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 An Official Templar Document Released

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MaryReedMcCall

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PostSubject: An Official Templar Document Released   Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:21 pm

At last the Vatican has released a "misplaced" document from the actual trials of the Templars in the early 1300's, showing that without a doubt, Pope Clement originally absolved the Order of heresy and intended to "reform" them for the more minor sins and abuses of which he'd found them guilty.

However, it seems that Philip IV, concerned as ever with his image as a Christian in the style of his grandfather, King Louis IX/aka St. Louis, continued to push to get his way in detroying the Order (for his own, personal reasons...most of which concerned financial issues, methinks, although some of which may have been sincere concern about the Templars' morality) - sometimes by overstepping papal authority to obtain confessions and/or putting Templars to death without papal approval, and sometimes by plain coercion of the pope himself, who was well aware that Philip had sent a force of armed French soldiers to intimidate the previous pope (leading to that pope's death). Philip IV was famous for undertaking often startling public actions in regards to legal maneuvers or attacks and then expending a great deal of time and energy trying to gain public support/approval for what he'd done.

So, through history all anyone has been able to tell about the trials is that in the end, Pope Clement suppressed the Order "for the good of the Church" since it could no longer perform the functions for which it was intended, as it had been sullied beyond repair by the five years of trial. Pope Clement has been maligned for centuries as a "weak" pope controlled fully by King Philip IV - and though it's clear he was not completely immune to the power the king might wield against him (who would be, after all?), he still stood up for what he believed and refused to be bent totally to the king's will. In a final nose-thumbing gesture to Philip, he granted all the Templar's property to the Hospitaller Order, so Philip didn't get his hands on any of it. Smile If Philip did have outstanding debts to the Templars, he got out of them, but he didn't gain anything extra, as he'd apparently hoped to (and as he'd done in 1305 when he drove the Jews from France and confiscated all their goods).

Here's a link to one of the better news articles on the new find, if anyone is interested: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071012/ts_nm/vatican_templars_dc

It's being released now, I presume, because today's date (October 13, 1307) marks exactly 700 years since the initial, secret, pre-dawn arrests that King Philip ordered.

It's nice to see some redemption for the Templars at last, long overdue as it is. Smile
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elflady

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:49 pm

King Philip is reknown for his financial "engineering" (he also persecuted the Lombard merchants and put taxes on the clergy), so money must have been an important reason for him destroying the Templars, but I think that he also feared their power, their independence and state-in-state status.

MaryReedMcCall wrote:
It's nice to see some redemption for the Templars at last, long overdue as it is. Smile
This is good news indeed, and I know exactly what you feel, now that evidence has started to pile up on Roger Mortimer's innocence of the charge of killing king Edward, after so many centuries...
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Kate Plantaganet

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:22 pm

Great work Mary and thanks for the info!

I can't add anything as it is not my field of expertise but I am grateful that you are happy to share.

I can't wait to read your book!
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MaryReedMcCall

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:04 pm

elflady - I completely agree on your take of Philip's fears. He believed in the power/supremacy of the royal throne above all else. Yet as corrupt (to our eyes) as he appears to have been, he still apparently possessed a deep core of piety, likely too rigid to be admired by either his own contemporaries or modern people, but there nonetheless. One of the most respected academic biographers of King Philip IV, the late Joseph R. Strayer, noted in his work The Reign of Philip The Fair, that the king was in the habit of wearing a hair shirt under his finest garments, and when his wife, Jeanne, died in 1305 in her 30's, he could have easily (and righteously) married again, but he chose to remain celibate the rest of his life (according to those accounts that mention the detail).

Whether his concern over the "problem of the Templars" was based on true moral concerns or whether that was simply a convenient ruse to cover up his avaricious need (and desire to ensure that no force in his country was capable of wielding any significant power outside his command) is less clear. He was an enigma to be sure, only easily explained if you happened to be on the wrong side of him, I think! Wink

And Kate - thanks for the note! If the book you're referring to is the one I'm hoping will result from all this additional research, it may be a very long wait, as I've only just begun to craft the synopsis. Smile My other seven published books are all out there, however - though they're genre historical romances (heavily researched, yes, but the focus must remain on the developing romance), so the history is a secondary character rather than more front and center as it will be in the book I'm undertaking.

My final three published books (Beyond Temptation, Sinful Pleasures, and The Templar's Seduction) are the trilogy I undertook about the situation of the Knights Templar following the mass arrests in France, and they're what got me started down this new path of straight historical fiction, as opposed to genre historical romance fiction (combined with the fact that I couldn't sustain the book a year schedule that is minimally necessary in the romance genre to remain viable...not when I'm teaching full time, have a young family, and want to put out books that I know are my absolute best effort. With each of my Templar trilogy, I spent quite a few nights catching a few hours of sleep on the office floor as I was toiling away to meet my deadline, and when I found myself having to set my alarm at 4:00am to get up and write before everyone else woke up, whilst we were vacationing as a family during the summer before the final book in the trilogy was due, I knew a change needed to be made. So here I am! Smile )

Thanks for the vote of confidence, though. With this new change of direction for me, I feel like I will definitely need it!
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elflady

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:50 pm

Is it really that piety only stopped him from getting remarried? He was the Iron King indeed, but I prefer to think that he was human as well, that he might have loved his wife... No matter how harsh and relentless a man can be, he still must have some some warm feelings towards the people close to him. He definitely loved his children, Isabelle especially, and even hesitated to pass a sentence on his daughters-in-law, if what I've read is right (they were condemned after his death).

As Kate said, I too can hardly wait to read your book!
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MaryReedMcCall

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:05 pm

elflady wrote:
Is it really that piety only stopped him from getting remarried? He was the Iron King indeed, but I prefer to think that he was human as well, that he might have loved his wife... No matter how harsh and relentless a man can be, he still must have some some warm feelings towards the people close to him. He definitely loved his children, Isabelle especially, and even hesitated to pass a sentence on his daughters-in-law, if what I've read is right (they were condemned after his death).

As Kate said, I too can hardly wait to read your book!

Oh, yes - I'm firmly in the camp that Philip IV loved his wife and that that truth contributed to his choosing not to remarry (along with the fact that he had three seemingly healthy living sons and no apparent need to continue his bloodline further). I'm sorry if my earlier post made it seem that I thought otherwise. I do think his pious nature contributed a great deal to his decision not to remarry as well (or at least his fervent wish to be as pious and holy as his sainted grandfather Louis), but it certainly wasn't the be-all-to-end-all of it. As Strayer says in The Reign of Philip the Fair, "Jeanne had a gentle and sympathetic character; she gave Philip the affection that had so long been denied him. And he was devoted to her. Still in his thirties at the time of her death in 1305,he never seriously considered remarrying, though he could have gained considerable financial and political advantages through a second marriage - after all he was the greatest catch in western Europe. Very few of his contemporaries missed such an opportunity. " (pgs 9-10).

I also think that he loved his children (especially Isabella) - though he was recorded as saying (by way of his obsession with pious thought and action) that he was more concerned with the immortality of his soul than his love for his sons.

When it comes to the affairs of the daughters-in law...whether or not Isabella was the one who "blew the whistle" on them, Philip himself is the one who chose to make the entire, messy disgrace into a public scandal, and many have subsequently questioned why he did not keep the matter a private affair, if only for the sake of his sons and their potential feelings of shame/loss of honor. It seems likely that, rather than affection for them, one of the most compelling reasons he did not pass judgement on his daughters-in law before his death (which came only seven months after the arrests) rested in the complexity of the case. The two adulterous knights were executed almost immediately, but it was difficult to determine which of the princesses had done what by way of transgressions; his middle son's wife, Jeanne, kept protesting her innocence - and it was recognized that she was likely guilty of nothing more than covering up the others' misdeeds. Regardless, he died before a resolution could be reached, but I don't think it was the result of his conflict over affection towards his daughters'-in-law -- or his sons for that matter.

Strayer has this to say about it: "No attempt was made to hush up the affair; the lovers of the princesses were executed with atrocious tortures in the market square at Pontoise, while the ladies were put into prison...It is difficult to understand why Philip chose to inflict such open humiliation on his sons. He was certainly shocked; he had led a chaste life himself, and whatever faults could be found in his court, promiscuity was not one of them. He was inclined to believe the worst of everyone, as he showed in his relations with Boniface VIII and in the case of the Templars. His piety may have made him feel that the royal family should set an example of upright behavior and that adultery by a member of the family deserved spectacular punishment. Whatever his reasons, his behavior indicates a lack of close affection between father and sons." (p. 19)

And now I must apologize for going on like this. I just get going (and it's all so fascinating to me!) and have a difficult time stopping myself. Very Happy
Thanks, also, elflady, for your vote of confidence about the book that will hopefully result from all this. It's nice to know the later Capets are interesting to people other than myself, and that my novel may indeed have a market, once I manage to write it!
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elflady

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:27 am

"... a lack of close affection between father and sons"? This contradicts our idea of him actually loving his children. The way I see it, he acted openly not because he didn't care about his familiy, but rather out of the feeling that duty comes above all, that royalty and dignity are more important than any personal matters.

You should definitely NOT apologize for your extensive posts! I am grateful to you for writing in such detail, as I'm sure everyone else is. After all, we're here to discuss history!
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MaryReedMcCall

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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:50 am

elflady wrote:
"... a lack of close affection between father and sons"? This contradicts our idea of him actually loving his children. The way I see it, he acted openly not because he didn't care about his familiy, but rather out of the feeling that duty comes above all, that royalty and dignity are more important than any personal matters.

Hmmm...I guess I see it a bit differently; the fact that Philip IV didn't perhaps share a relationship of close affection with his sons doesn't contradict (to me) his loving them. IMHO, there are lots of parents who love their children without being overtly or closely affectionate to them. I tend to think that Philip, like many fathers (especially of days past), may have found it easier to show his affections more openly to his daughter than to his sons.

Another action on his part that seems to reveal (to me at least) a "lesser" closeness with his sons appears in the fact that he held off knighting any of them until well after they were each married - though he himself had been knighted prior to his marriage to Jeanne of Navarre (and knighting of the prince - or any noble young man - indicated an acceptance of the young man as an adult in society). The heir, Louis, was actually only knighted when he was 23, about 18 months before Philip's death, and certain documents also reveal, apparently, that Philip continued to think that Louis was "puerile" in his behavior and attitudes.

He seems to have given Isabella quite a bit more leeway as a female. She was, of course, his only surviving daughter, and that may have had something to do with it.

I do definitely agree with you that Philip believed that royal duty and dignity outweighed all else. If it came to choosing his children's feelings over what his kingly position demanded, the children's feelings would lose out every time. Wink

elflady wrote:
You should definitely NOT apologize for your extensive posts! I am grateful to you for writing in such detail, as I'm sure everyone else is. After all, we're here to discuss history!

Thanks! I, too, am really enjoying reading all the interesting posts about Edward, the Despensers, Isabella...and of course her family as well. sunny
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Alianore
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PostSubject: Re: An Official Templar Document Released   Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:04 pm

I've always found it a bit puzzling that Philip IV's sons were knighted so late - June 1313, when the future Louis X was 23, going on 24, which is unusually old for this time period, especially as Louis had succeeded as king of Navarre 8 years earlier!

Edward II and Isabella attended the festivities, leaving their young son Edward behind in England. Edward spent almost 1000, a vast sum, just on clothes! He and Philip IV took turns to host pageants and feasts during the trip, and Ed's wine bill alone was a simply staggering 4468. He also spent over 3000 on gifts.

It was during this trip that the pavilion Ed II and Isabella were staying in at Pontoise caught fire. Ed saved Isabella's life by scooping her up and running outside with her - supposedly, they were both naked. But Isabella's hand was badly burned, and still hurting her many months afterwards. There's also a funny story that the king and queen were late for a meeting with Philip IV, as they'd overslept. Wink

The first anniversary of Piers Gaveston's death also occurred during the trip. Ed II marked it by watching 54 naked dancers. Smile

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"Sans lui n'estoit rien fait, et par lui estoit tous fait, et le creoit li rois plus que tout le monde." Without him nothing is done and through him everything is done, and the king trusts him more than any other: Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II
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