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More Questions than Answers
Tim, you wrote -
"What has been found, however, and equally there is no doubt about this, that Templar thought and philosophy did survive and also, and from the point of view of this list perhaps more importantly, the St Clair family of Roslin played a major role in that perpetuation of the ideals of service."
This is the part I just can't let go of... and if you all think I'm beating a dead horse (as we say in Virginia where I'm from), I know you won't hesitate to point that out... but let me finish beating it.
1307 - First Templar arrests.
1314 - The Templars Order was ended on March 19th, with the death of Jacques de Molay.
1446 - The foundations of Rosslyn Chapel were laid in and it was completed by about 1480.
1717 - Freemasonry reveals itself and comes out of complete secrecy.
How is it possible that Templar thought and philosophy survived in ANY form whatsoever for more than 200 years between 1314 and 1446 to show up symbolically in Roslin Chapel. "That it (Roslin) was also designed as a celebration of Templar beliefs and philosophy is equally unarguable. All of the diagnostic signs of Templar thought as listed by the French Scholar Dubeq in 1934 are to be found within its hallowed walls."
(1) When the average life span during the 14th and 15th century was about 40 years...
(2) when the black death wiped out 1/3rd of the population of England and Scotland in two devastating periods (25 million people died in Europe in just under five years between 1347 and 1352)....
HOW is it possible to pass on thru word of mouth (as I assume there is no hard evidence that Templar belief and thought was passed in writing) through 5 generations of families to show up carved in stone in Roslin Chapel over 200 years after the order was wiped out? What was the method of transportation of these ideas? Writings? Word of mouth? How did "the St Clair family of Roslin played a major role in that perpetuation of the ideals of [the Templars]" for over 200 years 'til the building of the Chapel? And, of course, why did they perpetuate the ideas?
I can offer no evidence that could solve this mystery. I'm simply facinated by the question.
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