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The Templars: The Secret History Revealed

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  344 Ratings  ·  51 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.


Hardcover, 232 pages
Published January 12th 2009 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2004)
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Aug 21, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jeff Miller
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Susan (aka Just My Op)
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
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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+
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...
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Roger Charles
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.
Eric Fritz
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Frale is a scholar with access to Vatican records. This appears to be a straight forward history of the intriguing order of warrior monks that so captivate the popular imagination, ala Dan Brown. She discusses the Medieval conditions that gave rise to the order, how in addition to the Papal esire to regain Jerusalem from the Moslems, Europe had a terrific problem with the violence of armed knigts and what a good idea it was to bundle them off to Asia. The Templars were initially well trained and ...more
Nikolas Larum
Though not a bad read, I did find it somewhat disappointing. The author did not so much as reveal secrets as she withheld speculating. Umberto Eco's foreword calls all other Templar "histories" rubbish, mere fictional inventions of their authors. But there wasn't much here I hadn't read elsewhere.

The author does provide a good overall history of the order. She affirms the initiation practice of having to deny Christ and spit on the cross, but then explains that this would be seen as errant behav
Bish Denham
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
What I longed for most was maps to show me where things were taking place and where people were traveling to.

Although I learned quite a bit, the prolific number of different and *foreign* names was at times hard for me to follow as was trying to figure out where things were happening.

But, it was an interesting look into the history of order, from it conception to it's demise. Political intrigue and maneuvering for power abounds. Which points out the fact that men haven't changed and the Roman C
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I quite enjoyed this book, it gave a good overview of the history of the Templar's and their organization. If you enjoy medieval history I would definitely recommend it, but if you are new to the subject you might want to start with something a little more general, as not that mush historical context is given.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Factual history

Not only explains the Knights Templar but also sheds light on The Crusades. Very interesting. I would recommend this short and informative read.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Research for a ghostwriting project.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read.

Very informative . A clear understanding of the topic.
Finish the damed review, I hate this kind of hostage review.
Ed Egbert
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Pretty good reading if you are a history buff....Excellent if it is an accurate account and from factual documents in the archives . I would recommend it to all who are into this periods history and especially to Freemasom.. E
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Basic primer but interesting nonetheless.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jake Jackson
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, the content of the book fills a crucial period of Western history (approx 1160 to 1315, the lifespan of the Templars) the much misunderstood era of the Crusades and the messy politics of the Christian Church as it attempts to deal with the schisms and external threats to its faith, territory and origins. It's a story of sophistry and self-deception, of humanity's eternal struggle with its own barbarism and ultimately, of utter failure. It's fascinating.

However, The Templars would benefit
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Isaac Gallaway
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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Barbara Frale è una storica italiana, nota per gli studi sui Cavalieri templari e sulla Sindone di Torino.
Nel 2001 pubblica per l'editore scientifico Viella di Roma una parte dei risultati della tesi di dottorato, svolta sui documenti del processo ai Templari (L'ultima battaglia dei Templari. Dal codice ombra d'obbedienza militare alla costruzione del processo per eresia): la sua tesi è che, nell'
More about Barbara Frale...
“The area occupied by the Christians in Syria and Palestine, called Outremer because of its location beyond the Mediterranean Sea, was a thin coastal strip extending from Armenia in the north to the borders of the Fatimid caliphate of Egypt in the south. By 1109, the Christian territory was divided into four large states: the Kingdom of Jerusalem, extending from Gaza to Beirut; the County of Tripoli, from Beirut to Margat; the Principality of Antioch, from Margat to Alexandria; and the County of Edessa, which stretched northeast all the way to present-day Urfa. These Latin states were governed by noble courts in much the same way as their counterparts in Europe. They were often rocked by dynastic disputes, which, together with the scarcity of available troops and the latent threat of Muslim attack, put the security of the Christian population in a constant state of uncertainty.” 1 likes
“The king of Jerusalem had been quite explicit in his letter to the abbot of Clairvaux: “Devise for the brothers such customs and habits of life that will not be in contrast with the clamor and harshness of war, but which show themselves to be useful for Christian principles.” 1 likes
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