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Another Grand Master Gets Burned

Jacques de Molay. Illustration by anonymous (c. 19th century). Bibliotheque Nationale de France. PD-70+ Wikimedia Commons.
Jacques de Molay. Illustration by anonymous (c. 19th century). Bibliotheque Nationale de France. PD-70+ Wikimedia Commons.

I gave my father a copy of our recently published book Where Did They Burn the Last Grand Master of the Knights Templar? A Walking Tour of Medieval Paris–Volume One. He actually read the book. I only know this because he asked me the other day who the Knights Templar were and what did they do.

I stared at him in disbelief. My first thought was how could you not know who the Knights Templar were. I mean, haven’t you seen the Indiana Jones movies? I immediately flashed back to the book and its contents and asked myself if I had ever explained in the books who they were and why they existed. I looked over at Sandy and she had read my mind. She shook her head and said nope.

This is a great example of taking your audience for granted.

The Origins of the Knights Templar 

Coat of arms of Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Illustration by Odejea (2008). Musée de Versaille. PD-Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.
Coat of arms of Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Illustration by Odejea (2008). Musée de Versaille. PD-Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

On 16 July 1099, the First Crusade ended after Jerusalem fell to the Christian crusaders. Only approximately 300 knights and 300 foot soldiers remained behind after the majority of the crusaders returned to Europe. Christians were now able to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Lands and Jerusalem. However, it was a very dangerous journey.

During this time, organizations of knights were being formed around Europe. The premise was that a knight should use their weapons in the service of God. Hugh of Champagne founded one of these, the Order of the Temple, in 1125. The pope gave his blessing to what became the first approved religious military unit.

The original intent of the knights was to protect pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Lands. As time went on, their role turned to a more military active one whereby they became participants in future crusades. Read More Another Grand Master Gets Burned

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A City of Light

I love it when I get feedback from folks who read these blogs (and my books). Thank you for taking the time to write me (yes, I know it’s e-mails but it’s still writing). One of the things I appreciate is constructive feedback. That is one of the best ways for anyone to improve.

SOMEONE’S READING MY STUFF

Christina and her husband live in Australia and recently read one of my books. They are frequent visitors to Paris. She loved the illustrations/images and mentioned how she learned new things about the city from reading the book. It’s that type of feedback which keeps me going.

Fortunately, Christina pointed out an error I made. I referred to Paris as the “City of Lights” when in fact, the proper term is “City of Light.” I greatly appreciated her bringing this to my attention. Not only will we correct that in future editions but also I decided to write this blog on the “City of Light” so as to enlighten all of us. Read More A City of Light