22 Nov: Fall of the Knights Templar

Pope Clement V ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar and seizure of their properties on 22nd November, 1307: a day that sealed the fate of the once-celebrated Christian military order. They had attracted the ire of Philip IV of France, who began an international conspiracy to smear their name.

Founded in 1118, the Knights Templar initially served as protectors for pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. Over time, they became wealthy and influential, with a system of castles, churches, and even banks across Western Europe. Many aristocrats, drawn by the prospect of being both monks and knights, joined and supported the order, contributing to its extensive holdings.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly examine the bizarre charges chucked at the Templars; explain how Philip’s crusade against them solidified the concept of Friday the 13th being unlucky; and consider how the knights *may* have taken their revenge, via the ‘Templar’s Curse’… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Whatever happened to the Knights Templar?’ (The Guardian, 2011): https://www.theguardian.com/uk/the-northerner/2011/jun/27/whatever-happened-to-the-knights-templar

• ‘Why Friday the 13th Spelled Doom for the Knights Templar’ (HISTORY, 2017): https://www.history.com/news/why-friday-the-13th-spelled-doom-for-the-knights-templar

• ‘Why the Templar Secret Rituals Were So Controversial’ (Smithsonian Channel, 2017):