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The Templars: The History and the Myth: From Solomon's Temple to the Freemasons Paperback – September 8, 2009
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From the Back Cover
The first history of the legendary knights since the Vatican momentously released the records of their trial and exoneration
Who were the Templars?
What was the secret of their wealth and power?
Why did the pope and the king of France act to destroy them?
The Knights Templar were founded on Christmas Day 1119, on the very spot in Jerusalem where Jesus Christ was crucified. A religious order of fighting knights, the Templars defended the Holy Land and Christian pilgrims in the decades after the First Crusade. Legendary for their bravery and dedication, the Templars became one of the wealthiest and most powerful bodies of the medieval world—until they were condemned for heresy two centuries after their foundation, when the order was abolished and its leaders were burned at the stake.
In The Templars, renowned historian Michael Haag investigates the origins and history, the enduring myths, and the soaring architecture of an enigmatic order long shrouded in mystery and controversy. The hand of the Templars, many believe, can be found in everything from Cathar heresy to Masonic conspiracies, and the Knights Templar still inspire popular culture, from Indiana Jones to Xbox games, to the novels of Dan Brown.
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Top Customer Reviews
For one thing, the book is not just about the Templars, but about the Templars and their times (from their inception Christmas Day, 1119 to November, 1312, when Pope Clementine, under pressure from the king of France, Philip IV, disbanded the group and ordered all Christian monarchs to arrest them and seize their assets). In learning about the Templars, you also learn a lot about the first Crusades, the history of Europe and the Roman Catholic Church, the Byzantine Empire, Saladin (conqueror of Jerusalem), and a host of other matters and people.
For another, the actual background and history of the Templars is much more interesting, and fascinating, than any fictionalized accounts in the movies, think Indiana Jones, or books, think Dan Brown novels.
There are many reasons the Templars did not fade into history after being disbanded. This book ably reviews them all, including their renown at the time as warriors (although somewhat surprising only about a tenth of its members were actually frontline fighters) and code of conduct, their wealth as an Order, and their construction of great castles and cathedrals.
Overall, the book is a very worthy, and up to date, history on this fascinating group.
Whatever, after reading this book, I have reached the conclusion that what has been popularly written or filmed about The Templars by authors such as Dan Brown etc, is more myth or fiction than historical facts.
At the end of the book Michael Haag also gives a list of other books, films, videos currently on the market about the Templars, so the reader can delve deeper about the subject or just find other material for comparison.
Anyway, Micael Haag's book provides good reading and is a must for history buffs.
All in all a good book, but if you are already a crusade/Templar buff there won't be too much new aside from a nice discussion on the Chinon parchmant and other recent discoveries.
There are times when he presents older and outdated thinking about certain subjects, such as the history of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple during the first Jewish Revolt and presents these as fact. Only much later in the book does he add the relevant current thinking and correct himself. This is a very minor issue and the fact that he eventually includes modern sources to support these events makes up for these minor inconsistencies and in my mind validates that he has poured over many source materials to get to the true nature of the Templars.
Haag includes a discussion about conspiracy theories concerning the Templars and he is clear to separate fact, fiction and far-fetched myths. This allows one to get to know the true Templars, while also enjoying the legends and myths that have grown around them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very detailed history of the Templar's and obviously well researched. If you're looking for a quick read in a story telling style its not for that at all.Published 3 months ago by Sis
Very and informative about the detailed facts and history of that Templars.Published 3 months ago by Rick Jasinski
A good read, well researched and annotated. Several historical items (covered in several other similar books) seem to have been left out preserving a slight bias from the author. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Compton
I was looking for a book to read on the Templars and was thoroughly impressed with the amount of research the author did on the history of this group. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wes
This book by Michael Haag is a very comprehensive balanced text on a complicated topic of the Knights Templar. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hawkeye
This is a well annotated history of the Knights Templar that makes a serous effort to be both complete and accurate. Read morePublished 7 months ago by grandmanana