Ruminations on ‘Sir Honour and the Templars’

I seriously considered cutting this part of the story for the Stitched Crosses audio adaptation. My fear was that the section’s heavy exposition and mono-setting would slow the whole story to a halt.

The reality is, “Sir Honour & The Legacy of the Knights Templar” establishes a vital piece of Markus’s character (his tunnel vision concerning God’s relationship with him), introduces the Norman copy of Scripture that Sir Jacques possesses (which will come into play later), and provides detail on the Battle of Cresson (his survival of which is what prompts the Templar Grand Master, Gerard de Ridefort, to assign Markus to the army marching to meet Saladin in an effort to permanently silence him).

This part of the story also provided me with an opportunity to “teach” some (likely) little known history about both the early Christian period as well as the Medieval world. In the case of the former: it is believed that Hypatia, a prominent Greek female philosopher and scholar from Alexandria during the 4th-5th centuries A.D., may have possessed an original copy of the Septuagint (a Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) and perhaps some of the New Testament canon. Hypatia herself was a pagan and a powerful female at a time when women were not supposed to be learned or articulate; despite this, she was held up as a hero by several members of the Christian community.

Her possession of these valuable ancient texts is considered a possible reason why a group of Christian monks community rose up violently against Hypatia (among several other reasons–Hypatia had her share of political and social enemies due to her powerful persona as a woman in a man’s ancient world. Reading about this, I followed it through to conclusion and supposed that perhaps the Christian Bishop of Alexandria, Cryil, recovered the Septuagint and NT canon that was in her possession, forming one of several Codices that would help the Christian world to accurately publish copies of the Bible for centuries. (A few of the Codices are still in existance; the most complete edition, the Codex Sinaiticus, recently became available to the public via a website that reveals the contents of all its pages.)

I also wanted to put my own a theory out there concerning why the Templars were so secretive about their operations. So any scholars an arm chair historians assume the worst about the Templar order–because it works well for lecturing and History Channel documentaries. This episode supposes what the Templars might have been planning (and another reason why they would operate in such deep secrecy) if they possessed a complete edition of Scripture written before the Church centralized its power and became as much a political entity as the Christian center. The Codex that Cyril may have retrieved, and now lost to posterity, five centuries before the Templars existed very nicely slotted into Stitched Crosses.

Thus a closer look at real history reveals possibilities that are much more likely (in my view), while retaining more than enough natural intrigue. One thing that Indiana Jones reveals is that history possesses plenty of mind-boggling mysteries all on its own without adding un-necessary bits of the supernatural to everything.

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