Medieval representations of sodomy – Dr Robert Mills (UCL)
I have been asked on several occasions whether the Knights Templar were gay. After all, they were accused of kissing each other on the “base of the spine” and other parts of the body in their initiation rites.
One user got quite irate when I insisted you couldn’t classify the Templar's as a medieval LGBT organization – though that’s not to say some of the knights weren’t gay.
So – why this association between the Knights Templar and homosexuality?
It all hinges on confessions made during the Templar trials between 1307 and 1314. King Philip of France was keen to crush the brotherhood of knights and basically levelled two main accusations against them designed to disgust medieval public opinion: heresy and sodomy.
But…should be said that heresy was probably the worst of the two accusations. To deny Christ, his sacraments and the authority of the church was to overturn the natural order of things – way more than two men being in love. It also posed a far greater threat to the power of the Pope, the King and the whole spiritual and temporal superstructure.
Sodomy and the Templar trials
So what were the accusations levelled against the Templar's that gave rise to the idea many were gay?
The Templar trials expert Professor Malcolm Barber details quite a few confessions made after 1307 that give you the full picture. This is merely a taster:
1307=137 in Numerology, you see the numbers never lie!!
- John of Cugy, a 53-year-old Templar who had been keeper of the mills in Paris, told an inquisitor that the Visitor of France (a very senior Templar knight) had taken him behind the altar and “kissed him on the base of the spine and the navel”. After that, he was told to spit on the crucifix. Nice.
- Ithier of Rochefort under torture admitted to “obscene” kisses and “the incitement to homosexuality”
- Nicholas of Sarra denied the holiness of an effigy of Christ before stripping off and being kissed again at the base of the spine, the navel and the mouth
- Ralph of Grandeville had homosexuality “enjoined upon him” via the usual kisses
- William of Giac said that while he was in Cyprus as a brother serving with the knights, he had “carnal relations” with the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay – who was later burnt at the stake in 1314
When dealing with other heresies, the church and its inquisition often saw homosexuality as a symptom of heresy. It suggested that those who denied the authority of Rome in spiritual matters were degenerate and base. The term “sodomy” would be employed and it encompassed not just same-sex relations but bestiality as well.
So, for example, William of Auvergne (bishop of Paris between 1228 and 1249) was convinced that heretics liked to kiss a cat under its tail or a toad fully on the mouth. Both animals being familiars of Satan, of course.
I discuss in other blog posts the allegation of black magic rituals to discredit the Templar's. The knights’ initiation rites were depicted as a kind of black mass – with the worship of severed heads (Baphomet) and the presence of magical symbols. Adding homosexuality into the mix was a given.
Templar's, homosexuality and sin
If you were gay in the Middle Ages, then joining a brotherhood of some description was a good way to avoid that familiar and annoying question at family gatherings:
“When are you going to get married?”
Monastic orders allowed you to be in proximity to other men, even with shared accommodation. And you were expected to deny female flesh. It just gets better and better. Plus there was a career path and lots of dressing up.
It was a monastic kind of life but with armor, swords and macho camaraderie. And the Templar's weren’t the only military order in history where same-sex love may have bonded warriors together. The Samurai saw no problem in men fighting the enemy to the death to protect the lover within their own ranks.
However, the accusation of “sodomy” against the Templar's was layered with more meaning in the Middle Ages. To the medieval mind, sinfulness brought down the wrath of God. If the Templar's had been practicing “unnatural acts” then that would explain why they had lost the Christian crusade against Islam. Their sinfulness was a ticking time bomb.
And that’s more than likely what their enemies were really getting at. These Templars masqueraded as the best of knights, but they were hypocrites. Greedy, lying, scheming, heretical and….sodomite….hypocrites.
3 thoughts on “Cross of Lorraine – knights templar- Friday the 13th and sodomy”
I sent two comments but I’m not if u believe me but I am Moses .God told me my new name is a woman called Moses.i know about the 7 chakras that are in Moses staff and I know how his staff looks like without ever seeing it for my self . I know numerology my number is 7 the thinker . I was watching a movie from Adam Sandler and there was secret codes for me and it lead me to a angel wand and I know about the tetragram too . I don’t know about everything but I know this year something drastic is going to happen. I have visions also . I am part of a group called AA and some people from my group have also seen what I seen . I have seen the blue flame and the aurora borealis.i have so much to say .
Hi Tommy, Love listening to you and respect the time, determination and effort you put in. Not good on phones but trying to learn how to follow. Seeing triples on numbers all the time now and not sure why and a 0-
Ty so much