"Templar Convivencia: Templars and Their Associates in 12th and 13th Century Iberia" explores the people behind the legendary medieval warriors: the Order of the Temple of Solomon. Contrary to popular myth, most Templars were neither knights nor nobles. Many were not even monks. Spanish Templars in the Crown of Aragon included in their ranks women, Jews and even Muslims. Illustrated with 47 photos of sites in Spain.
Possessing a quixotic fondness for difficult careers, Paula R. Stiles has driven ambulances, taught fish farming for the Peace Corps in West Africa and earned a Scottish PhD in medieval history, studying Templars and non-Christians in Spain. She is the author of upcoming dark fantasy novel, "The Mighty Quinn," co-written supernatural mystery novel, "Fraterfamilias," and non-fiction medieval history book, "Templar Convivencia: Templars and Their Associates in 12th and 13th Century Iberia." She is Editor in Chief of the Lovecraft/Mythos 'zine/micropress Innsmouth Free Press. You can find her at: http://thesnowleopard.net.
Novillas is one of the most important Templar houses in Western Europe because it's also one of the earliest. Yet, it's also very obscure. Little is published in English about it and even the documents about it remain relatively unstudied.
In this chapter, I discuss the history of Novillas and how it shaped the history of the Templars in the West.
Novillas is a small and obscure town on the border between Aragon and Navarre. Strategically based on the Ebro River, about 30 kilometres north-west of Huesca, it dates to Roman times, as does the nearby Hospitaller town, Mallèn. The area has been settled for close to four thousand years. Little is known about the Muslim period. The town was near the northernmost edge of Al-Andalus, but a small population of Muslims and Jews appears to have persisted in that area after the reconquest of the region in the early 12th century. At its height, the Temple convent in Novillas dominated the order in Aragon, Navarre and Castille.