Notes: Episode 25, The Knights Templar (Part 1)

As with every show, I’ll list any corrections or clarifications here. If there’s anything I’ve overlooked, please contact me by email or in the comments and I’ll edit the notes to reflect the new information.


8:59 – I probably should have included Baha’i in this list, both as an Abrahamic religion (which it technically is) and a religion that considers Jerusalem a holy city (which it does). It’s a small but quickly growing faith, as well as a relatively new one. It also struggles to receive recognition, which is rather unfortunate, as Islam considers it an Islamic apostasy to be actively suppressed and the rest of the world tends to be rather unaware of it. I feel a bit bad that I omitted the faith in the first place, as they have as many ties to the region as any other religion that considers it a holy land. There’s no reason to contribute to the silence surrounding it. Take a few minutes and look it up; it’s quite fascinating.

9:11 – I fall prey to the ever-confusing and always evolving names in the Near East here by calling it the Kingdom of Israel. It was actually known as the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, or Latin Kingdom colloquially, and the king was officially titled King of Jerusalem. Israel wasn’t really a name that was in use for the region during this time period, other than perhaps referring to the historical period of the Jewish Patriarchs.

10:36 – “In shambles” and “tiny little states” are the sorts of things that made perfect sense coming out of my mouth at the time I was saying them and then make me want to take it all back while reviewing the recordings. What my brain thought I said was that both Italy and Germany were not cohesive nation-states at this point in time, but rather loosely affiliated groups of much smaller states that were centuries away from the type of unification that would make them competitive with France in terms of size or population. Yes, there was some organization in Germany in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, but that was a somewhat loose federation and the true essence of the Germanic states was smaller principalities. Likewise, this is the era of the city-state in Italy, with Venice going to war with say Genoa or whomever over take your pick of petty issues, all while the Papal States grew in size and influence. I stand by my statement that France was biggest and most powerful, but it’s not as though there was a rather dirty baby Germany hanging around east of its borders, as I imagined from my own words.

16:12 – I realized I didn’t directly answer this question – the word “paladin” refers to elite warriors of Charlemagne’s court. Charlemagne certainly had strongly Christian values, though the manner in which he lived might not have matched them that well, and I’m sure his elite were probably expected to be devout as well. However, the fantasy trope of the paladin – namely a warrior who is proficient in knightly arts, but is also able to call on magic through the power of his faith, is in my opinion more closely related to the fighting orders of the Crusades – especially given that most of what we know about the historical paladins is more or less fictional.

30:22 – Let’s go King James Version for some extra fancy flavor. Luke 18:18-30 reads: “and a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall i do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commendments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Now that we’ve all had a good dose of “thou”s, let’s consider something in context: a lot of the time when Jesus is asked a question in the Bible, he answers with a parable – that is, a story with a message – and not directly. The interpretation of the parable is left up to the reader, and while usually quite clear, is still somewhat debatable and occasionally a little confusing. This particular episode is a direct answer to a clear question – “how can I get into heaven?” – with a clear answer – “give away all you have to the poor and follow Christ”. It should be no wonder that poverty was seen as essential to salvation; Jesus said so quite clearly.

35:58 – I goofed here. All Muslims believe in the holiness of the Temple Mount, not just Shia. I can’t seem to find where I picked up this misconception, so all I can really do is correct it here and keep going.

58:08 – How much did you enjoy watching me dance around a bunch of really tricky issues just there? I really hope you did, because I felt like I was dying a little inside. Woof.

1:02:07 – According to Latin Rule, a knight serving for a fixed term had to bring his own horse, which would be given a value at the beginning of his service. Everything else would be provided by the order. If the horse died during the term, he was asked to donate half the value of the horse to the Templars and would be reimbursed the other half of the agreed value.

1:15:27 – A map of the Languedoc region can be found here. My research didn’t seem to indicate that they wanted the entire region, but rather that the proposed French Templar state would have been in this geographical area.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *