The Dark Side of the Sun

The Dark Side of the Sun Chronology

To celebrate the "Silver Jubilee" of The Dark Side of the Sun Dr Marianne Gilchrist (a fan of the series and something of a 'Templar' expert) thought she would have a go at a chronology to see how the back-story could be dovetailed into real world events.

It works out quite well! I think Michael Bird would have been chuffed.

Real World history Year Dark Side canon

Templar Chess

Templar Chess

Pope Nicholas IV
Pope from February 22, 1288 to April 4, 1292

Pope Boniface VIII

Pope Boniface VIII
Pope from 1294 to 1303

Pope Boniface VIII
Pope from 1294 to 1303

Stamp honouring Guillaume De Villaret

Pope Benedict XI

Pope Benedict XI
Pope from 1303 to 1304

Foulques de Villaret

Foulques de Villaret
(by Goyet)

Pope Clement V
Pope from 1305 – April 20, 1314



Phillipe IV



Templars before Pope & King

Templars before Pope & King



The Grand Masters Of Rhodes

The Grand Masters Of Rhodes

Martyrdom of Templars

Martyrdom of Templars

Knights hospitaller

Knights hospitaller


Model Knight

Model Knight

Model Knight



De Molay Martyrdom

De Molay Martyrdom

Pope John XXII
Pope from 1316 to 1334

Tibalt de Montrefort

Tibalt de Montrefort

Helion Villeneuve

Hélion de Villeneuve (c. 1270 – 1346)

Sultan Mehmed

Sultan Mehmed
by Gentile Bellini
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1444 - 1446, and later from 1451 to 1481.

Queen Caterina Cornaro

Queen Caterina Cornaro

Ottoman Janissaries And Defending Knights Of St John Siege Of Rhodes 1522

Ismini Christoyannis

Ismini Christoyannis

Raoul  Lavalliere

Raoul Lavalliere
1275 - 80
Approximate birthdate of Tibalt de Montrefort (assuming that, at the time of his first death, he is the age he appears in 1983: late 30s - early 40s at most).

Death of Philippe III and accession of Philippe IV as King of France.

Jean de Villiers is elected Grand Master of the Hospitallers.


May: Fall of Acre to the Mamluk Turks, with massive Templar losses (including Grand Master Guillaume de Beaujeu, mortally wounded on 18 May), and the final collapse of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem; Cyprus becomes the front-line Crusader state and HQ of both the Templars and Hospitallers.

Thibaud Gaudin elected Grand Master of the Templars. (See Malcolm Barber on the earlier history of the Order.)


February: Pope Nicholas IV suggests amalgamating the Templars and Hospitallers.

March/April: Nicholas IV dies.

Before 20 April: Thibaud Gaudin dies. Jacques de Molay, a Burgundian (thus not a subject of the French king), is elected Grand Master of the Templars.


Death of Hospitaller Grand Master Jean de Villiers. Election of Odo de Pins.

1293 - 94
24 Dec: Election of Benedetto Caetani as Pope Boniface VIII, after abdication of Celestine V. 1294

Feud begins between Philippe IV and Pope Boniface VIII over control of the clergy (including their eligibility to pay tax to the state) in France.

Death of Hospitaller Master Odo de Pins. Election of Guilhem del Vilaret (Guillaume de Villaret), who attempted to relocate Hospitaller HQ in the West.

The Hospitallers are already divided into linguistic units, or 'tongues': Provence, Auvergne, France, Spain, Italy, England and Germany. The first 3 dominate.


The Mongol leader the Ilkhan Ghazan (only recently converted to Islam) asks for Henri II of Cyprus and the Grand Masters of the Hospital and Temple to help him in his campaign against the Mamluks in the Holy Land. By the time their men arrive, he has withdrawn to Iran.

First mention of the Hospitallers having an Admiral.


May: The Mongol forces of the Ilkhan Ghazan are driven out of Palestine by the Mamluks.

November: Abortive attempt by the Templars and Amaury de Lusignan (King Henri's brother) to retake Tortosa. They are able to leave a garrison of 120 Templars holding the island of Ruad (Arwad) off the coast.

Guilhem del Vilaret tries to hold a Hospitaller General Chapter in Avignon, but the Order (including his nephew Folco) resists, and insists that all such meetings be held at HQ in Limassol. Del Vilaret is forced to come to Cyprus after this.

October: Fall of Ruad (Arwad) to the Mamluks; the Templars lose 120 fighting men - a substantial portion of the new fighting men they gained after Acre - under Marshal Barthélemy de Quincy. Those not slain in battle die of starvation in Egyptian prisons. 1302 or 1303 It is unlikely that Tibalt joins the Templars before the early 1300s: the order does not usually accept underage oblates, as recruits of knightly rank are expected to be fighting men, ready for battle. Most join in their mid-20s. Even allowing for his remarkable powers of survival, it is more likely that he joins after the Ruad disaster.

Summer: Pope Boniface plans to excommunicate Philippe IV. Meanwhile, Philippe's chief minister Guillaume de Nogaret, prepares to charge the Pope with murder, idolatry, simony, sodomy and heresy.

7 Sept: De Nogaret and the Colonna family attack and capture Pope Boniface at Anagni. They beat him up and threaten to execute him.

11 Oct: The Pope, who is in his 80s, dies from the stress of the attack.

Pope Benedict XI is elected to succeed him.


Pope Benedict lifts excommunication on Philippe and the Colonnas, but not on de Nogaret, who keeps up the pressure to try Pope Boniface posthumously. The posthumous process continues for several years, in parallel with the trial of the Templars.

Rhodes is dominated by the Moresco brothers, Genoese corsairs under the overlordship of the Byzantine Emperor.

7 July: Pope Benedict dies.

Raymond Bertrand de Got, Archbishop of Bordeaux, is elected as Clement V to succeed him, and is crowned on 14 November.


Folco del Vilaret (Foulques de Villaret) is elected to succeed his uncle Guilhem as Grand Master of the Hospitallers.

April: Amaury de Lusignan (apparently with Templar support) stages a coup against his brother, King Henri II of Cyprus, who goes into exile.

May: The Morescos' uncle, Vignolo dei Vignoli, who holds the manor of Lardos on Rhodes, approaches del Vilaret to get his support for taking over at least part (if not all) of Rhodes for himself. They make a pact: the Hospital is to rule the island, plus Kos and Leros, while Vignolo keeps Lardos and another manor, and has extensive rights over the other islands.

June: Initial Hospitaller attack on Rhodes (2 galleys and 4 other ships) is not immediately successful; they begin to besiege Rhodes city.

July: Philippe IV expels the Jews from France, to seize their assets.

October: Jacques de Molay, with Raimbaut de Caromb, the Preceptor of Cyprus, travels from Cyprus to France to enlist support for a new Crusade. Folco del Vilaret goes to see the Pope for the same reason, either at the same time or very early next spring. He remains in the West until 1310.

Tibalt is still a Templar, so cannot be involved in any of the early Hospitaller attempts on Rhodes.
March: Folco del Vilaret sends envoys to Emperor Andronikos II, asking to be granted Rhodes as a Byzantine fief, but is rebuffed.

April: Andronikos fails to raise siege of Rhodes city.

June: Pope excommunicates the Emperor.

Sept: Pope grants Rhodes to the Hospitallers, and sends money to help them with conquest.

14 Sept: Philippe IV of France, plotting with de Nogaret, sends out secret orders to prepare for the Templar arrests.

12 Oct: Jacques de Molay is pall-bearer at the funeral of the King's sister-in-law.

13 Oct: The Templars in France are arrested. The King claims he is acting at the request of the Inquisitor in France, but he has not even asked the Pope's permission at this time. The charges largely recycle those against Pope Boniface. About 2 dozen escape, but most are recaptured.

22 Nov: The Papal Bull Pastoralis Præeminentiæ is issued against the Templars. The hearings carried out throughout France over the next few years involve horrific tortures, on mainly middle-aged to elderly men (a higher proportion of younger knights were in Cyprus), to extract 'confessions'.

1307 Oct: David (using 19C books in the museum library) claims that Brother Tibalt and some companions flee to the East to escape arrest in France: however, the sailing season ends in autumn, and will not begin again until spring. He would therefore be unable to reach Cyprus ahead of the arrest warrant for the Templars, so would be captured immediately on arrival in any case. He also cannot be on Rhodes before 1310, because del Vilaret, whom we know is responsible for setting him up there, does not return to the East until then. The Agnès affair, whatever happened, must predate 1307, and probably predates his entry into the order. Given his age at this time (late 20s-30), there is a strong likelihood he is already on the front-line in Cyprus, not in France.
6 May: The Papal arrest warrant for the Templars (written in Nov 1307) arrives in Cyprus.

12 May: Balian d'Ibelin goes to Limassol, to call on the Templars to surrender.

27 May: The Marshal of the Templars, Ayme d'Osiliers, appears before the Regent Amaury at Nicosia.

29 May-1 June: The Templars are besieged at Limassol, and forced to surrender. They are then placed under house arrest (under guard) at Khirokitia and Yermasoyia. (There are 83 knights, mostly young, and 35 sergeants and serving brothers.)

Another Byzantine relief expedition to Rhodes fails.

12 Aug: Papal Bull Faciens misericordiam sets out the heresy charges against Templars.

The Pope leaves Poitiers.

Hearings at Chinon: Jacques de Molay and other leading Templars receive absolution for confessing to heresy, idol-worship, denying Christ, encouraging sodomy, & c. This is the much-hyped Chinon Parchment. (The confessions are later retracted as made under duress; therefore, absolution is also withdrawn.)

1308 Wherever Tibalt had been beforehand, the chances are he would have been swept up in the arrests on Cyprus.
March: The Pope moves to Avignon, more or less permanently.

15 Aug: The city of Rhodes comes under Hospitaller control. They start annexing the other islands in the Dodecanese.

The Templars are still under house-arrest in Cyprus.

November: In France, the Papal Commission opens. Jacques de Molay appears before it twice.

April: The defence of the Templars, led by Pietro di Bologna and Reynaud de Provins, begins in France.

May: The trials begin in Cyprus. Since no torture is used, there are no bizarre confessions, and non-Templar witnesses (bar one Hospitaller) support their innocence. One witness, Raymond de Bentho, claims he had seen a 'miracle' involving the host at mass while guarding the Templars held at Khirokitia.

12 May: 54 Templars are burned alive in France for retracting their confessions. 4 more are burned a few days later, and the corpse of the former Treasurer of the Templars at Paris is exhumed and burned.

9 Templars are burned at Senlis.

Folco del Vilaret returns to the East, and consolidates hold on Rhodes, gaining a few mainland castles, too.

5 June: Regent Amaury of Cyprus is found murdered, and the exiled King Henri is restored.

November: Pietro di Bologna is 'disappeared' - probably murdered by his gaolers. Reynaud de Provins also vanishes.
1310 The alleged 'miracle' at Khirokitia, which involves the host appearing to expand in size, is the sort of phenomenon that could be produced by power of suggestion … One could take it as a clue to the whereabouts of Brother Tibalt!

The Cyprus Templars are acquitted.

June: Alleged plot against King Henri.

15 Aug: The Pope orders a re-trial, with torture, on Cyprus, because he does not like the result of the first trial without it.

No records of a second trial survive, so we do not know the fate of the Cyprus Templars, but some prominent ones, and some secular opponents of King Henri, are imprisoned in Kyrenia. Some of the secular prisoners are drowned by being thrown overboard from boats into the harbour. We can assume that the Templars are also brutally treated.

1311 Given that he seems to have been a high-ranking knight, it is possible that Tibalt may one of the Templars who were re-arrested. He may therefore have good reason to be paranoid and somewhat unhinged, even after 700 years.
Papal Bulls Vox in Excelso (March), Ad providam and Considerantes dudum (both May) are issued, suppressing the order of the Temple, and assigning its assets to the Hospitallers, expect in Spain, where the kings established successor orders to carry on the fight agains the Moors.  Effectively, it is an amalgamation. Surviving Templars have to continue living a monastic life under the supervision of other religious orders. 1312 This is the very earliest possible year in which Brother Tibalt could be set up at Saint-Théodore under the Hospitallers. Before this date, the Templars still existed in their own right, and before 1310, del Vilaret (whom Brother Philibert accuses Tibalt of blackmailing into giving him a new home) was in the West.
21 March: The Hospitallers are to pay Philippe IV compensation for his expenses in the Templar trials. 1313
28 March: Jacques de Molay (now over 70 years old) and Geoffroi de Charny retract their confessions and declaring their innocence and that of the order. They are burned alive on the Ile des Javiaux in Paris.

20 April: Death of Pope Clement V.

29 Nov: Philippe IV dies after falling from his horse while hunting.


Death of Marshal Ayme d'Osiliers, the most senior surviving Templar, possibly from starvation or torture, in the dungeons of Kyrenia.

Election of Pope John XXII after 2-year interregnum.

The Hospitallers attempt to assassinate del Vilaret at Rhodini. Warned by his steward, he flees to Lindos and is besieged there by his own order, who elect the elderly Maurice de Pagnac as a replacement Grand Master.

8 July: The Hospitallers write to the Pope to say that resistance to del Vilaret was unanimous and that de Pagnac was elected constitutionally. They complain of del Vilaret's tyranny, arrogance and cruelty, but give no specific examples.


On the Grand Master's orders, the Hospitallers massacre the all Templars and villagers at Saint-Théodore, after entering the castle as dinner guests. (The massacre would have taken place in broad daylight, as dinner was a midday meal in this time period.) This must precede the coup against del Vilaret: Brother Philibert's account is written in fear of the Grand Master of the Hospital, which would fit the claims of tyranny against del Vilaret. (And after his deposition, the Hospitallers were far too busy fighting him.)

Since, after 1306, there are no more than 300 Hospitallers (knights and sergeants) in the East, we can assume that Philibert has made a slip of the pen (or David a misreading) in claiming that 300 Hospitallers were involved in the attack on the castle. It would not take all their personnel to wipe out an unsuspecting (and probably unarmed) small group of Templars at a meal-time.

The Pope invites both Grand Masters to Avignon, and reappoints del Vilaret only so he can tender his resignation formally.

18 June: Hélion de Villeneuve is elected Hospitaller Grand Master.

29 June: Del Vilaret is appointed Prior of Capua.

The Hospitallers lose Kos until the mid-1330s.

1319 David quotes a passing reference to Tibalt in this year, but he adds that the 19C book by Bishop Greystoke (fictional) it appears is unreliable. (It makes sense for this to have been a misreading of a manuscript date by the bishop.)
Del Vilaret is transferred to Priory of Rome after further problems in Capua, but after April, is pensioned off. 1325
1 Sept: Del Vilaret dies as a simple Brother of the Hospital at his sister's home in Teyran. He is buried in the former Templar Church in Montpellier. 1327
The Hospitallers finally pay off the huge debts incurred by the conquest of Rhodes. 1334-35
May: The Black Death, which began in Asia, arrives in Constantinople from the Crimea. 30-60% of the European population (in Mediterranean Europe, up to 75-80%) is wiped out in the next 2-4 years, among them probably any surviving (and by now ageing) Templars ... 1347 … all except one, who is definitely not ageing. And we do not know what he is doing or where he is for the next 630 years!
May: Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. Emperor Konstantinos XI Palaiologos is killed in action.


Siege of Rhodes - the Turks are forced to withdraw in the face of Hospitaller resistance.


Abdication of  Queen Caterina Cornaro, Venetian widow of  Jacques II ('the Bastard'), the last Lusignan King of Cyprus. The island (the last Crusader kingdom) now comes under the rule of the Venetian Republic.


Final siege of Rhodes: the island falls to the Ottoman Turks. The Hospitallers establish their HQ in Malta.

Large scale settlement of Sephardic (Spanish Jewish) refugees follows.


Cyprus falls to the Ottomans.


Rhodes and the Dodecanese are taken from the Turks by the Italians. The island is thus spared the Greek/Turkish 'population exchanges' (ethnic cleansing) of the 1920s.


German invasion follows Italian overthrow of Mussolini: deportations from the Judería of Rhodes to Auschwitz kill 1600-2000 members of Rhodes' Sephardic community. (Less than 100 remain in present day.)


We may assume that the future Dr Ismini Christoyannis is a child on Rhodes during the 1940s.
Allied victory: British presence until sovereignty is decided.


Rhodes and the Dodecanese become part of Greece.


Lebanese Civil War.


c. 1977-78

Presumably for reasons of safety, Tibalt (now calling himself Raoul Lavallière) moves from a castle outside Sidon in Lebanon back to Rhodes, where he restores and takes up residence in Saint-Théodore (now Hagios Theodoros), where he had been murdered in 1317.
1982-83 Events of the series unfold.

Further Reading:

Malcolm Barber, The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple, Cambridge, 1994

Malcolm Barber, The Trial of the Templars (2nd ed.), Cambridge, 2006

Alain Demurger, The Last Templar: The Tragedy of Jacques de Molay, Last Grand Master of the Temple, London, 2004

Anne Gilmour-Bryson, The Trial of the Templars in Cyprus, Leiden, 1998

Anne Gilmour-Bryson, The Trial of the Templars on Cyprus (online article)

Anthony Luttrell, "Notes on Foulques de Villaret, Master of the Hospital 1305-1319" in The Hospitallers of Rhodes and the Mediterranean World, Aldershot, 1992

Helen Nicholson, The Knights Templar: A New History, Stroud, 2001

Michael J Bird Tribute Website

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