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Decoding the Past: The Templar Code (History Channel) (2009)

Various , History  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Decoding the Past: The Templar Code (History Channel) + The History Channel Presents The Crusades - Crescent & The Cross + The Dark Ages (The History Channel)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: History
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001OLP2TI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Decoding the Past: The Templar Code (History Channel)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar was the most powerful order in the medieval world. Today the group's legacy is played out in an array of Hollywood blockbusters and numerous works of popular literature.

Despite the Knights' long reign of power, the order experienced a sudden collapse in the early fourteenth century when certain members stood accused of unspeakable crimes and were subsequently tortured and killed. This insightful program interviews some of the world's leading biblical scholars and visits historic sites throughout Europe and the Near East to probe the past of this mysterious order. Did the Knights, as many believe, guard the Holy Grail? Or was the object of their attentions buried a thousand years before the birth of Christ?

THE TEMPLAR CODE is an in-depth examination into the remarkable rise and rapid descent of the powerful and obscure Knights Templar.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Introduction to the History of the Templars December 14, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
No one is going to accuse the History Channel of being the definitive reference for historical content: the organization is rather a vehicle to provide basic, popular history to a wide audience of history-interested viewers. If you therefore can approach a series such as this one on the Knights Templar understanding the purpose and goals of the History Channel, then it is unlikely you'll end up disappointed. To the contrary, this introduction to the Knights Templar is brilliantly scripted, filmed, and acted, and the series can serve, not only as a great way to understand this medieval organization, but to be thoroughly entertained as you do.

Without trying to reproduce the content that is presented in this series, we can say that this set of four episodes will provide a thorough grounding to understand the Templars, and will do so in a manner that is detailed enough to easily allow the non-historian to segue from the show into additional derivative studies. Although there is a certain mystique about this group that has been fanned in recent years by some best-selling novels, the producers here attempt to stay a steady course through the topic without resorting to too much speculative ideas (although there are some reproduced here, particularly at the end of the series).

In addition to a very strong script, the location filming, along with superior quality video equipment, makes this more of an epic movie in its production values. There is not a moment when we think we are watching poor recreations or sub-standard video reels: this is truly state-of-the-art production quality (although, no, it is not high-definition), and the costumes, recreated scenes, and site locations make this production stand out from others.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction May 22, 2010
This documentary does a great job presenting the rise and fall of the Templar Knights. Everything from the theories of their origins, through their military role (especially their famous battles with Saladin), and their financial/banker roles are all nicely covered. Rumors and conspiracy theories are laid out but not presented as fact. The experts are not particularly exciting but they are not too dull. The problem with many history channel videos, with too much repetition following commercial breaks, is not at all bad with this one. So, if you want to learn about the Templar Knights, this is a good disk.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good DVD about Templars February 8, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have watched quite a few DVDs, and read a few articles and a book about The Knights Templar, so I was pleased to find that this DVD had some new material in it which I had not encountered before. While one 100 minute DVD is certainly not going to become the authoritative text on the subject, I thought this was about as comprehensive as it could be in the time allowed. There is a lot of material about The Crusades, a good bit about leaders of Templars such as Jacques DeMolay, and some delving into the intriguing aspects of treasure and lost holy relics. I felt there was good balance between the skeptical and the "we believe everything we hear" scholars of The Knights Templar. Overall, this is the best DVD I have seen on the subject, and I would reccommend it to anyone, but especially to those who are new to the subject.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A glaring historical gaffe! April 15, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Templar story is riveting and the talking heads are very good, but the piece itself is really pretty shoddy. A truly glaring gaffe is their repeatedly showing a portrait of a man they repeatedly say is the 14th century French King Philippe le Bel -- and he nothing of the sort. The portrait is Velasquez' portrait of the 17th century Spanish King Philip IV. (Check Google images and you'll see him for yourself.) I.e., wrong country, wrong century, wrong man. The show was clearly done on the cheap which is really a shame since the Templar story is so riveting. However, the History Channel's clearly shoddy research will make me very unwilling to buy another of their DVDs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Decoding the Past: The Templar Code (History Channel)" is a narrated reproduction of myth and folklore surrounding the Knights Templar. A few castle ruins, references to Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, some actors portraying sword fight battles on foot and horseback, a little bit of speculation on the Holy Grail (what it is; where it is), some footage inside Rosslyn Chapel for codes found in architectural design emphasis, some reproduction and history of the legendary Money Pit on Oak Island, and other insignificant background history for the Knights Templar; such as tunnels that have yet to be excavated that are rumored to at least have the potential for artifacts undiscovered since the fall of the Knights Templar. This DVD is one of the more basic introductory level videos, and won't satisfy many researchers, some of the interviews are with scholars who have a very heavy brogue and most of whom are quite cynical about details alleged by what little literature offers down through time since the rise and fall of the Knights Templar; although the narrator's voice is distinct and easily understandable. I found this DVD sufficient only to beat insomnia, and was disappointed in the superficial substance from a quality distribution studio that obviously spent some time and expenditure to produce. Costuming for reenactment sequences is as good as anything Hollywood has, but we probably only need to see those clips in this video once, not multiple times of the same sequence. Entertaining, for what there is of it this video has been done with quality, and is good enough for the uninitiated as a starting point toward learning about the Knights Templar, but far, far from genuinely informative (more or less between elementary school and junior high students seems to be the marketing audience).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Robert F. Lasich
4.0 out of 5 stars History Channel
This is a documentary produced by the History channel on the historic Knights Templar. The focus is on the Crusades and their conviction as heretics. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joseph Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent presentation of an amazing aspect of religious history.
Published 2 months ago by Richard Partney
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Crusade facts incorrect
This was excellent but I did notice some facts were wrong. At one point the narrator says Richard the Lionheart retook Jerusalem briefly in 1229. Richard died in 1199. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Betty
5.0 out of 5 stars Decoding the Past
History is very much of interest to me as try to become more acquainted with pieces of history that I am not familiar. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hazel
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
If one is interested in this -- this is very informative and interesting . My husband loved it . It should be watched more than once to get it all.
Published 6 months ago by marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting information on Knights of Templar
Needed to know about the Knights of Templar and this was a good resource. Very interesting and knowledgeable information. Would recommend.
Published 8 months ago by James Murrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written
My son loved it! He's a huge history buff and he enjoyed reading this book and referring back to it when the need arises. Well written and informative.
Published 9 months ago by R. F. Knapke
3.0 out of 5 stars ok but not great
the name makes it sound like a mystery but the actual flick is not all that interesting. This is one of three period selections from the history channel, all of which are just ok... Read more
Published 10 months ago by stephen newmark
4.0 out of 5 stars The Templar Code: God’s personal militia!
Who were they? This is the saga of the warrior/monks “ Knights Templar” or a la “Poor Knights of Christ. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hawkeye
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