The Assassins: The Story of Medieval Islam's Secret Sect

Overview

The so-called "Assassins"—men who had no fear of death and were trained to kill—are one of the most spectacular legends of medieval history. Since the tales of Marco Polo and others, the myths surrounding them have been fantastically embellished and the truth has become ever more obscure. Bartlett's popular history deftly traces the origins of the sect out of the schisms within the early Islamic religion and examines the impact of Hasan-i-Sabbah, its founder, and Sinan—the legendary "Old Man of the ...

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Assassins: The Story of Medieval Islam's Secret Sect

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Overview

The so-called "Assassins"—men who had no fear of death and were trained to kill—are one of the most spectacular legends of medieval history. Since the tales of Marco Polo and others, the myths surrounding them have been fantastically embellished and the truth has become ever more obscure. Bartlett's popular history deftly traces the origins of the sect out of the schisms within the early Islamic religion and examines the impact of Hasan-i-Sabbah, its founder, and Sinan—the legendary "Old Man of the Mountain." Following the group over the next two centuries, this book includes its clash with the crusaders, its near destruction at the hands of the Mongols, and its subsequent history. Finally, we discover how the myths surrounding the Assassins have developed over time, and why indeed they continue to have such an impact on the popular imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"More to Lewis's story than one of terror and bloodshed . . . a fascinating glimpse into an extraordinary and unsettling world."  —Kirkus Reviews UK

"An excellent work of popular history geared to general readers, but scholars will appreciate both the accuracy and insight Bartlett displays."  —Booklist on An Ungodly War

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780752452050
  • Publisher: The History Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,532,271
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

W. B. Bartlett is a medieval historian whose other titles include The Crusades, God Wills It!, Islam’s War Against the Crusaders, The Last Crusade, The Road to Armageddon, and An Ungodly War.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi
List of Illustrations vii
Prologue ix
1 The Early Years of Islam 1
2 The Rise of the Ismailis 16
3 The Visionary 37
4 The Division 51
5 The Legacy of Hasan-i Sabbah 71
6 The Syrian Dimension 85
7 The Resurrection 105
8 The Old Man of the Mountain 121
9 Re-integration 146
10 Nemesis 160
11 Syrian Sunset 186
12 From History to Legend 207
13 The Twilight Years 233
Notes 248
Select Bibliography 261
Index 264
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