Tim took me to see the DaVinci Code (thanks Tim!) because go-karting was closed. I had not read the book, but everyone has been telling me how much i will like it. Well, as far as movies go, i thought it was very good, but i am willng to scream “bullshit” in the theatre and continue watching. I don’t think i would have continued with the book. The historical rewrites were too much and i just cannot sanction rewriting history to better jive with the historically-ignorant masses’ conception of their cultural past. What we think of our heritage says more about us than our ancestors. I am not condemning anyone for not knowing its bullshit…i am far from an expert on everything. I liked the movie. I squealed like a stuck pig when Silas came out of nowhere. It was suspenseful and dramatic. It ended nicely. Much better than most of the pseudo-histories on the silver screen, but books should live up to a higher standard. I really will read Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum now.
So…to enlighten the unhistorically informed before they make asses out of themselves by believing Dan Brown’s re-write:
1. The Knights Templar were not condemned as heretics by the Church. They were condemned as heretics by the King of France who needed liquid assets immediately to pay off a death. They were targeted instead of the Hospitaliers because of the LIQUID nature of their fortunes stemming from their banker past.
2. The cult/sect like nature of the Knights Templar was made up by the Free Masons who wanted to create a heritage for themselves in the 19th and 20th centuries. We know very little about the original knights other than that they were incredible fighters and devout monks.
3. The witchhunts did not occur in the Middle Ages. They are a Reformation and Enlightenment phenomenon…Burning Times is a crock-of-shit if you have ever seen it. In fact, my Professor, Shannon McSheffrey, is actually one of the world’s leading experts on witchtrials in Europe and she has made it a policy to denounce the “documentary” in every one of her classes.
4. This said, the Malus Malefacarum (or however it’s spelt) was not around in any time period remotely close to the establishment and indoctrination of the world to Catholicism.
5. I would like someone to show my ONE hard fact evidencing that women were treated as equals in “pagan” societies. “Pagan” societies had been in contact with the Roman Empire since the times of Augustus, Tiberius and at the least Hadrian. Just because feminists want it to be so, doesn’t make it the case.
Please note that i am not an expert on medieval history. I am an undergrad who has taken a couple of classes, yet i find myself fighting with people all the time about just these five facts…and their argument is inevitably “because Dan Brown said so” or because they saw or read it in another movie or book. Please remember, that fiction and reality are different. I don’t know a thing about computers, but that doesn’t mean i have to fall for TRON as a possibility or something equally stupid. Because some novelist wrote a novel that became insanely popular doesn’t mean anything he says actually happened.
Now…if Umberto Eco wrote it, that would be a different story…but look at the man’s creditentials. He can spin a yarn without smudging the facts…