The Knights Templar

The Knights Templar

by Stephen Howarth


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780880296632
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Publication date: 06/07/1991
Series: Dorset Classic Reprints Series
Pages: 321
Product dimensions: 6.52(w) x 8.96(h) x 1.06(d)

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Knights Templar 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author has done a remarkable job of further stimulating in this writer a growing passion for the Ancient and noble Military Order known by their shortened name, the Knights Templar. In treating the history of the Order I was thrilled to read of the high minded ideals and great courage shown by such broad and diverse segments of medieval society all of which contributed to the Templar Order. Too often our view of the middle ages is formed in survey courses during undergraduate or even secondary school education and is limited to a picture of serfs, nobility and kings. Here Mr. Howarth gives us sufficient background, aparently drawn from primary sources, to more completely define a picture of European society at the time of the Great Christian Crusades. Although also limiting in that the work stays true to its title and deals mostly with the order of the Templars, it also instructed me in many aspects of 12th century society of which I had previously been unaware. For instance, the dedication of not only the Order but of all transplanted Europeans in The Holy Land following the First Crusade is poignant when considering the motives and driving forces of those who fought constantly in wars and battles not just to 'take the Holy Land' but to save their homes. I have a much clearer picture of the Knights and their role in this fight and in the battle to protect the pilgrim, be he peasant or royalty, from bandits and Saracens. The Order which for almost two hundred years demonstrated high minded idealism, excellence in personal lives and the never ending process of developing fighting skills which could enable them to best accomplish their mission, seems to be the benchmark for so many modern day 'special forces' groups and those of many societies dedicated to a cause greater than themselves as individuals. One has difficulty reading of their training and oaths of loyalty without also thinking of of first hand experience as an officer in the Unites States Marine Corps or any of the other forces in which professionalism, espirit de corps and fealty are traits held in common. Seeing the best of this great order and its devotion is what brings the book to such a devastating conclusion. As any student of history knows, the Templars ended in destruction, not at the hands of overpowering enemies, but from the deceit and treachery of their very sponsors and protectors, the Pope and the King of France. As has been said, there is nothing new under the sun. Certainly in reviewing the character and actions of King Philip 'the fair' we see that his descendants and his culture have retained many of the attributes which brought the Templars, noble of spirit and character, to their treacherous end, the ultimate victims of betrayal. Yet even in that ending is hope taken from the final words of various Templars to their tormentors even while being roasted alive on the fires of their destruction. As the author does confirm, it is impossible for us to ascertain that the curses heaped upon the Pontiff and King Philip were in truth the triggering mechansim for the untimely deaths of those power hungry and duplicitous conspirators, but there is satisfaction in learning of their sudden, untimely and seemingly vindictive deaths and in both cases, within the time prescribed by the cursing brethren. Lastly, and possibly most satisfying to any supporter of the Order was the death of the King's attorney, architect of betrayal, commanded by a dying Knight to appear within forty days before the judge of the Quick and the Dead, and as he did in fact die within thirty three days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not the finest account of the Knights Templar that I have ever read, but it is one that is worth reading.