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  • Templar
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    #1035 |

    There was an interesting article published Friday in the Telegraph written by Dr Dominic Selwood, a historian specializing in the military orders of the Middle Ages.

    Bear in mind, Dr. Dominic has just written a Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) type of Templar thriller and sensationalizing a mystery is a way to sell books. The fresco in the Templar Chapel he writes about could have a much more mundane and perfectly normal explanation:

    I tend to agree with Author Jason Colavito’s response to this where he explains the fresco could have simply been influenced by Islamic art like from the Al-Aqsa Mosque where King of Jerusalem had housed the Templars. Jason Colavito writes:

    “I think Dr. Selwood is exaggerating the difference between the chapel and other medieval art. And it’s rather disingenuous to claim that the ceiling is painted too well, as though neatness were suggestive of a hidden agenda. This isn’t Ancient Aliens!

    Some of the symbols bear a resemblance to Near Eastern iconography, and the star-spangled vault recalls the star-covered ceiling of Unas’ pyramid in Egypt, though obviously there is no direct connection. If I were pressed to guess, I would think that the designs were inspired by geometric Islamic mosque decoration. Standard texts on Islamic art state that ceiling beams found near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where the Knights Templar had their Holy Land headquarters, were decorated with six-pointed stars. Several of these beams can be seen in the Al-Aqsa museum today. They may have been used in an earlier phase of the Al-Aqsa mosque, or perhaps another Islamic building. As I understand it, they are different from the wooden beams currently claimed to be from the first or second Jewish Temple.

    Other medieval texts refer to ceilings, now lost or painted over, that contained a “panel of stars,” “the choir of stars,” or other astronomical symbolism, particularly in areas influenced by Islam, such as the Sicily of Roger II.”

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