The Templars : The History and the Myth - From Solomon's Temple to the Freemasons
The first history of the legendary knights since the Vatican momentously released the records of their trial and exonerationWho 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.Some images that appeared in the print edition of this book are unavailable in the electronic edition due to rights reasons.
In 1119 C.E., a group of knights took holy vows to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land. Two hundred years later the Knights Templar had become the most powerful and wealthiest military organization in the world. In the 14th century, they were brought down by the greedy Philip IV of France, and questions arose about their ascent to power, the source of their wealth, and even about their faith. Haag (The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code) sifts through the history and the legends to illuminate these mysterious Holy Warriors. Discussing the origins of Solomon's Temple and the Crusades, with many sidebar clarifications, Haag also reviews Templar revivals and the Freemasons, as well as books, movies, and even video games that feature the Templars. He also examines several "conspiracy" theories (e.g., that the Templars found that Mary Magdalene was Jesus's wife and were behind the French Revolution) and prominent locations related to the Templars. Additionally, he briefly covers the discovery of the Chinon Parchment by which Pope Clement had absolved the Templars before their trial. VERDICT Readers of The Da Vinci Code and other fictions relating to the Templars will enjoy this well-written, copiously illustrated, and solidly researched book. Highly recommended.-Robert Harbison, Western Kentucky Univ. Lib., Bowling Green Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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September 06, 2009
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