Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Knights Templar secrets revealed

The Vatican is reproducing copies of the investigations of the trial of the Knights Templar, almost 700 years after they were suppressed by papal edict.

The trial into the alleged misdeeds of the Knights Templar took place in Rome between 1307 and 1312.

Now the Vatican has decided to shed some new light on this often obscure period of late medieval history.

The document, known as the Chinon parchment, shows that Pope Clement V found the Templars not guilty of heresy, but guilty of other lesser infractions of Church law. Nonetheless he ordered the disbandment of the order.

The Vatican's Secret Archives, one of the world's great repositories of historical documents, is selling a limited edition of 800 numbered copies of the Chinon parchment, the BBC reported.

It is printed on synthetic parchment, comes complete with a reproduction of the original papal wax seal, and is packaged in a soft leather case together with a scholarly commentary.