Lucy K. Pick

title.none: Forey, Fall of the Templars in the Crown of Aragon (Lucy K. Pick)

identifier.other: baj9928.0501.019 05.01.19

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Lucy K. Pick, University of Chicago,

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2005

identifier.citation: Forey, Alan. The Fall of the Templars in the Crown of Aragon. Aldershot, UK: Ashagate, 2001. Pp. xiv, 279. $84.95 (hb). ISBN: 0-7546-0519-1.

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 05.01.19

Forey, Alan. The Fall of the Templars in the Crown of Aragon. Aldershot, UK: Ashagate, 2001. Pp. xiv, 279. $84.95 (hb). ISBN: 0-7546-0519-1.

Reviewed by:

Lucy K. Pick
University of Chicago

Readers of Alan Forey's study of the end of the Templar order in Aragon who are looking for lurid tales of sex, blasphemy, and torture will go away disappointed. Forey's intention in this book is to expand the story of the fall of the Templar order both beyond France and beyond the usual questions asked about the end of the Templars in that kingdom relating to the guilt or innocence of its members of the charges levied against them, in order to explore new regions and overlooked themes. His geographical focus is therefore the Crown of Aragon and his main focus of attention is the dissolution of the Templars as an institutional body. This therefore is a history of institutions and their administration, and the disputes engendered by dismantling a corporate body whose assets were claimed by both crown and papacy. If there is an overarching argument to this volume, it is that King Jaime II handled the dissolution of the Templars in his kingdom in a way that was fair and equitable.

Forey traces his story through six chapters, each of which keeps closely to his chosen theme. He begins by examining the developing response to the charges against the Templars of Jaime II, beginning in October 1307, and he examines Jaime's initial attempts to sequester Templar property. Chapter two describes the series of prolonged sieges of Templar castles undertaken by the king, and the difficulty and expense these sieges posed. Chapter three examines the interrogation process of 1309 and 1310, and custody of the Templars of Aragon. Forey uses data from the interrogations to provide a small sociological study of the Templars at the time of their dissolution and notes that even under torture, the Templars of Aragon denied all the major charges against them. Fully half of this chapter is devoted to the logistics of keeping the Templars in custody. The next two chapters deal with the fate of Templar property. Forey discusses the administration of Templar holdings while they were still in the hands of the king and describes the negotiations between the king and the papacy about the eventual fate of this property. Jaime II won a significant victory when the papacy agreed that, while Templar properties in Aragon and Catalonia would go to the Hospitallers, Templar and Hospitaller property in Valencia would fund the newly created Order of Montesa. Forey ends his book with a chapter describing the relatively comfortable state of former Templars after their trial, and a short conclusion.

Institutional history is a worthy and ancient field of study but more attention is generally paid to institutions as they are formed, rather than as they are dissolved. Focussing on the collapse of a corporation, Forey provides a new perspective on the history of these entities.