The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors

The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors

by Dan Jones


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An instant New York Times bestseller, from the author of Crusaders, that finally tells the real story of the Knights Templar—“Seldom does one find serious scholarship so easy to read.” (The Times, Book of the Year) 

A faltering war in the middle east. A band of elite warriors determined to fight to the death to protect Christianity's holiest sites. A global financial network unaccountable to any government. A sinister plot founded on a web of lies...

In 1119, a small band of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade set up a new religious order in Jerusalem, which was now in Christian hands. These were the first Knights Templar, elite warriors who swore vows of poverty and chastity and promised to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Over the next 200 years, the Templars would become the most powerful network of the medieval world, speerheading the crusades, pionerring new forms of finance and warfare and deciding the fate of kings. Then, on October 13, 1307, hundreds of brothers were arrested, imprisoned and tortured and the order was disbanded among lurid accusations of sexual misconduct and heresy. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state? Dan Jones goes back to the sources to bring their dramatic tale, so relevant to our own times, to life in a book that is at once authoritative and compulsively readable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143108962
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 50,796
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Dan Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars, The Plantagenets, Wars of the Roses, and Magna Carta. He wrote and presented the popular Netflix series Secrets of Great British Castles and appeared alongside George R.R. Martin in the official HBO film exploring the real history behind Game of Thrones. He is the historical consultant to Knightfall, an A&E drama on the legend of the Templars produced by Jeremy Renner.

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Copyright © 2018 Dan Jones.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Reading Group Guide

1. Why have the Templars enjoyed a level of fame that other orders, such as the Hospitallers or Teutonic knights, have not?

2. Christianity is a faith rooted in peace, and yet the crusades were brutally violent. How did the Templars justify being both trained killers and a monastic order?

3. The Templars were expected to live in pious self-denial, yet they accumulated vast amounts of wealth across Europe and the Holy Land. How did the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ” find themselves among the richest groups in the world?

4. Hugh of Payns set up the brotherhood with the mission of defending Jerusalem and protecting pilgrims. As the order grew over the following decades, how did the original role of the Knights of the Temple evolve? Did they stay true to their noble mission and the Templar Rule?

5. The Templars experienced countless setbacks during the crusades, and staged nearly as many comebacks. After terrible losses such as the battle of Hattin, how did the Templars muster the morale necessary to keep fighting? What made their order so resilient for so long?

6. Richard the Lionheart, Frederick II, and Louis IX were all powerful personalities and celebrated leaders. What qualities made them such great crusaders? How did their alliance (or lack thereof) with the Templars influence the outcomes of their campaigns?

7. After one hundred and ninety-two years of existence, the Order of the Temple was abolished swiftly and decisively. What were the main forces that brought about their downfall? Is there anything we can learn from the political machinery behind it?

8. The Templars became almost synonymous with the Latin kingdoms that had been carved out of the Islamic Near East. After the loss of the last Christian settlements in Outremer brought their military mission to an end, what became of the order’s role in society? Would they have been less vulnerable if James of Molay had agreed to unite with the Hospitallers?

9. In the centuries since the Templars’ disgrace and demise, groups and societies have been eager to revive the order’s name or invoke its values. What could explain their lasting appeal?

10. Beginning with Bernard of Clairvaux’s De Laude, the history of the Templars has been complicated by fictionalized accounts. Were you aware of any myths about the Templars before reading this book? Were they disproven?

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The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating reading again from Dan Jones.
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