The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades

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9780753810873: The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades
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The dramatic, ultimately tragic history of the Knights Templar, the largest and most powerful military order of the Crusades.

Sifting myth from history, Piers Paul Read reveals the Templars - the multinational force of warrior monks, in their white tunics with red crosses over chainmail. They were not only unique among Christian institutions but constituted the first uniformed standing army in the western world and became pioneers of international banking. Expropriated by Philip IV of France in 1307, and confessing under torture to blasphemy, heresy and sodomy, the Order was finally suppressed by Pope Clement V in 1312. In a narrative that incorporates the story of the crusades and the many colourful characters who had links with the Templars, Piers Paul Read examines the question of their guilt and identifies their relevance to our own times.

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phoenix pbk,2001,photos some in colour

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The Knights Templar remain the most glamorous, but also the most mysterious of all religious organisations. Romanticised by Walter Scott in his novel Ivanhoe and by Wagner in his opera Parsifal, the Templars have been both celebrated as ascetic martyrs, dying for the greater good of Christianity, and condemned as deviant heretics, thieves and sodomites who sold the Holy Land out to the Muslim Infidels. In his carefully researched study The Templars, the acclaimed novelist Piers Paul Read investigates the truth behind the myth. Placing his account of the rise of the Templars within a wider historical and political context, Read argues that "The Templars were a multinational force engaged in the defence of the Christian concept of a world order: and their demise marks the point when the pursuit of the common good within Christendom became subordinate to the interests of the nation state."

This approach takes Read back into the Dark Ages and the context for the first Christian Crusade that 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 colourful 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 colourful and conspiratorial stories associated with the Order, Read's book may strike some as a little turgid, despite its admirable historical detail. --Jerry Brotton

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9780312266585: The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades

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ISBN 10:  0312266588 ISBN 13:  9780312266585
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 2000
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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. UK ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. The dramatic, ultimately tragic history of the Knights Templar, the largest and most powerful military order of the Crusades.Sifting myth from history, Piers Paul Read reveals the Templars - the multinational force of warrior monks, in their white tunics with red crosses over chainmail. They were not only unique among Christian institutions but constituted the first uniformed standing army in the western world and became pioneers of international banking. Expropriated by Philip IV of France in 1307, and confessing under torture to blasphemy, heresy and sodomy, the Order was finally suppressed by Pope Clement V in 1312. In a narrative that incorporates the story of the crusades and the many colourful characters who had links with the Templars, Piers Paul Read examines the question of their guilt and identifies their relevance to our own times. Seller Inventory # HUK9780753810873

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