Jacques de Molay, Le dernier grand-maître des Templiers
Les Belles Lettres
Date de publication
Nombre de pages
24 x 16 x 0 cm
1 g

Jacques de Molay

Le dernier grand-maître des Templiers

Les Belles Lettres

À paraître
Even today, Jacques de Molay continues to fascinate. Of the twenty-three Grand Masters who succeeded each other as head of the Order of the Temple from 1120 to 1312, he is undoubtedly the only one still recalled by history buffs. Maurice Druon’s book, Les Rois maudits, immortalized him, and recent works, from the Da Vinci Code to Assassin’s Creed, have spread his name throughout the world. Although he may be rooted in myth, Jacques de Molay has hardly captivated historians. He is an “unknown celebrity,” typically disparaged, about whom much is still uncertain, even his key dates: his birth, election, and even his death. Traces of his actions, however, are far from sparse. It is these sources that the author has systematically studied and compared to various existing memoirs, which promise to throw new light on the Grand Master: rid of stereotypes, Jacques de Molay can finally emerge from the shadows.
This book is divided into three parts. The first deals with representations of the dignitary, revealing how, from the early 19th century on, an archetype of him as a tragic hero came about. The second, beyond the character, focuses on the man, and explores the path of his life to establish how he became the leader of the Temple with whose fate—from the Holy Land to the jails of Philippe le Bel—he identified. Lastly, Jacques de Molay’s commitments form the core of the third part. His support of the Latin East and the defense of his Order, which he strove to adapt as best he could to a situation fraught with perils, were the priorities of a staunch and enterprising man, one very unlike the inept person that too many authors describe. Thus, even through the torment of the Temple trial, he tried to ward off risk in order to safeguard his institution, and once the latter’s destruction was decided and decreed, to preserve its memory as he confronted the judges and death. He did this on March 11, 1314, retracting some of the confessions that had been extracted from him while under torture six-and-one-half years earlier, prepared to face being burned at the stake and to make this ultimate sacrifice of his life, for which posterity avenged him by seeing in his death, with the passing centuries, the compelling case of a martyr.

Philippe Josserand, who holds an agrégation in History and is a former member of École Normale Supérieure, is today a senior lecturer in the History of the Middle Ages at Université de Nantes. A recognized expert in the Crusades and military orders, he coordinated, with Nicole Bériou, Prier et combattre. Dictionnaire européen des ordres militaires au Moyen Âge (Fayard, 2009), and recently co-directed The Templars and their Sources (Routledge, 2017), Entre horizons terrestres et marins. Sociétés, campagnes et littoraux de l’Ouest atlantique (PUR, 2017), and À la rencontre de l’Autre au Moyen Age (PUR, 2017).
S'identifier pour envoyer des commentaires.

Le , Librairie Coiffard - L'Échelle

Rendez-vous le 25 septembre prochain pour le lancement à l'Echelle de la parution du nouvel ouvrage de Philippe Josserand, Jacques de Molay, le dernier grand maître des Templiers, aux éditions des Belles Lettres.

La rencontre sera animée par Quentin Marais.