Baphomet is an imagined pagan deity revived in the 19th century as a figure of the occult in general. It first appeared in a late twelfth century Provençal poem as a corruption of “Muhammad, but later it appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 1300s. However, in the 19th century the name came into popular English-speaking consciousness with the publication of various works of pseudo-history that tried to link the Knights Templar with conspiracy theories elaborating on their suppression. The name Baphomet then became associated with a “Sabbatic Goat” image drawn by Eliphas Lévi.
When the medieval order of the Knights Templar was suppressed by King Philip IV of France, on October 13, 1307, Philip had many French Templars simultaneously arrested, and then tortured into confessions. The name Baphomet comes up in several of these confessions, in reference to an idol of some type that the Templars were alleged to have worshipped. The description of the object changed from confession to confession. Some Templars denied any knowledge of it. Others, under torture, described it as being either a severed head, a cat, or a head with three faces.
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