Readers of history with an interest in factual mysteries will truly enjoy this non-fiction book by Louis Charpentier. I have waited to read this book for a long time.
It took a long time to finish because it is detailed with important information about the famous cathedral and because of delays from my work schedule.
Gothic cathedrals have long been a fascination of mine, so to finally read this book was an utter thrill. Even though published in the 1960’s, the author presents critical information about Chartres that many historical presentations overlook.
Furthermore, Charpentier offers some answers to the mysteries of the cathedral and Gothic architecture in general. However, some mysteries remain unanswered, such as where did the technological knowledge come from in order to build these magnificent structures? Who provided the funding? Why did it take decades to build? (The Forbidden City in China, another marvel of construction, took a mere four years.)
If you are curious, then by all means read this book. Overall, it is fantastic and enlightening.
#Readers, this is a must read for anyone that has delved into the myths and mysteries of the Knights Templar. The author, Barbara Frale, Ph.D, is a Vatican Archive historian. In the course of her work she discovered an important lost text relating to the Templars. The Chinon Parchment had been lost for 700 years amidst the vast holdings of the Vatican Secret Archives. Earlier this year I was privileged to view and examine in depth a replica of the original lost texts, held in Czech Republic. I bought Frale’s book after that and she does a superb and concise job on the history of the Knights Templar development and on the context in which they lived, as well as clearly de-mystifying the legends about them, such as how they became so wealthy.
The Chinon Parchment reveals several important aspects: 1) the Knights Templar were falsely accused of heresy. These fabrications were part of a larger scheme of duplicity orchestrated for years by King Philip (the Fair) of France.
2) Some of the perversions that the Knights Templar were accused of were true. However, these were taken out of context in regard to initiation into the order.
3) Most important, all of the Knights Templar were forgiven of all charges in an official Papal Bull (Granting Forgiveness) issued by Clement V, the Pope. Furthermore, the order was abolished by papal decree. Nevertheless, King Philip managed to twist the false charges into witchcraft and thus burnt some of the Knights Templar, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, at the stake.
This book, at long last, lays to rest all of the myths and lies about the fate of an extraordinary order–Knights Templar. 5 Stars