- Templars in Iberia: Discussion list about the Knights Templar in Spain and Portugal.
- RPCVs Unlimited: Discussion list for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who are looking to work overseas.
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This page was last updated on 7/23/2008