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The Templars: The Secret History Revealed

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  29 reviews
At its height, the Order of the Knights Templar rivaled the kingdoms of Europe in military might, economic power, and political influence. For 700 years the tragic demise of this society of warrior-monks amid accusations of heresy has been plagued by controversy, in part because the transcript of their trial by the InquisitionÑwhich held the key to the truthÑhad vanished.

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Hardcover, 232 pages
Published January 12th 2009 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 356)
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Jeff Miller
Fascinating look at the Templars without all the BS. Information is gathered from the Vatican Secret Library, where secret in this case means private. Frame is an Italian paleographer at the Vatican Secret Archives.

Since this history is totally from documented sources it includes none of the speculations so often heaped onto the Templars. The book gives a detailed history of the order and as is necessary a history of the Crusades as it affected them. It really is quite an amazing story regarding
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Apzmarshl
Aug 21, 2009 Apzmarshl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Apzmarshl by: Greg White
The Templars The Secret History Revealed by Barbara Frale
In recent years the mystique surrounding the templars has become popular thanks to author Dan Brown. The Templars is not another fictitious book. Frale is well educated in templar, papacy and crusade history. She works in the Vatican archives. Frale was able to use old and forgotten documents to put together this insightful book.
She explains how and why the templars were formed, to whom they answered, how long they supposedly lasted, their
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Julie
If you’re looking for a book that venerates the mysteries and conspiracies of the Knights Templar (unimaginable treasures found under the Temple of Solomon, their protection of the Holy Grail, etc.) this is not the book for you. This is a concise and direct history of the Order, almost a “Templars for Dummies” that outlines its formation, its role in the Crusades and defense of the Holy Land, and its muddled dissolution due to conflict between the Pope and the King of France. While it does touch ...more
Susan
3 1/2 stars. Nonfiction. Being interested in this historic religious organization but knowing little about it other than as portrayed in popular fiction, I was hoping for a lot of insight from this book. And, to an extent, I received it. Barbara Frale is a historian on staff at the Vatican Secret Archives. The history is well researched and quite interesting, although the writing can be a bit dry in places.

Because it is only about 200 pages long, there is a lot of history crammed into relativel
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Frahorus
Ottima sintesi della nascita, vita e morte dell'affascinante Ordine dei Templari, nato inizialmente per difendere i pellegrini che si recavano a Gerusalemme dai saraceni predoni, poi mano a manp diventato vero esercito contro gli invasori arabi e poi tramutato in banca per poi decadere per intricati motivi politici reliosi ed economici, ma soprattutto per una sfortunata serie di eventi (in ultima la grande sete di potere del re di Francia che addirittura voleva diventare papa). La dottoressa Fra ...more
Sarah Pangloss
When I received this book, I was surprised how short it was. In fact, I read it in just one evening. But don't let its length confound you! It is packed with reliable and historical information on the Templars. Not an ounce of fiction from this gifted historian - so we are left with "only the facts, mam." A+
Greg
It reads alot like a textbook but it is good. The author focuses more on the politics of king philip and the popes fighting over disbanding the templars or keeping them around rather than what the templars accomplished or found in the holy land.
Trak
There has been a great deal of mystery surrounding the Knights Templar and most of the conspiracies are based on the 'what if' premise rather than detailed historical research. By that I mean what if the Templars guarded the blood line of Christ or how did nine knights protect all those travellers etc. I love a good conspiracy and have read a few of them but what Barbara Frale presents is the facts.

This book (though only 200 pages long) creams in a lot of historical detail about the Templars. F
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Frank Kelly
I was always under the assumption the Knights Templar were a collection of apostates who had to be ruthlessly stamped out by the Pope and King of France. Frale taught me a completely different history in this fine book based off of intense archival work done over years in the Vatican Archives. Literally framed by the jealous King of France, Philip the Far (cue the Monty Python music...), hundreds were tortured and burned at the stake for... nothing other than money and land grabs by a gruesome l ...more
Cheryl
This non-fiction book about The Templars by Barbara Frale was most enlightening. With all of the fiction out there about The Templars, it was a great thing to read this non-fiction by a person who is a researcher who works with the ancient historical documents in The Vatican. She does an exceptional job of laying out the history about why The Templars were started, what their role was, and a description of their lifestyles, religious practices, etc. She says in the foreword of the book that most ...more
Dee
Finally, the horrible thing of which the Templars were accused by Phillip the Fair, when he had them all arrested and tortured, then burned many at the stake! There was actually a secret initiation rite that all knights had to go through --- immediately after they had sworn their oaths to God and to their superiors --- the one that said they had to give their lives to God, if asked, and obey without question their superiors in the Order. They were taken behind the alter screen and told by their ...more
Connie
Disciplined and methodical, Frale is a historian's author. Her book is developed to the culmination of what her discovery in the Vatican reveals about the Templars, and while it isn't sexy or "Hollywood", it is great scholarship. And that, I can thoroughly appreciate.
Eric Fritz
It's great to read about the discovery of the Chinon Parchment, but the majority of this book is taken up by a history of the Templars which is over-simplified and full of assumptions.
Kirsten
An interesting look at one of history's most curious groups: a religious military. For from being an oxymoron, the author goes into great detail explaining just how they came to be, their ideals, when and whom they fought, and, ultimately, how they fell. Parts of it felt like the author really breezed over details, so much so that they became a jumble of names and dates. But if you're just looking for an overview of the Templars, this is a great choice. Admittedly, the author has a clear bias (h ...more
Moloch
Sep 18, 2011 Moloch rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Regalo per la laurea di Stefania Z. (fra pochi giorni si sarebbe tenuto il convegno sui templari per cui avevamo lavorato insieme)
Ho letto questo libro per motivi di lavoro e ho ascoltato l'autrice parlarne a un convegno. L'opera non è solo piacevole da leggere, ma anche e soprattutto utile per spazzare via un sacco di pregiudizi accumulatisi nel corso dei secoli sull'ordine templare (vedi Dan Brown e simili).

I've read this book because of my work and I've listened to the author speaking about it at a meeting. The book is not only entertaining to read, but also and most of all useful to clear off of all the prejudices that
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Veronica
Can't finish it. So bad. Should have called it a half-baked romance vs mystery.
Steve Whittle
The history seemed a bit superficial and, as others have commented, the new discovery of the chinon document did not get a lot of coverage
Scott
Feb 06, 2013 Scott rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to fall asleep
Lots of good reviews on this one. My take - dry and no reveal of what the author based most of this book on, the Chinon Parchment. The Chinon Parchment is her greatest claim to fame so lets see a scan, pixalated photo, heck, even a MS-Paint of the document. Also, the author claimed to have found the burial certificate of "Jesus of Nazareth" on the Shroud of Turin, and that the date was in accord with the Gospel records.

This book reads like a Doctoral Thesis and maybe that's the intended audienc
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Edward Durand
I found this to be very interesting and informative. I learn a lot and got to see what the Order of the Templar was about. Politics and money and the role they played in the history of The Order was new to me. Frale did a great job of writing.
Fredrick Danysh
Much has been written about the Knights Templar. Most of it is conjecture or myth. What makes this military order of monks so popular is the way they were founded, operated, the wealth they accrued, and the end of the order. The author claims that as a historian in the Vatican archives, she found the missing records of the papal investigation of Templar leaders called the Chinon Parchment. In her book, the author discusses mostly the end of the order although some of its history is mentioned.
JoEllen
Factual account of the creation, rise, and, in 1314, dissolution of the Order of the Knights Templar. Frale is a Vatican Secret Archives historian, and this book reads as what it is-an academic tract. Packed with facts, ir lacks the romance we've come to expect from Templar tales. Yet that's the point. Gore and gold, ambition and betrayal, "Christian" against "Christian"--for the "glory" of God.
Jessica
The meatiest part of the book is the final chapter which reveals the latest info come to light about the end of the Templar order thanks to Philip the Fourth of France and the revelation of the Chignon Parchment. Well-written account in clear language by a foremost academic of the Vatican archives about the Templars.
Ronald Ball
Very intriguing book about The Templars. It seemed to be very well researched. My only complaint was that the author had a tendency to jump back and forth between time periods and major characters. The book did stir interest in the Crusades and that era of history.
Stephen Cranney
An actual historical book on the Templars. Quick read.
Evelyn
A nonfiction book written in a way that makes it engaging. Very useful information - I got the bulk of my research for my school paper from this book. Even blasting through it in two days it was interesting.
Kate
This was pretty good. Concise. I picked up a few useful things.
Mostly, I want to be turned loose in the Vatican archives.
Gary
Has a lot of historical information but it's a very dry read, unless you're really interested in the subject matter.
Chris
Lots of history, but a little tough to follow.
Thomas
Thomas is currently reading it
May 23, 2015
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