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The Templars: The Secret History Revealed

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  228 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Barbara Frale gives us an explosive, exhaustively researched history of the medieval world’s most powerful military order, the Templars. 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 be ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 451)
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Jeff Miller
Aug 27, 2014 Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 21, 2009 Apzmarshl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 25, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, non-fiction
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
Sep 13, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Antonija Vranješ
Početkom XI. stoljeća pokrajina Palestina prešla je u ruke fatimidskog kalifa Egipta koji je prekinuo tradiciju relativnoga mira koja je već dugo vremena bila na snazi: 1009. godine islamske sirijske vlasti naredile su pljačkanje Jeruzalema i rušenje Isusovoga Groba uz strašno oživljavanje fanatizma koji se velikom žestinom obrušio na mjesta kršćanskoga kulta...
Oct 04, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah Pangloss
Apr 08, 2009 Sarah Pangloss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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+
Aug 03, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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.
Roger Charles
Jan 26, 2016 Roger Charles rated it liked it
this book was a bit of a disappointment but it seemed to cover the inquisition well. Overall I was disappointed in this book but perhaps an excellent timeline on the Templars.
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
Isaac Gallaway
Oct 14, 2015 Isaac Gallaway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written by an author who knows her research, this book gives not only the background for the Templar Order in its historical viewpoint, but also delves deep into the mindset of the time period religiously, social-economically, and politically highlighting all the intrigues and power struggles between the Pope and the King of France. Another part I appreciate is an entire chapter worth of pages citing and documenting bibliographical information.

Barbara Frale knows her stuff and this boo
Dec 12, 2015 Geoffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that has an interest in history, especially of the Knights Templar and the associated myths
Readers, this is a must read for anyone that has delved into the myths and mysteries of the Knights Templar. The author, Barbara Frale, Ph.D, is a Vatican Archive historian. In the course of her work she discovered an important lost text relating to the Templars. The Chinon Parchment had been lost for 700 years amidst the vast holdings of the Vatican Secret Archives. Earlier this year I was privileged to view and examine in depth a replica of the original lost texts, held in Czech Republic. I bo ...more
Jun 06, 2016 Frahorus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 04, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Keith Slade
Mostly good basic background on who the Knight Templars were and how they started and ended. I still want to learn more. I'm pretty sure there is no real connection to modern groups who use the name and the ancient one that started with the Crusades and ended about 1312. There are a lot of crazy legends out there!
Oct 14, 2011 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2014 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Sep 18, 2011 Moloch rated it liked it  ·  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
Mar 21, 2015 Veronica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2013 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2016 Séverine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Très intéressant. sujet à approfondir.
Edward Durand
Feb 11, 2015 Edward Durand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 21, 2013 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, history
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.
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.
Ronald Ball
Apr 19, 2009 Ronald Ball rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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