Part 1, Chapter 1, Village of Mystery
• Readers are introduced to Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau.
• Sauniere's career as parish priest is discussed.
• Sauniere remodels his church and discovers secret documents and cornerstone.
• Sauniere becomes rich.
• The authors discuss the Cathars and Palestine.
• Sauniere dies penniless, having left his massive fortune to his housekeeper.
• Authors compare a tomb to a painting by Poussin.
Part 1, Chapter 2, The Cathars and the Great Heresy
• The authors discuss the existence of the Albigensians and Cathars.
• The Crusades are detailed briefly.
• Cathars believed in reincarnation, the feminine principle, and that God was a usurper.
• Cathars were persecuted.
• Stories of Cathar treasure abounded.
Part 1, Chapter 3, The Warrior-Monks
• The authors introduce the Knights Templar.
• The history and origin of the Knights Templar are examined.
• The Templars answered only to the Pope.
• The Templars often served as political mediators.
• King Philippe IV of France disliked the Templars.
• Philippe ordered the...
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