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.

Knights Templar/Crusades

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.


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Library/Information Science

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.

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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
  • Intelligence
  • 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