Guilt of the Templars
by G. Legman
ISBN 046502789X (0-465-02789-X)
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Hardcover, Basic Books, 1966
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Book summary: Because so much nonsense concerning the Order of Knights Templars has been promulgated in recent fiction (some of it unfortunately passed off as fact), it seems proper to make available this long out of print interpretation of the Templars´guilt. Charged with heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy, and sexual perversion as well, the Templars were summarily arrested, tried, burned at the stake, and their Order extinguished in 1312. Whether the suppression of the Order was justified, and whether the Templars were guilty or innocent, are questions that continue to stimulate the minds of those interested in the intellectual development of Western civilization. Drawing on the actual depositions and confessions of the Templars, and probing deeper than the religious, financial, or political issues, Mr. Legman offers a searching analysis of the effects of suppressing normal sexuality. As R.C. Smail noted in the New York Review of Books, Legman tries to establish what happened at Templar ceremonies; by excursions into comparative religion and anthropology, he suggests the sources of their alleged malpractices, or compares them with similar phenomena in more recent times. Also included in this volume is Henry Charles Lea s oft-imitated work maintaining The Innocence of the Templars; The Templars and the Worship of the Generative Powers by Thomas Wright, George Witt, and Sir James Tennent; and a lengthy section of the proceedings against the Order in 1309 as vividly translated by Sir William Dugdale.
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