At its height, the Order of the Knights Templar rivaled the kingdoms of Europe in military might, economic power, and political influence. For 700 years the tragic demise of this society of warrior-monks amid accusations of heresy has been plagued by controversy, in part because the transcript of their trial by the Inquisition - which held the key to the truth - had vanished.Templar historian Barbara Frale happened to be studying a document at the Vatican Secret Archives when she suddenly realized that it was none other than the long-lost transcript! It revealed that Pope Clement V had absolved the order of all charges of heresy. Using this sensational new information, Frale chronicles the Templars spectacular rise and fall against a sweeping backdrop of war, religious fervor, and the struggle for dominance, and finally lifts the centuries-old cloak of mystery surrounding one of the worlds most intriguing secret societies.
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