THE LOST COLONY OF THE TEMPLARS: Verrazano's Secret Mission to America

Steven Sora, Author . Inner Traditions/Destiny $16.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59477-019-7

A century before Columbus landed in the New World, Scottish earl and explorer Henry Sinclair had, according to Sora, already visited what is now Rhode Island. In an unconvincing book that is part religious history, part reportage, part detective story—but factually questionable—Sora (The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar ) claims that Sinclair, who is said to have landed in present-day Nova Scotia, Montreal and Rhode Island, established a refuge for the Knights Templar (banned by the pope in Europe) in America and erected the Newport Tower (whose actual origins are shrouded in mystery), which resembles a Templars' baptistry, the centerpiece of their worship. Almost 200 years later, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano set off for America—according to Sora, in search of the Templar community—and on a later voyage founded a utopian religious community, Arcadia, comprising mainly Huguenots and members of the Sulpician sect in an attempt to preserve the values of the Knights Templar. While fans of The Da Vinci Code may find Sora's book compelling because it provides some insights into these secret organizations, others will find it unpersuasive. Even Sora admits that the evidence he is presenting (such as the age of the map of the route to the New World purported to have belonged to Sinclair) continues to be disputed by historians. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 11/29/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-59477-870-4
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