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

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,453 ratings  ·  453 reviews
Jerusalem 1119. A small group of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade decides to set up a new order. These are the first Knights of Templar, a band of elite warriors prepared to give their lives to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Over the next two hundred years, the Templars would become the most powerful religious order of t ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Viking
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Craig Pearson Christianity of this period was very different than that experienced today. The Christian Crusades were a very violent part of history that cannot and…moreChristianity of this period was very different than that experienced today. The Christian Crusades were a very violent part of history that cannot and should not be sugar-coated. Christianity, as a concept, has always been a moral beacon but history is replete with individuals who distort goodness to their own ends. The author does a good job in being fair with his descriptions.(less)

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3.87  · 
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Sean Gibson
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
When you read non-fiction, you (hopefully) learn something about the world around you (if you don’t, you might want to consider finding better non-fiction to read, unless you’re Stephen Hawking reading a Physics for Dummies book).

Sometimes, though, you also learn something about yourself. That something might be the fact that you scream like a wolf whose leg just got severed by a steel trap when you get a paper cut trying to flip through those damn picture pages they stick in the middle of the b
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
”It was exactly a century since Hugh of Payns had established the Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Those one hundred years had seen the Templars transformed from indigent shepherds of the pilgrim roads, dependent on the charity of fellow pilgrims for their food and clothes, into a borderless, self-sustaining paramilitary group funded by large-scale estate management.”

 photo Hugh20de20Payens_zpsgoeognbb.jpg

Hugh of Payns

HUGH OF PAYNS, doesn’t the name itself evoke some chainmail wrapped Conan the Bar
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Diane S ☔
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
"Often the end fails to equal the beginning."
Medieval proverb

A proverb that perfectly chronicles the rise and fall of The Templars, a monastic order combined with the profession of the soldier. Divided into four parts, the reader follows the Templars from the beginning when they were just small group, seeking approval and rules, from the Pope, to the end when they were rich and powerful. Powerful and rich enough to become the object of a take down engineered by the French monarch, Phillip the
...more
Chrissie
I knew very little about the Templars when I went into this book. One’s perception of a non-fiction book is influenced by what you know beforehand and one’s personal preferences.

I have found The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors to be informative, clear and well structured. It moves forward chronologically, starting with the origin of the Order of the Knights Templar--in 1119 the French knight Hugues de Payens spoke with King Baldwin II in Jerusalem about establishi
...more
Sumit RK
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam!
Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto your name grant glory!

The Knights Templars is perhaps the most well-known military order of the medieval era. The Templars traces their origins in the aftermath of the First Crusade to their rise to spectacular rise as a feared & respected elite military force in the Holy Lands & the royal courts across Europe and to their eventual disbanding & persecution almost 200 years later.
...more
Bradley
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, 2018-shelf
A great treatment of a truly spectacular legend/horrorshow.

The story of the Templar Knights is gloriously varied, complex, courageous, insane, praiseworthy, mysterious, and tragic. It's primarily a history about the five Crusades and chivalry, but it becomes a harrowing monstrosity by the time King Phillipe enacts his vendetta against the Order.

I simplify. There's two hundred years worth of fascinating and edge-of-the-seat crusader action going on here as well as a farce of a trial that cut the
...more
happy
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-general
Dan Jones is fast becoming one of my go-to authors on all things medieval. His previous books that I’ve read all cover British medieval history, from Henry I through the end of the Wars of the Roses. With “The Templars” he takes his pen and gives the reader a reasonably complete overview of the “Warrior Monks – The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, AKA the Templars. The narrative mainly unfolds chronologically with a few sidetracks. The author traces their history from ...more
Louise
The book covers the founding of the Templars from its spectacular fundraising to its tawdry end. In between you see how the Templar’s mission changed from protecting pilgrims in the Holy Land to warfare and then to banking and financial services. Assembly of all this material is to be saluted if only for the logistics of finding and reading its primary sources in so many languages.

Most of the book is about the Templar’s role in the Crusades and the many colorful participants on all sides. If you
...more
K.J. Charles
Well, that was depressing. A tour of the atrocities of the 12th to 14th centuries, with religious fanaticism, wholesale murder, torture, 'holy war', greed, self-righteous lunacy and just a lot of bloody awful people.

It's a very solid history, well written, and I feel better informed, but the grind of colonisation, murder, treachery, war isn't really relieved by any grace in the tale. There's no great poetry or art or stories of things achieved or forward strides for humanity in any of it, it's
...more
Kevin
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From their idealistic, religious, humble beginnings in Jerusalem after its capture during the First Crusade in 1119, for the initial task of protecting pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land, to end up being dissolved by the jealousy of King Phillip IV of France (who needed money from his campaigns against the Jews), then this book contains probably the best, quasi-neutral account I have read of the Templars, or Knights of the Temple of Solomon as they were originally known as (due to holdin ...more
Trish
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think everyone has heard the name Templars at some point in their lives. Some people know more about them, some less, and some even know actual facts. Personally, I have been fascinated with this topic for a long time. One reason is the historical context of the Crusades, the struggle between two major religions (technically three). I love ancient history more but knights in general have a certain allure because it's interesting where the truth lies between them being portrayed as chivalrous s ...more
Irene
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a thorough history of the Medieval Order of the Knights Templar which lasted for nearly two centuries. Although this ecclesiastical order, for a time, wielded great economic, political and military power, it was its military campaigns in the Crusades for which it was best known. This book focused most of its attention on the bloody details of these battles. I am glad to have learned so much about this chivalric order which has taken on legendary status in popular culture.
Sam
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2019
Really loved this book, maybe not quite as much as other Dan Jones books I've read, but I definitely recommend him when it comes to history. He's very good at finding the storyline in order to make it an entertaining read for nonfiction.
Carlos
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-btr
Well it was nice to read a nonfiction book after all the YA I have been reading lately, Also the Templars have always been an interesting topic to me. I associate them with the crusades and all the militaristic life that was such a big part of the 13th century both in Europe and the Middle East. This book also gave me some new insights into the order and its demise , For one I thought that after the ordeal they went through in France the order was done for , but no . The Order of the Temple cont ...more
Beata
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very thorough insight into the Templars, really good, you need to know some background story, though. Highly recommended to those who are into medieval history.
Geoffrey
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(Note - I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley).

Dan Jones (author of recent greats such as "The War of the Roses" and "The Plantagenets") delivers yet again with another absolutely spectacular work, and possibly his best to date. From their humble origins to their great fall, from Jerusalem to burning pyres in France, Jones takes readers through a grand history of the Knights Templar. His is a chronicle that offers focuses not merely on the military exploits of these legenda
...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
It's just too big of a topic for 400 pages. While Jones does a good job of giving a high level view there's really very little in the day to day of the Templar body especially in regards to the crusades in the east. It did give me a lot of ideas for follow up topics I want to read about and refreshed my memory on a lot of this history.

I do confess that every time the name Antioch was uttered in the back of my head.........the counting of the number shall be three, not four, not two unless then
...more
Silvana
Should be titled The Templars, the Failed Crusades, and the Useless European Monarchs. A very readable history book and intro to these almost mythical knights yet it has very few of their point of views amongst all the political and military squabbles, and very little on how they lived their lives, how they trained, how they did their banking stuff exactly, and so on.

The last part was the best. It is frustrating to read about the Inquisition. Indeed, Erasmus was right when he said Christians hur
...more
Jeanette
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent non-fiction research and historic study of the Templars. That class of oath / vow declared warrior men who were originally formed to ensure the safety of pilgrim participants (Christian) who traveled to see the physical locations in which Jesus was born, lived, and died.

This is a nearly perfect example of something I have noted within nearly all historic non-fiction. That the more focused the attention to one issue, one class, one battle, one document etc. that the better t
...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

Admittedly, the only reason I read this was because I love Dan Jones. Religious orders, along with the Crusades, aren’t really my area of interest. I love learning about medieval theology/Christianity, but this isn’t my huge area.

But, I liked it. I think it was a solid book and I was able to identify areas that really interested me.

I think the part that tried me was the way it never quite focused on the Templars themselves. They were there, always in the
...more
Colin Mitchell
An interesting book as an introduction to the Templar history however I did find that parts were dominated with lists of dates and names. Written in a chronological manner but lacked, for me any depth of analyses until the final chapter. Just Ok probably 2.5.
Colleen Browne
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in the history of that era.
Shelves: history
A factual account of the Templars is a rarity in the world of Dan Brown books. Anyway, this is a well-written, fascinating account of the rise and fall of this group. The book provides a birds-eye-view into the politics of the age and the ultimate failure of the Christians to hold on to the Holy Land.
Kathleen
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As more and more pilgrims traveled to the Holy Land in the Middle Ages, they found themselves easy prey for bandits and warlords residing along the routes from Europe. So, in 1120 the Knights of the Templar were founded. These knights would take a vow of poverty and chastity similar to other Christian orders; however, these knights would be able to murder pagans on behalf of the Christian cross. In addition to protecting the pilgrim routes, they were soon helping Christian kings on Crusades to r ...more
Barry
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
If one could summarize the history of human warfare, one could do it using three words : arrogant, stupid and selfish. Most likely when a side lost a battle or war, one of the major factors was one or more of its leaders was either selfishly arrogant, arrogantly stupid, or stupidly selfish.

In The Templars, Dan Jones set out to provide a rather concise narrative of who were the Templars and what factual activities were they involved in with respect to the Crusades. I’m not going to go into who’s
...more
Margaret
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-history
Excellent book by historian Dan Jones on the Templars.

Written in an almost linnear progression, it was much easier to keep track of what happened than some other Templar books I have read.

I had only one small niggle: I disliked the Anglization of names. I'm sorry, James of Molay just annoyed me. History knows him as Jacques de Molay and that is what he should have remained. Same went for the unilateral usage of "of" instead of "de". Hugh of Payens didn't ring true the way Hugh de Payens does.

Sma
...more
Ctgt
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Concise narrative history of the Templars without all the extraneaous myths surrounding the organization. For a group that only existed for a couple hundred years The Templars certainly have captured a corner of the public's imagination.

8/10
Cathal Kenneally
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Enjoyed the history of the Knights Templar. It reads like a novel but unfortunately this novel has a bad ending. Hard enough was their task fighting in the Holy Land but fighting a relentless enemy. Their first significant victory didn't come till 1191. Up against the likes of Saladin who inspired his men to crushing defeats over God's warriors. The Holy Land has been a controversial issued since.
Their downfall came at the hands of their benefactors the Pope.
David Eppenstein
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A history of the Templars is essentially a history of the Crusades. Since the Templars were established as a result of the Crusades the only part of their history that doesn't parallel these campaigns has to do with the vast amount of wealth the Templars accumulated and then their betrayal and destruction by the institutions that helped create them and protect them. In the telling of their story Dan Jones has revealed himself to be a rare if not unique scholar in that he writes not only for the ...more
Madeleine
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Wow. What a book.

I've been a fan of Dan Jones' history books since listening to his fantastic novels on the Plantagenets and the Wars of the Roses, though I was introduced to him through Netflix's acquisition of his documentary series entitled Secrets of Great British Castles. Jones has a way of telling you fact-laden history as if it's nothing more than a story -- I suppose, there's an argument that, yes, anything is a story, but too often I find that history and facts are just given as is and,
...more
K.M. Weiland
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent, highly readable history of the Templars, from the Crusades through their demise—and a final debunking of their mythic legacy.
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Dan Jones is a historian, broadcaster and award-winning journalist. His books, including The Plantagenets, Magna Carta, The Templars and The Colour of Time, have sold more than one million copies worldwide. He has written and hosted dozens of TV shows including the acclaimed Netflix/Channel 5 series 'Secrets of Great British Castles'. For ten years Dan wrote a weekly column for the London Evening ...more
“The wrecked town of Gaza lay silent and empty. It had once been among the finest cities of the Near East: a stopping point on the coastal road from Syria through Palestine to Egypt, made rich by a thriving market and renowned for its mosques, churches and massive airy houses built in marble.1 But in 1149 only its natural wells and reservoirs remained to indicate that this was once a place where people of many religions had thrived. War had swept through the elegant streets and emptied Gaza, seemingly for good. ‘It was now in ruins’, wrote William of Tyre, ‘and entirely uninhabited.” 0 likes
“Even given the advantage of a surprise attack, it was vain to believe that a few hundred men fighting against thousands would lead to anything but annihilation.” 0 likes
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