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The Knights Templar

But the most remarkable, and at the same time the most celebrated, affair in which these accusations of secret and obscene ceremonies were brought to bear, was that of the trial and dissolution of the order of the knights templars. The charges against the knights templars were not heard of for the first time at the period of their dissolution, but for many years it had been whispered abroad that they had secret opinions and practices of an objectionable character. At length the wealth of the order, which was very great in France, excited the cupidity of King Philippe IV, and it was resolved to proceed against them, and despoil them of their possessions. The grounds for these proceedings were furnished by two templars, one a Gascon, the other an Italian, who were evidently men of bad character, and who, having been imprisoned for some offence or offences, made a confession of the secret practices of their order, and upon these confessions certain articles of accusation were drawn up. These appear to have

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been enlarged afterwards. In 1307, Jacques de Molay, the grand master of the order, was treacherously allured to Paris by the king, and there seized and thrown into prison. Others, similarly committed to prison in all parts of the kingdom, were examined individually on the charges urged against them, and many confessed, while others obstinately denied the whole. Amongst these charges were the following: 1. That on the admission of a new member of the order, after having taken the oath of obedience, he was obliged to deny Christ, and to spit, and sometimes also to trample, upon the cross; 2. That they then received the kiss of the templar, who officiated as receiver, on the mouth, and afterwards were obliged to kiss him in ano, on the navel, and sometimes on the generative member; 3. That, in despite of the Saviour, they sometimes worshipped a cat, which appeared amongst them in their secret conclave; 4. That they practised unnatural vice together; 5. That they had idols in their different provinces; in the form of a head, having sometimes three faces, sometimes two, or only one, and sometimes a bare skull, which they called their saviour, and believed its influence to be exerted in making them rich, and in making flowers grow and the earth germinate; and 6. That they always wore about their bodies a

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cord which had been rubbed against the head, and which served for their protection. 82

The ceremonies attending the reception into the order were so universally acknowledged, and are described in terms which have so much the appearance of truthfulness, that we can hardly altogether disbelieve in them. The denial was to be repeated thrice, no doubt in imitation of St. Peter. It appears to have been considered as a trial of the strength of the obedience they had just sworn to the order, and they all pleaded that they had obeyed with reluctance, that they had denied with the mouth but not with the heart; and that they had intentionally spit beside the cross and not upon it. In one instance the cross was of silver, but it was more commonly of brass, and still more frequently of wood; on one occasion the cross painted in a missal was used, and the cross on the templar's mantle often served the purpose. When one Nicholas de Compiegne protested against these two acts, all the templars who were present told him that he must do them, for it was the custom of the order. 83 Baldwin de St. Just at first refused, but the receptor warned him that if he persisted in his refusal, it would be the worse for him (aliter male accideret sibi), and then "he was so

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much alarmed that his hair stood on end." Jacques de Trecis said that he did it under fear, because his receptor stood by with a great naked sword in his hand. 84 Another, Geoffrey de Thatan, having similarly refused, his receptor told him that they were "points of the order," and that if he did not comply, "he should be put in such a place that he would never see his own feet." And another who refused to utter the words of denial was thrown into prison and kept there until vespers, and when he saw that he was in peril of death, he yielded, and did whatever the receptor required of him, but he adds that he was so troubled and frightened that he had forgotten whether he spat on the cross or not. Gui de la Roche, a presbyter of the diocese of Limoges, said that he uttered the denial with great weeping. Another, when he denied Christ, "was all stupified and troubled, and it seemed as if he were enchanted, not knowing what counsel to take, as they threatened him heavily if he did not do it." When Etienne de Dijon similarly refused to deny his Saviour, the preceptor told him that he must do it because he had sworn to obey his orders, and then "he denied with his mouth," he said, "but not with his heart; and he did this with great grief," and he adds that when it

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was done, he was so conscience-struck that "he wished he had been outside at his liberty, even though it had been with the loss of one of his arms." When Odo de Dompierre, with great reluctance, at length spat on the cross, he said that he did it with such bitterness of heart that he would rather have had his two thighs broken. Michelet, in the account of the proceedings against the templars in his "History of France," offers an ingenious explanation of these ceremonies of initiation which gives them a typical meaning. He imagines that they were borrowed from the figurative mysteries and rites of the early Church, and supposes that, in this spirit, the candidate for admission into the order was first presented as a sinner and renegade, in which character, after the example of Peter, he was made to deny Christ. This denial, he suggests, was a sort of pantomime in which the novice expressed his reprobate state by spitting on the cross; after which he was stripped of his profane clothing, received, through the kiss of the order, into a higher state of faith, and clothed with the garb of its holiness. If this were the case, the true meaning of the performance must have been very soon forgotten.

This was especially the case with the kiss. According to the articles of accusation, one of the ceremonies of initiation required the novice to kiss the

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receiver on the mouth, on the anus, or the end of the spine, on the navel, and on the virga virilis. The last is not mentioned in the examinations, but the others are described by so many of the witnesses that we cannot doubt of their truth. From the depositions of many of the templars examined, it would appear that the usual order was to kiss the receptor first in ano, next on the navel, and then on the mouth. 85 The first of these was an act which would, of course, be repulsive to most people, and the practice arose gradually of only kissing the end of the spine, or, as it was called in mediæval Latin, in anca. Bertrand de Somorens, of the diocese of Amiens, describing a reception at which more than one new member was admitted, says that the receiver next told them that they must kiss him in ano; but, instead of kissing him there, they lifted up his clothes and kissed him on the spine. The receptor, it appears, had the power of remitting this kiss when he judged there was a sufficient reason. Etienne de Dijon, a presbyter of the diocese of Langres, said that, when he was admitted into the order, the preceptor told him that he ought, "according to the observances of the order," to kiss his receiver in ano, but that in consideration of his being a presbyter, he would spare him and remit this kiss. Pierre de Grumenil, also a

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presbyter, when called upon to perform this act, refused, and was allowed to kiss his receiver on the navel only. A presbyter named Ado de Dompierre was excused for the same reason, 86 as well as many others. Another templar, named Pierre de Lanhiac, said that, at his reception into the order, his receptor told him that he must kiss him in ano, because that was one of the points of the order, but that, at the earnest supplication of his uncle, who was present, and must therefore have been a knight of the order, he obtained a remission of this kiss.

Another charge against the templars was still more disgusting. It was said that they proscribed all intercourse with women, and one of the men examined stated, which was also confessed by others, that his receptor told him that, from that hour, he was never to enter a house in which a woman lay in labour, nor to take part as godfather at the baptism of any child, but he added that he had broken his oath, for he had assisted at the baptism of several children while still in the order, which he had left about a year before the seizure of the templars, for the love of a woman of whom he had become enamoured. On the other hand, those who replied to the interrogatory of the king's officers in this process, were all but unanimous in the avowal that on entering the order

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they received the permission to commit sodomy amongst themselves. Two or three professed not to have understood this injunction in a bad sense, but to have supposed that it only meant that, when the brethren were short of beds, each was to be ready to lend half of his bed to his fellow. One of them, named Gillet de Encraye, said that he at first supposed it to be meant innocently, but that his receptor immediately undeceived him, by repeating it in less covert terms, at which he was himself so horrified that he wished himself far away from the chapel in which the ceremony took place. A great number of templars stated that, after the kisses of initiation, they were informed that if they felt moved by natural heat, they might call any one of the brethren to their relief, and that they ought to relieve their brethren when appealed to under the same circumstances. This appears to have been the most common form of the injunction. In one or two instances the receiver is described as adding that this was an act of contempt towards the other sex, which may perhaps be considered as showing that the ceremony was derived from some of the mysteries of the strange sects which appeared in the earlier ages of Christianity. Jean de St. Loup, who held the office of master of the house of templars at Soisiac, said that, on his reception into the order, he received the injunction not

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to have intercourse with women, but, if he could not persevere in continence, he might have the same intercourse with men; and others were told that it would "be better to satisfy their lust among themselves, whereby the order would escape evil report, than if they went to women." But although the almost unanimity of the confessions leave hardly room for a doubt that such injunctions were given, yet on the other hand they are equally unanimous in denying that these injunctions were carried into practice. Almost every templar, as the questions were put to him, after admitting that he was told that he might indulge in such vice with the other brethren, asserted that he had never done this, and that he had never been asked to do so by any of them. Theobald de Taverniac, whose name tells us that he came from the south, denied indignantly the existence of such a vice among their order but in terms which themselves told not very much in favour of the morality of the templars in other respects. He said that, "as to the crime of sodomy," he believed the charge to be totally untrue, "because they could have very handsome and elegant women when they liked, and that they did have them frequently when they were rich and powerful enough to afford it, and that on this account he and other brothers of the order were removed from their houses, as he said." We have

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an implied acknowledgment that the templars did not entirely neglect the other sex in a statement quoted by Du Puy that, if a child were born from the intercourse between a templar and a virgin, they roasted it, and made an unguent of its fat, with which they anointed their idol. Those who confessed to the existence of the vice were so few, and their evidence so indefinite or indirect, that they are deserving of no consideration. One had heard that some brethren beyond the sea had committed unnatural vices. 87 Another, Hugh de Faure, had heard say that two brothers of the order, dwelling in the Chateau Pelerin, had been charged with sodomy; that, when this reached the ears of the master, he gave orders for their arrest, and that one had been killed in the attempt to escape, while the other was taken and imprisoned for life. Peter Brocart, a templar of Paris, declared that one of the order, one night, called him and committed sodomy with him; adding that he had not refused, because he considered himself bound to obedience by the rules of the order. 88 The evidence is decidedly strong against the prevalence of such a vice among the templars, and the alleged permission was perhaps a mere form of words, which concealed some occult meaning unknown to the mass of the

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templars themselves. We are not inclined to reject altogether the theory of the baron von Hammer-Pürgstall, that the templars had adopted some of the mysterious tenets of the eastern Gnostics.

In regard to the secret idolatry with which the templars were charged, it is a subject involved in great obscurity. The cat is but little spoken of in the depositions. Some Italian knights confessed that they had been present at a secret chapter of twelve knights held at Brindisi, when a grey cat suddenly appeared amongst them, and they worshipped it. At Nismes, some templars declared that they had been present at a chapter at Montpellier, when the demon appeared to them in the form of a cat, and promised them worldly prosperity, but they appear to have been visionaries not to be trusted, for they stated that at the same time devils appeared in the shape of women. An English templar, examined in London, deposed that in England they did not adore the cat, or the idol, but that he had heard it positively stated that the cat and the idol were worshipped by the templars in parts beyond sea. A solitary Freshman, examined in Paris, Gillet de Encreyo, spoke of the cat, and said that he had heard, but had forgotten who were his informants, and did not believe them, that beyond sea a certain cat had appeared to the templars in their battles. The cat belongs to a lower

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class of popular superstitions, perhaps, than that of the templars.

This, however, was not the case with the idol, which was generally described as the figure of a human head, and appears only to have been shown in the more secret chapter meetings on particular occasions. Many of the templars examined before the commissioners, said that they had heard this idol head spoken of as existing in the order, and others deposed to having seen it. It was generally described as being about the natural size of a man's head, with a very fierce-looking face and a beard, the latter sometimes white. Different witnesses varied as to the material of which it was made, and, indeed, in various other particulars, which lead us to suppose that each house of the templars, where the idol existed, had its own head, and that they varied in form. They agreed generally that this head was an object of worship. One templar deposed that he was present at a chapter of the order in Paris, when the head was brought in, but he was unable to describe it at all, for, when he saw it, he was so struck with terror that he hardly knew where he was. Another, Ralph de Gysi, who held the office of receptor for the province of Champagne, said that he had seen the head in many chapters; that, when it was introduced, all present threw themselves on the ground and adored

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it: and when asked to describe it, he said, on his oath, that its countenance was so terrible, that it seemed to him to be the figure of a demon--using the French word un maufé, and that as often as he saw it, so great a fear took possession of him, that he could hardly look upon it without fear and trembling. Jean Taylafer said that, at his reception into the order, his attention was directed to a head upon the altar in the chapel, which he was told he must worship; he described it as of the natural size of a mans head, but could not describe it more particularly, except that he thought it was of a reddish colour. 89 Raynerus de Larchent saw the head twice in a chapter, especially once in Paris, where it had a beard, and they adored and kissed it, and called it their saviour. Guillermus de Herbaleyo saw the head with its beard, at two chapters. He thought it was of silver gilt, and wood inside. He "saw the brethren adore it, and he went through the form of adoring it himself, but he did it not in his heart." According to one witness, Deodatus Jaffet, a knight from the south of France who had been received at Pedenat, the receptor showed him a head, or idol, which appeared to have three faces, and said to him, "You must adore this as your saviour, and the saviour of the order of the temple," and he added that he was made to worship the idol,

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saying, "Blessed be he who shall save my soul!" Another deponent gave a very similar account. Another knight of the order, Hugo de Paraudo, said that, in a chapter at Montpellier, he had both seen, held, and felt, the idol or head, and that he and the other brothers adored it but he, like the others, pleaded that he did not adore it in his heart. He described it as supported on four feet, two before and two behind. 90 Guillaume de Arrablay, the king's almoner (eleemosynarius regius), said that in the chapter at which he was received, a head made of silver was placed on the altar, and adored by those who formed the chapter; he was told that it was the head of one of the eleven thousand virgins, and had always believed this to be the case, until after the arrest of the order, when, hearing all that was said on the matter, he "suspected" that it was the idol; and he adds in his deposition that it seemed to him to have two faces, a terrible look, and a silver beard. It does not appear very clear why he should have taken a head with two faces, a fierce look, and a beard, for one of the eleven thousand virgins, but this is, perhaps, partly explained by the deposition of another witness, Guillaume Pidoye, who had the charge of the relics, &c., belonging to the Temple in Paris, and who produced a head of silver gilt, having

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a woman's face, and a small skull, resembling that of a woman, inside, which was said to be that of one of the eleven thousand virgins. At the same time another head was brought forward, having a beard, and supposed to be that of the idol. 91 Both these witnesses had no doubt confounded two things. Pierre Garald, of Mursac, another witness, said that after he had denied Christ and spitten on the cross, the receptor drew from his bosom a certain small image of brass or gold, which appeared to represent the figure of a woman, and told him that "he must believe in it, and have faith in it, and that it would be well for him." Here the idol appears in the form of a statuette. There was also another account of the idol, which perhaps refers to some further object of superstition among the templars. According to one deponent, it was an old skin embalmed, with bright carbuncles for eyes, which shone like the light of heaven. Others said that it was the skin of a man, but agreed with the others in regard to the carbuncles. 92 In England a minorite friar deposed that an English knight of the Temple had assured him that the templars had four principal idols in this country, one in the sacristy of the Temple in London, another at Bristelham, a third at Brueria (Bruern in

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Lincolnshire), and the fourth at some place beyond the Humber. 93

Another piece of information relating to this "idol," which has been the subject of considerable discussion among modern writers, was elicited from the examination of some knights from the south. Gauserand de Montpesant, a knight of Provence, said that their superior showed him an idol made in the form of Baffomet; another, named Raymond Rubei, described it as a wooden head, on which the figure of Baphomet was painted, and adds, "that he worshipped it by kissing its feet, and exclaiming, 'Yalla,' which was," he says, "verbum Saracenorum," a word taken from the Saracens. 94 A templar of Florence declared that, in the secret chapters of the order, one brother said to the other, showing the idol, "Adore this head--this head is your god and your Mahomet." The word Mahomet was used commonly in the middle ages as a general term for an idol or false god; but some writers have suggested that Baphomet is itself a mere corruption of Mahomet, and suppose that the templars had secretly embraced Mahometanism. A much more remarkable explanation of this word has, however, been proposed, which is, at the least, worthy of very great consideration, especially

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as it comes from so distinguished an orientalist and scholar as the late baron Joseph von Hammer-Pürgstall. It arose partly from the comparison of a number of objects of art, ornamented with figures, and belonging apparently to the thirteenth century. These objects consist chiefly of small images, or statuettes, coffers, and cups.

Von Hammer has described, and given engravings of, twenty-four such images, which it must be acknowledged answer very well to the descriptions of their "idol" given by the templars in their examinations, except only that the templars usually speak of them as of the size of life, and as being merely heads. Most of them have beards, and tolerably fierce countenances. Among those given by Von Hammer are seven which present only a head, and two with two faces, backwards and forwards, as described in some of the depositions. These two appear to be intended for female heads. Altogether Von Hammer has described fifteen cups and goblets, but a much smaller number of coffers. Both cups and coffers are ornamented with extremely curious figures, representing a continuous scene, apparently religious ceremonies of some kind or other, but certainly of an obscene character, all the persons engaged in which are represented naked. It is not a part of our subject to enter into a detailed examination of these mysteries.

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[paragraph continues] The most interesting of the coffers described by Von Hammer, which was preserved in the private museum of the duc de Blacas, is of calcarous stone, nine inches long by seven broad, and four and a half deep, with a lid about two inches thick. It was found in Burgundy. On the lid is sculptured a figure, naked, with a head-dress resembling that given to Cybele in ancient monuments, holding up a chain with each hand, and surrounded with various symbols, the sun and moon above, the star and the pentacle below, and under the feet a human skull. 95 The chains are explained by Von Hammer as representing the chains of æons of the Gnostics. On the four sides of the coffer we see a series of figures engaged in the performance of various ceremonies, which are not easily explained, but which Von Hammer considers as belonging to the rites of the Gnostics and Ophians. The offering of a calf figures prominently among these rites, a worship which is said still to exist among the Nossarii, or Nessarenes, the Druses, and other sects in the East. In the middle of the scene on one side, a human skull is seen, raised upon a pole. On another side an androgynous figure is represented as the object of worship of two candidates for initiation,

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who wear masks apparently of a cat, and whose form of adoration reminds us of the kiss enacted at the initiation of the templars. 96 This group reminds us, too, of the pictures of the orgies in the worship of Priapus, as represented on Roman monuments. The second of the coffers in the cabinet of the duc de Blacas was found in Tuscany, and is rather larger than the one just described, but made of the same material, though of a finer grain. The lid of this coffer is lost, but the sides are covered with sculpture of a similar character. A large goblet, or bowl, of marble, in the imperial museum at Vienna, is surrounded by a series of figures of similar character, which are engraved by Von Hammer, who sees in one group of men (who are furnished in the original with prominent phalli) and serpents, a direct allusion to Ophite rites. Next after these comes a group which we have reproduced in our plate, 97 representing a strange figure seated upon an eagle, and accompanied with two of the symbols represented on the coffer found in Burgundy, the sun and moon. The two symbols below are considered by Von Hammer to represent, according to the rude mediæval notions of its form, the womb, or matrix; the fecundating organ is penetrating the one, while the infant is emerging from the other. The last figure in this series, which we have also copied, 98

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is identical with that on the lid of the coffer found in Burgundy, but it is distinctly represented as androgynous. We have exactly the same figure on another coffer, in the Vienna museum, 99 with some of the same symbols, the star, pentacle, and human skull. Perhaps, in this last, the beard is intended to show that the figure must be taken as androgynous.

On an impartial comparison we can hardly doubt that these curious objects,--images, coffers, cups, and bowls,--have been intended for use in some secret and mysterious rites, and the arguments by which Von Hammer attempts to show that they belonged to the templars seem at least to be very plausible. Several of the objects represented upon them, even the skull, are alluded to in some of the confessions of the templars, and these evidently only confessed a part of what they knew, or otherwise they were very imperfectly acquainted with the secrets of their order. Perhaps the most secret doctrines and rites were only communicated fully to a small number. There is, however, another circumstance connected with these objects which appears to furnish an almost irresistible confirmation of Von Hammer's theory. Most of them bear inscriptions, written in Arabic, Greek, and Roman characters. The inscriptions on the images appear to be merely proper names, probably those of

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their possessors. But with the coffers and bowls the case is different, for they contain a nearly uniform inscription in Arabic characters, which, according to the interpretation given by Von Hammer, contains a religious formula. The Arabic characters, he says, have been copied by a European, and not very skilful, carver, who did not understand them, from an Eastern original, and the inscriptions contain corruptions and errors which either arose from this circumstance, or, as Von Hammer suggests, may have been introduced designedly, for the purpose of concealing the meaning from the uninitiated. A good example of this inscription surrounds the lid of the coffer found in Burgundy, and is interpreted as follows by Von Hammer, who regards it as a sort of parody on the Cantate laudes Domini. In fact, the word under the feet of the figure, between them and the skull, is nothing more than the Latin cantate expressed in Arabic letters. The words with which this Cantate begins are written above the head of the figure, and are read by Von Hammer as Fah la Sidna, which is more correctly Fella Sidna, i. e. O God, our Lord! The formula itself, to which this is an introduction, commences on the right side, and the first part of it reads Houvè Mete Zonar feseba (or sebaa) B. Mounkir teaala tiz. There is no such word in Arabic as mete, and Von Hammer considers it to be

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simply the Greek word μῆτις, wisdom, a personification in what we may perhaps call the Gnostic mythology answering to the Sophia of the Ophianites. He considers that the name Baphomet is derived from the Greek words Βαφη μητοες, i. e. the baptism of Metis, and that in its application it is equivalent with the name Mete itself. He has further shown, we think conclusively, that Baphomet, instead of being a corruption of Mahomet, was a name known among the Gnostic sects in the East. Zonar is not an Arabic word, and is perhaps only a corruption or error of the sculptor, but Von Hammer thought it meant a girdle, and that it alluded to the mysterious girdle of the templars, of which so much is said in their examinations. The letter B is supposed by Von Hammer to stand here for the name Baphomet, or for that of Barbalo, one of the most important personages in the Gnostic mythology. Mounkir is the Arabic word for a person who denies the orthodox faith. The rest of the formula is given on the other side of the figure, but as the inscription here presents several corruptions, we will give Von Hammer's translation (in Latin) of the more correct copy of the formula inscribed on the bowl or goblet preserved in the museum at Vienna. In the Vienna bowl, the formula of faith is written on a sort of large placard, which is held up to view by a figure apparently intended for

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another representation of Mete or Baphomet. Von Hammer translates it:--

"Exaltetur Mete germinans, stirps nostra ego et septem fuere, tu renegans reditus ῶρωκτὸς fis."

This still is, it must be confessed, rather mysterious, and, in fact, most of these copies of the formula of faith are more or less defective, but, from a comparison of them, the general form and meaning of the whole is made perfectly clear. This may be translated, "Let Mete be exalted, who causes things to bud and blossom! he is our root; it (the root) is one and seven; abjure (the faith), and abandon thyself to all pleasures." The number seven is said to refer to the seven archons of the Gnostic creed.

There are certainly several points in this formula which present at least a singular coincidence with the statements made in the examinations of the templars. In the first place the invocation which precedes the formula, Yalla (Jah la), agrees exactly with the statement of Raymond Rubei, one of the Provencal templars that when the superior exhibited the idol, or figure of Baphomet, he kissed it and exclaimed "Yalla!" which he calls "a word of the Saracens," i. e. Arabic. 100 It is evident that, in this case, the witness not only knew the word, but that he knew to what language it belonged. Again, the epithet germinans,

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applied to Mete, or Baphomet, is in accord with the statement in the formal list of articles of accusation against the templars, that they worshipped their idol because "it made the trees to flourish and the earth to germinate." The abjuration of the formula on the monuments seems to be identical with the denial in the initiation of novices to the order of the Temple; and it may be added, that the closing words of the formula involve in the original an idea more obscene than is expressed in the translation, an allusion to the unnatural vice in which the templars are stated to have received permission to indulge. There is another curious statement in the examinations which seems to point directly to our images and coffers--one of the English witnesses under examination, named John de Donington, who had left the order and become a friar at Salisbury, said that an old templar had assured him that "some templars carried such idols in their coffers." They seem to have been treasured up for the same reason as the mandrake, for one article in the articles against the templars is that they worshipped their idol because "it could make them rich, and that it had brought all their great wealth to the order."

The two other classes of what the Baron Von Hammer supposed to be relics of the secret worship of the templars, appear to us to be much less satisfactorily

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explained. These are sculptures on old churches, and coins or medals. Such sculptures are found, according to Von Hammer, on the churches of Schöngraber, Waltendorf, and Bercktoldorf, in Austria; in that of Deutschaltenburg, and in the ruins of that of Postyén, in Hungary; and in those of Murau, Prague, and Egra, in Bohemia. To these examples we are to add the sculptures of the church of Montmorillon, in Poitou, some of which have been engraved by Montfaucon, 101 and those of the church of Ste. Croix, in Bordeaux. We have already 102 remarked the rather frequent prevalence of subjects more or less obscene in the sculptures which ornament early churches, and suggested that they may be explained in some degree by the tone given to society by the existence of this priapic worship; but we are not inclined to agree with Von Hammer's explanation of them, or to think that they have any connection with the templars. We can easily understand the existence of such direct allusions on coffers or other objects intended to be concealed, or at least kept in private; but it is hardly probable that men who held opinions and practised rites the very rumour of which was then so full of danger, would proclaim them publicly on the walls of their buildings, for the wall

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of a church was then, perhaps, the most effectual medium of publication. The question of the supposed templar medals is very obscure. Von Hammer has engraved a certain number of these objects, which present various singular subjects on the obverse, sometimes with a cross on the reverse, and sometimes bracteate. Antiquaries have given the name of abbey tokens to a rather numerous class of such medals, the use of which is still very uncertain, although there appears to be little doubt of its being of a religious character. Some have supposed that they were distributed to those who attended at certain sacraments or rites of the Church, who could thus, when called up, prove by the number of their tokens, the greater or less regularity of their attendance. Whether this were the case or not, it is certain that the burlesque and other societies of the middle ages, such as the feast of fools, parodied these "tokens," and had burlesque medals, in lead and sometimes in other metals, which were perhaps used for a similar purpose. We have already spoken more than once of obscene medals, and have engraved specimens of them, which were perhaps used in secret societies derived from, or founded upon, the ancient phallic worship. It is not at all improbable that the templars may have employed similar medals, and that those would contain allusions to the rites in which

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they were employed. The medals published by Von Hammer are said to have been found chiefly on the sites of settlements of the order of the Temple. However, the comparison of facts stated in the confessions of many of the templars, as preserved in the official reports, with the images and sculptured cups and coffers given by Von Hammer-Pürgstall, lead to the conclusion that there is truth in the explanation he gives of the latter, and that the templars, or at least some of them, had secretly adopted a form of the rites of Gnosticism, which was itself founded upon the phallic worship of the ancients. An English templar, Stephen de Staplebridge, acknowledged that "there were two 'professions' in the order of the Temple, the first lawful and good, the second contrary to the faith." He had been admitted to the first of these when he first entered the order, eleven years before the time of his examination, but he was only initiated into the second or inner mysteries about a year afterwards; and he gives almost a picturesque description of this second initiation, which occurred in a chapter held at "Dineslee" in Herefordshire. Another English templar, Thomas de Tocci, said that the errors had been brought into England by a French knight of high position in the order. 103


123:81 Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici, tom. xxi, p. 89, where the two bulls are printed, and where the details of the history of the Stedingers will be found.

125:82 Procès des Templiers, edited by M. Michelet, vol. i, pp. 90-92.

125:83 Procès des Templiers, ii, 418.

126:84 Procès, i, 254.

128:85 See the Procès, ii. 286, 362, 364.

129:86 Procès, i, 307.

132:87 Procès, ii, 213.

132:88 Procès, ii, 294.

135:89 Procès, i, 190.

136:90 Procès, ii, 363.

137:91 Procès, ii, 218.

137:92 Du Puy, Hist. des Templ., pp. 22, 24.

138:93 Wilkins, Concil., vol. ii, p. 363.

138:94 Du Puy, Hist. des Templiers, p. 21.

140:95 See our plate XIV.

143:96 Plate XV, fig. 1.

143:97 Plate XV, fig. 2.

143:98 Plate XV, fig. 3.

144:99 Plate XV, fig. 4.

149:100 Du Puy, Hist. des Templiers, p. 94.

151:101 Montfaucon, Antiquité Expliquée, Suppl. tom. ii, plate 59.

151:102 See before, p. 139.

153:103 Wilkins, Concil., ii, 387.

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