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Prof Helen Nicholson 

(edited with Sarah Lambert) Languages of Love and Hate: Conflict, Communication, and Identity in the Medieval Mediterranean (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012: ISBN 978-2-503-52064-3, e-ISBN 978-2-503-54013-9), 314 pp


Edited by Jochen Burgtorf, Paul F. Crawford and Helen J. Nicholson(2011) The Debate on the Trial of the Templars (1307-1314) Ashgate Publishing.

Seven hundred years after the dissolution of the order, the trial of the Templars still arouses enormous controversy and speculation. In October 1307, all the brothers of the military-religious order of the Temple in France were arrested on the instructions of King Philip IV and charged with heresy and other crimes. In 1312, Pope Clement V, at the Council of Vienne, dissolved the order.

Since the 1970s, there has been increasing scholarly interest in the trial, and a series of books and articles have widened scholars' understanding of causes of this notorious affair, its course and its aftermath. However, many gaps in knowledge and understanding remain. What were the Templars doing in the months and years before the trial? Why did the king of France attack the Order? What evidence is there for the Templars' guilt? What became of the Templars and their property after the end of the Order?

This book collects together the research of both junior and senior scholars from around the world in order to establish the current state of scholarship and identify areas for new research. Individual chapters examine various aspects of the background to the trial, the financial, political and religious context of the trial in France, the value of the Templars' testimonies, and consider the trial across the whole of Europe, from Poland and Cyprus to Ireland and Portugal. Rather than trying to close the discussion on the trial of the Templars, this book opens a new chapter in the ongoing scholarly debate.

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Helen J. Nicholson (2011) The Proceedings against the Templars in the British Isles Ashgate Publishing.  

Abstract – In October 1307 all the brothers of the military religious order of the Temple in France were arrested on the orders of King Philip IV and charged with heresy. In November, King Edward II received orders from the pope to do likewise. This book provides the first full edition and translation of the four surviving texts of the trial proceedings that followed, together with introduction and annotation. The trial of the Templars was the first large-scale heresy trial in the British Isles, and the proceedings reveal the English episcopate’s attempts to deal with this unprecedented situation, the procedures that were followed and the efforts made to ensure that everything was done correctly. Some differences in procedures can be noted between the provinces of Canterbury and York, and between England, Ireland and Scotland. The testimonies given during the trial contain a wealth of information about religious beliefs among the lay population of the British Isles (both the Templars and outsiders who gave evidence during the trial), national and international mobility of lay religious, the social function of the order of the Temple in the British Isles and its relations with society at large, and the organisation and operations of the order of the Temple at a local, national and international level. The first volume of this edition contains the Latin text of the original documents, while the second contains an English translation and analysis.

Edited by Helen J. Nicholson (2011) On the Margins of Crusading: The Military Orders, the Papacy and the Christian World. Ashgate Publishing.

Abstract – Founded to support Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land and most famous for their support for crusading, the Military Religious Orders' activities and interests stretched far beyond the frontiers of Christendom. Representing some of the most recent advances in research, in this volume eleven scholars from Europe and North America explore important and hitherto under-researched aspects of the Orders' history, scrutinising their relations with the papacy, their organisational structure, their devotional practices, their fortresses and their presence in the localities of Western Europe. Particular attention is given to the Templars' trial of 1307–12 and the question of how the surviving Orders reorganised themselves after the loss of the kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291. The majority of the papers consider the leading Military Orders, the Hospitallers and Templars, but there are also studies of the Orders of Mountjoy and of St Lazarus, showing how they adapted their activities to local requirements. These studies reflect the vitality of current scholarship on the Military Religious Orders.


Helen J. Nicholson (2009), The Knights Templar on Trial: the trial of the Templars in the British Isles, 1308-1311. The History Press

Abstract - The trial of the Templars in the British Isles (1308-1311) is a largely unexplored area of history. Unlike the trial in France, where the Templars were tortured into confessing to unspeakable activities, in the British Isles there were no burnings and only three confessions after torture. Several Templars went missing, most of whom later reappeared. Outsiders told stories of abominable Templar rituals, secret meetings and murders at the dead of night, but all these tales turned out to be mere rumour. This book is based on extensive research into the records of the trial of the Templars and other unpublished medieval documents recording their arrest, imprisonment and trial, and the surveys of their property. It traces the course of this, the first heresy trial in the British Isles, from the arrests in January 1308 to the dissolution of the Order, and shows how, by judicious selection of material, the inquisitors made the scanty evidence against the Templars appear convincing. The book includes a list of all the Templars in the British Isles at the time of the arrests, and a gazetteer of the Templars’ major properties in the British Isles.

Edited by Karl Borchardt, Nikolas Jaspert and Helen J. Nicholson (2007) The Hospitallers, the Mediterranean and Europe: Festshrift for Anthony Luttrell. Ashgate Publishing.

Also available as an e-book: ISBN 978-0-7546-8756-6

Abstract - Modern study of the Hospitallers, of other military-religious orders, and of their activities both in the Mediterranean and in Europe has been deeply influenced by the work of Anthony Luttrell. To mark his 75th birthday in October 2007 twenty-three colleagues from ten different countries have contributed to this volume.

Helen Nicholson (2001, 2004) The Knights Templar: A New History. Sutton Publishing. Second edition (2010): A Brief History of the Knights Templar. Constable and Robinson.

Abstract - Founded in the early 12th century, the Knights of the Order of the Temple united the knightly and religious roles which were at the centre of medieval society. This book brings together the latest findings of scholarly research to offer a new insight into their history. Now updated and with a new concluding chapter.

Edited by Anthony Luttrell and Helen J. Nicholson (2006) Hospitaller Women in the Middle Ages. Ashgate Publishing.

Abstract - This volume brings together recent and new research, with several items specially translated into English, on the sisters of the largest and most long-lived of the military-religious orders, the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

Edited by Jochen Burgtorf and Helen Nicholson (2006) International Mobility in the Military Orders (12th to 15th Centuries): Travelling on Christ’s Business. UK: University of Wales Press. USA: University of Alabama Press.

Abstract - The military orders, particularly the Templars and Hospitallers, depended on intense East-West contacts and extensive geographical networks (from Spain to the Middle East, from Scotland to Northern Africa) for the exchange of personnel, resources and monies. To date there has been no comprehensive study of international contacts, networks and mobility within these orders. This book focuses on this important aspect of the history of the military orders, which is examined and developed in depth and breadth.

Edited by Helen J. Nicholson (2005) Palgrave Advances in the Crusades. Palgrave Macmillan.

Abstract - This volume is intended as an introductory guide to how certain concerns and approaches have been applied to the study of the crusades. It is aimed both at postgraduates and at academics within the discipline, to provide an overview and context for their research. The contributors include older scholars with a well-established reputation within and outside the field of crusading studies, and younger scholars whose work has already made an impact within the field.

Helen Nicholson (2003) Medieval Warfare: Theory and Practice of War in Europe, 300-1500. Palgrave Macmillan.

Abstract - Warfare in medieval times was never static or predictable – although there were ideals and conventions to follow, in the field commanders had to use their initiative and adapt to the needs of the moment. This concise, wide-ranging study is intended to provide an introductory guide to the subject.

Helen Nicholson (2001, 2003) The Knights Hospitaller. Boydell Press.

Abstract - Intended as an introduction to the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta, this book traces the Order’s development from its origins as a hospice for pilgrims in Jerusalem in the 11th century to a military order and its military operations in the eastern Mediterranean, Spain and eastern Europe in the medieval and early modern period. A final chapter considers the Order’s history since it was expelled from Malta in 1798. As well as the Order’s military affairs, the book considers its economic activities, its Hospitaller work and religious life and its relations with its royal patrons.

Helen Nicholson (2001, 2004) The Knights Templar: A New History. Sutton Publishing.

Abstract - Founded in the early 12th century, the Knights of the Order of the Temple united the knightly and religious roles which were at the centre of medieval society. This book brings together the latest findings of scholarly research to offer a new insight into their history.

Helen J. Nicholson (2000) Love, War, and the Grail: Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights in Medieval Epic and Romance, 1150-1500. Brill.

Abstract - This is a study of the appearances of the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights in the French, German and English epic and romance literature of the Middle Ages. It examines their religious roles, such as caring for the sick, their warrior role of fighting Muslims, and examines the role of ‘Templars’ in the Grail romances. It goes on to consider how these roles developed over time and what function the appearances of these military religious orders performed in the composition of a work of fictional literature.

Helen J. Nicholson (1997, 2001) Chronicle of the Third Crusade: A Translation of the Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi. Ashgate.

Abstract - This is a translation ofthe Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, ‘The Itinerary of the Pilgrims and the Deeds of King Richard’, based on the edition produced in 1864 by William Stubbs as vol. 1 of his Chronicles and Memorials of the Reign of Richard I. This chronicle is the most comprehensive and complete account of the Third Crusade, covering virtually all the events of the crusade in roughly chronological order. The translation is accompanied by an introduction and exhaustive notes which explain the manuscript tradition and the sources of the text and which compare this chronicle with the works of other contemporary writers on the crusade, Christian and Muslim.