The Knights Templar vs. the Davinci Code

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THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR VS. THE DAVINCI CODE

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FS 121 / The DaVinci Code

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION1

THE NON-EXISTENT SECRET SOCIETY AND THE MYSTERY DOCUMENTS2

POWER BEGETS POWER5

CONCLUSION / HYPOTHESIS12

BIBLIOGRAPHY15

APPENDIX – THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR CITATIONS IN THE DAVINCI CODE22

INTRODUCTION

The Knights Templar have been a topic of speculation since 1119, nearly ten years after they banded together to protect pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. Questions arose about their origins just as soon as they were recognized by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem as a military order. It is not only their mystery that intrigues us but also who and what they were that titillate our curiosity. During their period of influence the Templars became the second most powerful entity in the known world; surpassed only by the Catholic Church and the papacy itself. It is their acquired power in such a short amount of time that is fascinating. The DaVinci Code[1] is the most popular work of fiction in all history (other than the Bible) and so Dan Brown’s use of the Knights Templar in this novel has brought them to the forefront of our awareness once again. Many readers of The DaVinci Code were introduced to the Knights Templar for the first time. Dan Brown portrayed the Templars as powerful guardians of a secret treasure that would destroy the image of the Catholic Church. His novel made many assertions regarding the Templars’ power. I will reiterate those claims and then compare them with factual knowledge from various sources. Through research, actual facts regarding the power behind the Templars will be disclosed. This paper will also explore how and why the Knights Templar lost that power. Ultimately, we will see where the real power of the Templars came from versus the claims made in The DaVinci Code and why this enigmatic group holds our attention nearly one thousand years after they became a recognized order of the Catholic Church. I argue against Brown’s claim that the Knights were controlled by a secret society called the Priory of Sion and that their power came from guarding the Holy Grail; defined in the novel as the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene and the documentation of her descendents with Jesus of Nazareth.

THE NON-EXISTENT SECRET SOCIETY AND THE MYSTERY DOCUMENTS

In the front of The DaVinci Code, before the novel begins, Dan Brown stipulates as “Fact” that the Priory of Sion was a secret society that was founded over 900 years ago: “The Priory of Sion – a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization.” (Brown, page 1) Brown generates the following dialogue as back up to his initial claim of “Fact”:

“The Priory of Sion,” he [Robert Langdon] began, “was founded in Jerusalem in 1099 by a French king named Godefroi de Bouillon, immediately after he had conquered the city.” “King Godefroi was allegedly the possessor of a powerful secret – a secret that had been in his family since the time of Christ. Fearing his secret might be lost when he died, he founded a secret brotherhood – the Priory of Sion – charged them with protecting his secret by quietly passing it on from generation to generation. During their years in Jerusalem, the Priory learned of a stash of hidden documents buried beneath the ruins of Herod’s temple, which had been built atop the earlier ruins of Solomon’s Temple. These documents, they believed, corroborated Godefroi’s powerful secret and were so explosive in nature that the Church would stop at nothing to get them.” “The Priory vowed that no matter how long it took, these documents must be recovered from the rubble beneath the temple and protected forever, so the truth would never die. In order to retrieve the documents from within the ruins, the Priory created a military arm – a group of nine knights called the Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and Temple of Solomon.” Langdon paused. “More commonly known as the Knights...
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