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The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades Paperback – January 6, 2009
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This approach takes Read back into the Dark Ages and the context for the first Christian Crusade, which culminated in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. In an attempt to hold on to Jerusalem and one of the holiest sites in Christendom, the Temple of Solomon, the Templars were formed as a strict religious-military order, committed to poverty, chastity, and the protection of pilgrims en route to the Holy Land. Read charts their rise to political and financial power and influence throughout Europe and the Holy Land, and their bloody (and ultimately unsuccessful) conflict with the forces of Islam over the subsequent two centuries. Read's account is painstakingly recounted, but often lacks the verve and pace demanded by the colorful cast of characters, including Saladin and Richard the Lionheart. The best sections of the book deal with the shockingly cynical destruction of the Order by Pope Clement V and King Philip the Fair in 1312, preceded by the torture and death of hundreds of Templars who had already fought bravely for the cross in the Holy Land. The Templars are fascinating, but in his attempt to avoid the more colorful and conspiratorial stories associated with the Order, Read's book may strike some as a little turgid, despite its admirable historical detail. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Their Order rose to be one of the most powerful in the Western World, until their wealth and power began to frighten people in high places, no less in fact than the French King, who accused the Order of heresy and even immorality. He extracted confessions from the senior members of the order, through torture and even burning at the stake.
Most of the senior members of the Order were murdered and the few who escaped scattered across Europe.
This is an excellent book, descriptive and well written. Nothing like the dusty, dry volumes that I read in large numbers in sixth form college, more years ago than I would care to remember. This book is exciting and has the pace to grip the reader like a novel would, rather than a book with factual content. The truth well told will always beat fiction, at least in my book it will.
Eventually the Templars are introduced -- but hardly play a major role in the *next* 200 pages or so. More names, more battles, more Popes, plus, of course, various Crusades. Finally, in the last 40 pages or so of the book, we have the destruction of the Templars at the hands of King Philip of France and the Church. Here the focus is finally put upon the Templars themselves, but even so in a curiously lifeless manner.
This is a dry, dull book that may well have been intended to be an overall history of this period until an editor took the author aside and told him that it would never be published unless he found some sort of theme to hook the narrative to so that it might interest the general reader -- with the result that the Templars were given an added emphasis.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent treatment of a somewhat obscure area of thinking.Published 15 days ago by Robert G Stenger Jr
Okay well just to cut to the chase, the Templars were not that exciting. In fact, according to the author, the most interesting thing about them was that they really weren't that... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Persephone67
This is a poor book about the Templars. Its a better book about the Crusades. if you are looking for a book about the Templars don't waste your money on this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by cjr
by far the most engaging and well documented history of these messengers of religious insanity. a must read for all those who believe they are the only ones with god's ear.Published 10 months ago by Old cat guy
This is a pretty good book on the medieval Knights Templar.Published 11 months ago by Joseph Johnson
Excellent read, learned many things I had not known about Tmplar history.Published 12 months ago by Joe Lawhorn
The Knights Templar were a contingent of men who responded to the Pope’s call to restore Jerusalem to Christendom. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Eileen Shaw
I thought this was a really well-written, thoughtful and balanced book on the Templar legends. Its a subject that has attracted a lot of writings - and this is one of the best! Read morePublished 14 months ago by Vijay Crishna