Monday, October 22, 2007

Knights' Tale

Reuters reports that the Vatican is releasing trial documents that have been "closely guarded for 700 years." The documents in question are minutes of trials held between 1307 and 1312 against the Knights Templar , a "medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct." I seem to recall that the Knights Templar figure in Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. Ivanhoe was a childhood favorite; my sister and I used to act it out. Hard to imagine nowadays when the book seems to have dropped off the cultural radar. The Knights themselves, however, remain a favorite subject of fiction, most recently playing a role in The Da Vinci Code.

In any event, the Vatican is publishing the trial documents in a deluxe edition--the documents are being released in a "soft leather case that includes a large-format book including scholarly commentary, reproductions of original parchments in Latin, and--to tantalize Templar buffs--replicas of the wax seals used by 14th-century inquisitors." Only 799 numbered copies will be released at a jaw-dropping cost of 5,900 euros ($8,333).


Betsy McKenzie said...

Dear Marie,
What an amazing piece of news. I don't know if I'm more intrigued by the book itself or the fact that the Vatican is releasing a very expensive edition like a collector's item. I'm sure it's good for scholars and the preservation of the materials. I just wonder what's up with the way they chose to release the stuff.

Marie S. Newman said...

Given the secretive nature of all things connected with the Vatican, we'll probably never know.