The Templars and the castle of Tortosa in Syria: an unknown document concerning the acquisition of the fortress
By Jonathan Riley-Smith
English Historical Review, Vol.84 (1969)
Introduction: One of the best historians of Latin Syria recently pointed out that the loss of the archives of the Templars made it impossible for him to describe in detail the establishment of their great domain in the north of the county of Tripoli. A document in the National Archives in Madrid, here published for the first time, clarifies this problem and provides precious new evidence for the history of the county of Tripoli and the Order of the Knights Templar. It dates from 1377 and is a copy of the confirmation, made in June 1157, of an agreement drawn up after February 1152 between Master Everard des Banes of the Temple and Bishop William of Tortosa. This concerned the construction of a new castle by the Templars at Tortosa and the respective rights of bishop and Order in the diocese. The evidence provided by it is so important that it can best be treated under several sub-headings.