by Dr Karen Ralls
Quest Books, Chicago, USA
Who were the medieval Knights Templar?
Are there genuine connections between the Templars and the Holy Grail?
Did the Templars really excavate under the Temple of Solomon and find the lost treasures of Jerusalem or, is this yet another myth?
What are the facts about Rosslyn Chapel, a key location in the Da Vinci Code?
Did the Templars find the Ark of the Covenant as some allege?
Why were they arrested and tortured in 1307?
Where did the surviving Templars flee after their arrests in 1307?
What is Chivalry? What were the Grail Romances really all about? Why were most written during the era of the Templars?
Why did imprisoned Templars create unusual carvings on the walls of the Chinon Castle tower in 1308……images which are still undeciphered today?
How do the memories of the Templars and the Grail live on today?
The powerful Knights Templar, the famed monastic warriors of the Crusades, still intrigue many today. An organization long shrouded in mystery, the Templars have been thought by many to conduct mystical rites and rituals, to guard the Holy Grail, and to possess the priceless treasures of the Temple of Jerusalem. But what is fact and what is fiction?
The Templars were also bankers to kings, trusted diplomats, farmers, business managers and navigators. They used codes and ciphers, interacted with Muslims in the Holy Land, established an early form of traveller’s cheque and may have influenced the building of the Gothic cathedrals. From Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival to Hollywood films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, interest in the Templars continues unabated today.
In The Templars and the Grail, medieval historian Dr. Karen Ralls presents the history of the Knights Templar, examining the many beliefs and theories about the knights and their presumed powers, knowledge, and treasure. Drawing on both academic (Part One) and popular (Part Two) sources, this book provides a fresh, well-researched, up-to-date perspective on the facts and evolving “mythos” of the history of the Templars.
This book also features an important, full-length chapter on the history of Rosslyn Chapel, the 15-century Scottish chapel featured in the last two chapters of the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code. Long familiar with Rosslyn chapel, due to living and working in Scotland for some 11 years, Dr Ralls includes valuable aspects of local history as well as the larger picture in this work.
Appendices include a Chronology of Events during the Templars’ era, a list of Grand Masters, maps, information on Templar sites, and photos of the exquisite carvings of Rosslyn Chapel, by kind permission of Rosslyn Chapel Trust.
The result is a solidly-researched, riveting read of the unfolding drama and history of the Knights Templar. It separates fact from fiction, and is a vital addition to our understanding of the Templars, the Grail, and their enduring spiritual legacy today.
Dr Karen Ralls, FSA, Oxford-based medieval historian and Celtic scholar, was Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh for a number of years before continuing with specialist research in Oxford. She lectures worldwide, conducts in-depth research, and has appeared on the Discovery Channel. Her books include The Templars and the Grail (Quest Books, Chicago, 2003), The Quest for the Celtic Key (Luath, Edinburgh, 2002),Indigenous Religious Music (Ashgate, UK, 2001), Music & the Celtic Otherworld (Edinburgh Univ. Press/St Martin’s Press NY, 2000). Forthcoming books in 2007 include Mary Magdalene: A Medieval Quest and also a reference work, The Knights Templar Encyclopedia, Medieval Mysteries: History, Places and Symbolism (Ibis/RedWheelWeiser, 2014), Gothic Cathedrals: History, Art, Places and Symbolism, (Ibis/RedWheelWeiser, 2015).
Reviews and recommendations
“Fascinating! Karen Ralls steers a middle course between dry scholarship and extravagant speculation, with real insights into the Templar and Grail traditions…”
(David Lorimer, Director, Scientific and Medical Network )
“…Here is the book about the Knights Templar we have been waiting for… Now, in one readable book, the kind you can’t lay down, Karen Ralls gives us the basic known facts about Templar history, and also deals with the colorful speculations in a fair, open-minded, yet responsible way. If you’re looking for the one indispensable book about the Knights Templar, this is it.”
(Robert Ellwood, Professor of Religion Emeritus, University of Southern California )
“…a Templar tour de force… Karen Ralls’s meticulously researched book is a significant addition both to the history and myths surrounding the Templars and to the highly esoteric literature of the Grail. In this work, Dr. Ralls has created an important bridge between these two extraordinary and long-lived themes.”
(John Matthews, author)
“In the Grail romances the question is asked, “Whom does the Grail serve?” In the case of this work, the Grail serves the reader of Dr. Karen Ralls’ ‘The Templars and the Grail’… a book that is full of factual history and yet explores the many speculations… a book as richly decorated and elegantly crafted as the many stone carvings that adorn Rosslyn Chapel herself.”
(Stephen Dafoe, publisher, Templar History Magazine, and author of “The Warriors and the Bankers”)
“In presenting a practical history of the Templars interwoven with the secrets of the Age of Chivalry, this book is a ‘must’ for those interested in the Western Mysteries.”
(Robert Brydon, FSA Scot., Templar historian and owner of The Brydon Collection)
” If you read but one book on the Knights Templar this year, this is truly the one to read.”
(Templar History magazine, Vol. 2, No 3, Spring 2003)
“A concise and easy-to-read survey of two richly symbolic and enduring aspects of the Middle Ages”
(Renaissance Magazine, USA, Fall 2003)
“If you’ve ever wondered who the Templars were and what the fuss was all about, then this is the book for you. Well written, well researched and, well, just a good read.” Verdict: 9 out of 10
(Fortean Times, London, August 2005 issue)
“From the Black Madonna…to the Ark of the Covenant…it’s
all in this book….Fascinating!”
(Avalon magazine, Glastonbury, Summer 2003 issue)
“A factual history of the medieval Templar Order…Informative and readable excursion into the ever-fascinating world of quest”
(Caduceus magazine, London, June 2003 issue)
|Publisher:||Quest Books, Chicago, USA
Paperback, 320 pages
|ISBN 0 8356 0807 7 (USA)|