Templars in America: From the Crusades to the New World Paperback – 31 Dec 2004
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About the Author
Tim Wallace-Murphy is an author and lecturer with an international reputation. He is the driving force behind the creation of the European Templar Heritage Research Network and author of "Rosslyn" and "The Mark of the Beast".
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This book is a study of what has become known as THE ZENO NARRATIVE and everything surrounding it, written history, archaeology, oral traditions, etc.
To sum up, Earl (or Prince) Henry Sinclair of Orkney is purported to have visited and settled in the Americas with the assistance of legends and writings from his Nordic (Viking) heritage and a pair of Venetian mariners, Antonio and Nicolo Zeno. This was said to have happened around 1398, almost 100 years prior to Columbus. Enter the controversy.
The book presents a very sound case for this settlement, offering archaeological and historical documentation, some of which can be viewed by anyone that wants to make a trip to New England or Canada. I believed that the Americas were used in established trade for centuries before Columbus, and this book further supports that belief.
Well researched with an impressive bibliography and extensive footnotes and references, this book covers every base.
3 issues make me rate this historical study a 4 instead of a 5 and they are:
1) The authors reference and seem to have an agenda surrounding Rex Deus (I won't get in depth, but Rex Deus claim to be kin to the Old Testament Priests and therefore somehow historically desireable or even worthy of kingship?). They don't go in to great depth about this, but it stays on the periphery of the book throughout.
2) The title is very misleading, regardless of the factual basis or content of the book. I very much enjoyed this book and the historical assertions it makes, but it was not what the title suggests and that is a problem for me no matter how much I enjoy the work. THIS BOOK IS NOT A STUDY OF TEMPLARS IN AMERICA, rather it is a study of a possible descendent or relative of a Templar, that traveled to America.
3) The book makes reference to the connection between the Knights Templar and the Freemasons. This is just not so. I am a student of the Templars and know for a fact that these connections are based on conjecture and wishful thinking to support "Holy Grail" or "Mary Magdalene" type mysteries (which I enjoy as fiction, but none of the grail or mary magdalene stuff can be proven as fact). They suggest this tie with the usual association between the Sinclairs (St. Clairs) and the Freemasons. There is nothing to tie Freemasonry to Templars except that the Freemasons based their organization on some of the rules of the Templar order.
So, to sum up, this was a very good historical account of pre-Columbian voyages to the new world. Flawed only by the title, a questionable agenda regarding an ancient secret society and references to connections between the Templars and organizations of today.
STILL, A VERY GOOD HISTORICAL REFERENCE.
He does an excellent job of tracking down information regarding Viking voyages and history surrounding Vinland and Greenland and even gives us a few hints along the way about possible North African, Welsh and Scotch/Irish legends (Brendan).
The book reads mostly like a novel and he has some very interesting factoids with photos and other things that point to the possibilities that the Sinclair family had one of its most famous ancestors live in the area of New England.
He mentions two very interesting things, one is the Newport Tower. He does mention a comparison of the Newport Tower to round churches. Wallace-Murphy mentions one person in connection with the Newport Tower and her research and by doing a search on google using Newport Tower and photos, her web page was one of the first listed. Not sure if her site was on when he wrote this, but, it would have a great addition to even have some of these photos to show the point.
Additionally, just recently the Vinland Map, which is of Danish origin, was judged to be authentic due to tests at Lawrence Livermore Labs. This adds some credence that it was just prior to Columbus by 40 years that the Danes were travelling or at least had source materials to work with.
The book is an interesting overview of history from the perspective of the Sinclair family. You will learn a little about Venetian history as well.
The book should be read from the beginning. I attempted to read assorted chapters and really there was too much context missing, so, reading from the start is the only way to go with Templars in America. In fact, it is an engaging reading overall.