Secretum Templi II

Secretum Templi II – Ediciones Grial – Several Owners

France/Spain — 1308–1312

Original documents of the Knights Templar stolen in 1985: the unbroken fascination of the testimonies of the daily life, organization, and ceremonies of the Knights Templar, their persecution, and their absolution in Spain and Portugal

  1. The Knights Templar grew from 8 knights when they were founded in 1118 to nearly 20,000 members

  2. Their power and wealth attracted jealousy and suspicion, leading to their downfall in 1307

  3. This collection of documents includes various records of interrogations, a letter from a papal envoy and the absolution of the Spanish Templars

Secretum Templi II

  1. Description
  2. Single Page
  3. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Secretum Templi II

Founded in 1118 by a group of nine knights protecting pilgrims in the Holy Land, the Knights Templar or Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon grew in to one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and famous monastic military orders of the Middle Ages. At the height of their power, they had nearly 20,000 members and controlled hundreds of castles and other properties. However, their downfall was just as spectacular when they became victims to a plot by the heavily indebted King Philip IV of France the Fair (1268-1314) at the beginning of the 14th century, whereupon the Templars were put on trial for heresy and other trumped-up crimes in 1307. In addition to the famous Chinon Parchment of 1308, the Secretum Templi II document collection features various records of interrogations and other documents relating to the trials of the Templars on the Iberian Peninsula as well as the written absolution of the Knights Templar in Spain dating from 1312.

Secretum Templi II

This compendium of documents consists of records from the interrogations of the Templars that occurred after the Order was accused of heresy and various other crimes. Most of these are records of the interrogations at Chinon (August 17–20, 1308), Lleida (February 15-March 17, 1310), Medina del Campo (April 1310), and Valladolid (May 1310). Other documents include a letter from the Papal envoy in Lleida dated the 6th of March 1311, Berardo de Poggio Bustone, to the bishops of the Kingdom of Aragon concerning the preparation of the investigations against the Templars and a sentence of absolution given to the Spanish Templars by the Council of Tarragona (November 4–7, 1312), which nonetheless disbanded the Order, allowing some of the members to join other orders or assigning them life pensions.

The Crusades’ Greatest Warriors

Founded in 1119 and headquartered at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, more commonly known as the Knights Templar, emerged out of a need to protect pilgrims from bandits and anyone else who would harm them. It grew from an impoverished order of only 9 knights into the richest, most powerful monastic military order of the Middle Ages with a network of 1,000 commanderies and fortifications stretching from the Holy Land to Scotland. They also helped to develop many banking techniques like checks and letters of credit and are considered to be the world’s first multi-national corporation.
In fact, only 10% of the Templars were actually knights, the rest of the order, numbering as much as 20,000 at its peak, were in charge of the banking, bureaucracy, and logistics supporting their military operations. Nonetheless, those brothers who trained for war did so with religious fervor and fought without fear of death and as such, the presence of even a small number of Templars on a battlefield could be enough to change the outcome of an engagement. They were simply some of the most capable warriors in the entire Crusades.

Downfall of the Templars

As the Crusaders were gradually pushed out of the Holy Land, the Templars found themselves without a mission and became the victims of a conspiracy by King Philip IV of France. Heavily indebted to the Order, Philip levelled accusations of heresy at the Templars and on Friday October 13th, 1307 had many of the order’s top members arrested. They were subsequently tortured into giving false confessions and burned at the stake – while also having their assets seized by the French Crown of course. Pope Clement V, a French pontiff who was the first Avignon pope and arguably a puppet of the French King, disbanded the order in 1312, with most of the Templars assets and membership going over to the Hospitallers and other orders.
As he burned at the stake and prayed, Grand Master Jacques de Molay predicted that he would soon meet both Clement and Philip before God saying “God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death”. Clement was dead within a month, Philip was dead eight months later, and his male line was extinguished by 1328. The whole affair scandalized people’s sense of justice and it was whispered across Europe that this had been divine punishment for sins of the King and the Pope.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Secretum Templi II "Proceso contra los Templarios en España"
Size / Format
Diverse documents / 21.0-67.0 × 21.0-62.1 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
1308–1312
Style
Language
Illustrations
1 decorated initial and several symbols
Content
„Chinon Parchment" (1308), "Interrogation of the Templars" (Castile and Leon, 1310), "Interrogation of the Templars" (Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon and Navarre, 1310) and the "Absolution of the Templars in Spain" (Kingdom of Aragon, 1312)

Available facsimile editions:
Secretum Templi II – Ediciones Grial – Several Owners
Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 2013
Limited Edition: 700 copies
Single Page

Secretum Templi II

The Absolution of the Spanish Templars

After the arrest of the Templars in France, King James II of Aragon also ordered the imprisonment of the brethren. He took the opportunity to seize all the castles of the order by 1309. The trial against the Spanish Knights Templar began the following year, but failed to prove the numerous accusations of heresy. During a final provincial council in Tarragona in 1312, eight Templars were questioned again under torture without confessing, whereupon the accused were absolved.

The final document of this council, which contains the absolution of the Spanish Knights Templar, has survived to this day. As usual, the document begins with a list of the involved parties, including the Bishop of Tarragona and the Bishop of Valencia as well as several suffragan bishops. This is followed by an explanation of the accusations from which the brethren are acquitted on leaf 4r, which is shown here.

Secretum Templi II – Ediciones Grial – Several Owners
Facsimile Editions

#1 Secretum Templi II "Proceso contra los Templarios en España"

Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 2013

Publisher: Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 2013
Limited Edition: 700 copies
Binding: The collection is presented in a handmade, leather-bound box
Commentary: 1 volume by Barbara Frale
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€
(1,000€ - 3,000€)
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