Notes: Episode 26, The Knights Templar (Part 2)

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.


3:29 – The first part of Colin’s Napoleon episode can be found here. It’s well worth a listen; I think we did a fairly good job of surveying an extremely complicated and large topic.

3:55 – I apologize in advance for the number of times I switch back and forth between “Philip” and “Philippe”. I really did intend to stick with the proper French pronunciation of his name, but that English version is going to sneak in far more often than I’d be comfortable with.

11:20 – I was dreading the idea of fact-checking this section, but it turns out I did a pretty good job. Papal infallibility was declared as part of the First Vatican Council of 1869-1870 by Pope Pius IX. It’s a very technical process that is only used to define a doctrine; as Colin observes, it’s not something used in a trivial manner. Its definition during the First Vatican Council was used to strengthen Pius IX’s 1854 declaration of the Immaculate Conception (which refers to the conception of Mary, not Jesus, as it is commonly misunderstood), making that the first officially infallible doctrine. Since then, it has only been used one other time in 1950 by Pius XII to define the Assumption of Mary. There are other declarations throughout history that are considered sort of retroactively infallible, if you want it that way, but there isn’t exactly a completely list and and those popes certainly weren’t acting in a knowing capacity. Instead, their declarations met the definition of infallibility more or less by accident and therefore can be considered as such. A number of the infallible declarations were less about a fundamental doctrine of the Roman Catholic faith and more about condemning a variant of Christianity as heretical, but in doing so clarifying the position of the Vatican on those points of doctrine. It’s also worth mentioning that the concept of infallibility wasn’t new in the 19th century, but was more theoretical than anything before the First Vatican Council.

15:06 – Celestine V’s original name was Pietro Angelerio. His story isn’t all that long, but it really is an interesting one and worthing taking a look at.

28:53 – That amount of 500,000 livres borrowed from the Templars was to pay his sister’s dowry. Obviously Philip would have received a dowry for marrying, not had to pay one.

30:36 – The first part of the Witch Trials episodes can be found here. It’s well worth listening to both for an explanation of inquisitional law and to give some context for what exactly heresy looked like in the medieval world – it pairs really well with the Templars as a subject.

1:09:04 – I think I made the mistake of implying that the sum total of Kabbalah is looking for atbash ciphers within the holy texts. It is far more than this; it forms a very complicated and interesting tradition of Jewish mysticism. However, the atbash cipher is most closely related to the esoteric secret levels of understanding the scriptures within Kabbalah, and is certainly worth mentioning in connection.

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