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Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  440 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Over the last 1000 years the bloodiest game of king-of-the-hill has been for supremacy on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This book recounts the stirring saga of the Knights Templar, the Christian warrior-monks who occupied the sacred Mount in the aftermath of the butchery of the First Crusade. Recruited to a life intended to lead only to martyrdom, they were totally dedica ...more
Hardcover, 494 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by M. Evans and Company (first published January 1st 1991)
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Helena Schrader
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Dungeon, Fire and Sword by John J. Robinson provides a chronological history of the Templars that is based for the most part on historical fact rather than fantasy, mystery, hysteria or conspiracy theories. Compared to most of the books out there which want to see Templars behind every bush and transform devout Christians into Jews, Atheists, secret Muslims, aliens from other planets, warlocks and whatnot, it’s not bad.

It is what the Germans would call “popular history,” which is a polite way o
Paul Childs
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This was an excellent book. It does cover the Templars in some detail, but I think this seems more like a broad history of the whole Crusader era. The lives and politics of popes, kings, Templars and sultans is covered in some detail.

There are whole sections of the book that talk about everything but the Templars it seems, but these chapters are just as interesting and fit the wider scope of the book really well.

Robinson tells a pretty good story and the book doesn't read like a fact filled his
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, crusades

Well looks like its all been said already, this is a great book, it covers not only the Order of the Knights Templar but the Crusades as well, what more could you ask for? The narrative is rich with history, people and places and the author conveys the times well. This is a great story and leaves you wanting to know more about these people and the times in which they lived. A well presented and easy to read account, buy a copy and enjoy!
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Reading Dungeon, Fire, and Sword is like watching a horrifying train wreck: you can't avert your eyes from the shocking reality of just how terribly bad the site really is. Not because Robinson's writing is poor; He writes a compelling story about the Knights Templar. It's just the subject matter! He not only relates the history well, but also the surrounding context of the Crusades, helping the reader see the events unfold with a clear perspective of all the intrigue, greed, and murder that acc ...more
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very dense, very informative historical gloss on the formation of the Templars, not to mention the political underpinings of the crusades for Christian and Muslim. I have to say that having read this purely factual account,based on medieval records, it's baffling that so many truly bizarre conspiracies have their roots in the Templars, whose grand masters were just as worldy and susceptible to temptation as anyone else. If they'd managed to carry off God's worldly treasures, they would have done ...more
Jamie Etwas
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Historical accounts written in nearly a novel form, including plot twists, side stories and little bias (respect to many groups discussed). The author includes background and "meanwhile" type facts without breaking from placing the reader in a "you are there" mindset - something rarely approached or attained in non-fictional historical accounts.
Allen Knight
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an important addition to the personal library of anyone who wants to have a more clear understanding of the tension in the Levant and Middle East, let alone of what is emerging in Europe. While this book focuses on the history of the Knights Templar, the intrigue of political machinations between royalty, church, Mongols, Muslims along with the ebb and flow of open and closed arrangements to enhance power and position, should suggest to the modern reader that even more opportunity for ne ...more
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who REALLY wants to know.
Before all these lame ass Templar type books and books about the secret brotherhood shit craze came about because of the movie and book Da Vinci Code there was:
Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades

No glam or mystery.
No heroics.
No shout for freedom.
No speech to rally those on the brink of defeat.
No rescues of maidens.
No nothing of the kind.
Man at his worst.

This is not a history book about religion, politics, culture, or war. But a history book about the sin of men who hide
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Fascinating topic; it is content like this that reminds me that greed, corruption and intolerance are not new societal concepts. The behaviors that existed then and still exist today - in the name of religion - are horrifying.

While the topic had a lot of interest for me and the author clearly is an expert on the subject, the book, at times, read like a history text book. There were portions that were incredibly challenging to follow given the very large number of individuals and places introduc
Lloyd Mustafa
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best I have read on the Crusades and the Knights Templar. In this book one learns that the old cut-and-dried Crusaders vs. Moslems narrative is not completely accurate, with sometimes surprising alliances, and chivalrous behaviour amid the slaughter. The story of how the mysterious order of the Templars met their end in a brutal European power play is an eye-opener as well. Extremely well-written.
Dan Casey
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating book I picked up on a whim to read on some long plane rides. If you have either read or watched Game of Thrones and thought, "Wow, I'm sure glad people aren't this ruthless, duplicitous and cruel in real life." Read this book.

While it's timeline follows the Templars it's an excellent primer on the crusades overall and medieval history of the Middle East. Great context and perspective too given current events in that part of the world.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Robinson is a great author, and not stuffy like so many history writers/professors, " I hate writers that write a sentence in French or Latin, then don't tell you whattit means." This book will fire you up, make you want to jump on a horse, grab your sword and go off and win back our lands occupied by the foreign imperialist Arabs and Turks!
Amy Wolf
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really excellent history of the role of the Templars in the Crusades: to say it was significant is a mammoth understatement. It wasn't all Dan Brown hocus-pocus and piles of riches: Saladin had a number of Templars decapitated after a decisive battle -- these men fought bravely and to-the-death for a bizarre goal: to free an empty tomb from infidels.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is interested in the history of the Crusades
This book is very well written, and is able to provide a lot of information in an accessible way. This is the story of the Knights Templar, and their role in the Crusades. This book is a must for anyone who is interested in this time period.
Jun 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Everything you wanted to know about the crusades! Really interesting. Well written.

I'm done reading it for now. I'm not through it, but I'm putting it on my "reference books" list instead of my "read-through-it-from-cover-to-cover" list.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a very comprehensive book on the history of the crusades and the knights templar. Not a lot of conspiracy stuff here, with exception to the last chapter which he makes very clear and feels like a separate part of the book entirely.
Melissa Cuevas
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A firm, solid, historical work that is definitely a good read. It's not easy to find books on the Knights Templar that aren't focused on the whole secret society, conspiracy theory angle. This is a very fine example of a work that strives to be historically accurate and ignores the hype.
Sep 07, 2007 rated it liked it
I read this book 5 yrs ago but never finished it, so I will do that as soon as I find it :)
It was slow reading--the author writes like a professor and filled it with so many facts that my mind became tired reading it.
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Re-read it just to remind myself how much of basterds we've always been, regardless of any distinction. Read it, and realize how little the textbooks tell about anything.
Tom Fogarty
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It's a history book that reads like a work of fiction. Compelling and comprehensive history of the Knights Templar and the Crusades. Highly recommended.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Best history book - a must read-
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, crusades
I've read this book twice, it's a really entertaining read! I've read that there are a lot of historical inaccuracies throughout the book.
Michele Brown
Well balanced and fair representation of the Crusades, told from many perspectives, Muslim and Crusader and others.
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Thorough, cogent, vast in scope. An oddly amateur manner of telling the story, but damn if he doesn't get the job done.
Fredrick Danysh
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The Knights Templar have almost a mythical status. This work discusses the advent of this religious military order, its role in the Crusades, and its fall on a Friday the thirteenth.
Jason D'Souza
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-50
Reading this history on the crusades and the Templars felt like reading the war stories in the Old Testament. It was awesome.
Thomas Müller
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic, driven read.
Nov 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Good stuff, one of the first history books I ever read.
Charles Murray-Todd
Feb 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Standard Templar history. Kinda hard to get through though.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2008
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John J. Robinson was an American author and historian, best known as the author of Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, which was originally intended as a book about the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, but instead traced the fall of the Knights Templar, which he connected to the rise of Freemasonry. As a result of his research for this book, he became more interested in Freemasonry and subseq ...more
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