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

By Dan Jones
A major new history of the knights Templar--holy warriors, bankers, priests, heretics--by the bestselling author of The Plantagenets

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 the medieval world. Their legend has inspired fervent speculation ever since. But who were they really and what actually happened?

In this groundbreaking narrative history, the bestselling author of The Plantagenets tells the true story of the Templars for the first time in a generation, drawing on extensive original sources to build a gripping account of these Christian holy warriors whose heroism and depravity have so often been shrouded in myth. The Templars were protected by the pope and sworn to strict vows of celibacy. They fought the forces of Islam in hand-to-hand combat on the sun-baked hills where Jesus lived and died, finding their nemesis in Saladin, who vowed to drive all Christians from the lands of Islam. They were experts at channeling money across borders. They established the medieval world's first global bank and waged private wars against anyone who threatened their interests.

Then in 1307 the Templars fell foul of a vindictive King of France, whose lawyers built a meticulous case against them. On Friday October 13, hundreds of brothers were arrested, imprisoned and tortured, and the order was disbanded amid lurid accusations of sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Pope in secret proceedings and publicly humiliated. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state? Dan Jones goes back to the sources tobring their dramatic tale, so relevant to our own times, in a book that is at once authoritative and compulsively readable.

Praise for Dan Jones's The Plantagenets: "A real life Game of Thrones, as dramatic and blood-soaked as any work of fantasy . . . Fast-paced and accessible, The Plantagenets is old-fashioned storytelling and will be particularly appreciated by those who like their history red in tooth and claw." --The Wall Street Journal "The Plantagenets is rich in detail and scene-setting. . . . The Plantagenets' saga is the story of how English monarchs learned, or failed to learn, how to be kings, and how the English people, commoners and barons alike, learned how to limit their powers." --USA Today "Jones has brought the Plantagenets out of the shadows, revealing them in all their epic heroism and depravity. His is an engaging and readable account . . . researched with exacting standards. [A] compelling reading." --The Washington Post "Outstanding. Majestic in its sweep, compelling in its storytelling, this is narrative history at its best. A thrilling dynastic history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery, and brutal warfare across two centuries of British history." --Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin "Some of the greatest stories in all of English history . . . rich in pageantry and soaked in blood." --Lewis Lapham, Lapham's Quarterly "Dan Jones's epic portrait of the medieval royals is a timely reminder that things haven't always been so rosy for those on the throne." --GQ Praise for Dan Jones's The Wars of the Roses: "Exhilarating, epic, blood-and-roses history . . . Thrilling. There is fine scholarly intuition on display here and a mastery of the grand narrative; it is a supremely skillful piece of storytelling." --The Sunday Telegraph "An engrossing read and thoroughly enjoyable." --The Spectator "If you're a fan of Game of Thrones or The Tudors, then Dan Jones' swashbucklingly entertaining slice of medieval history will be right up your alley. . . . Every bit as entertaining and readable as his previous blockbuster The Plantagenets." --Daily Express "Jones is a born storyteller, peopling the terrifying uncertainties of each moment with a superbly drawn cast of characters and powerfully evoking the brutal realities of civil war." --The Evening Standard "Jones tells a good story. That is a good thing, since storytelling has gone out of favor among so many historians. . . . His delightful wit is as ferocious as the dreadful violence he describes."--The Times (London) Praise for Dan Jones's Magna Carta: "Lively and excellent." --The New York Times "Excellent and very well crafted." --The New York Review of Books "Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government." --Antonia Frasier


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ISBN: 9780525428305

About the Hardcover

Publisher Viking
Publish date 09/19/2017
Pages 448
ISBN-13 9780525428305
ISBN-10 0525428305
Language English

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