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Over the next 200 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, and what actually happened? In this groundbreaking narrative history, the best-selling 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 sunbaked hills where Jesus lived and died. They found 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, as they struggled to secure their last strongholds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Templars fell afoul of the vindictive and impulsive king of France.
On Friday, October 13, hundreds of brothers were arrested en masse, imprisoned, tortured, and disbanded amid accusations of lurid sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Vatican in secret proceedings. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state? Dan Jones goes back to the sources to bring their dramatic tale, so relevant to our own times, to life in an audiobook that is at once authoritative and compulsively listenable.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Protogere on 10-30-17
I don't really know what I expected; I've only had a fleeting interest in the Templars before but having read all of Mr. Jones' prior published works, I was very interested in this new piece.
That being said, I felt the book really went in depth to the story of the creation, existence and fall of the Templars and that he took considerable effort to dismiss the Hollywood version of the facts that most of us know about the organization. I really enjoyed how he shared lesser known details and the backstories of how events came to be, but there came a point in the final few chapters that these details began to almost bog down the story. It was as though he had to share a sub-story and all of its workings to get to the point of a fact he was trying to explain as he detailed the fall of the organization. I found I had to go back and re-listen to the narrative between the Pope and the new "Vatican" of France a few times to follow where he was leading me.
Mr. Jones is very articulate, his pronunciation was clear and made for an easy listen.
My only complaint, if you can call it that, was that at several points you get to a period in the story where a specific event has occurred, such as the death of a notable individual, and yet the next chapter they are alive "again" because they are part of the backstory for an event he is explaining. This made it a little difficult to follow along and probably would have been easier to do if I were reading as opposed to listening.
Otherwise, if you've any interest in knowing about the Templars beyond the Holy Grail and Dan Brown or Hollywood, this is well worth the listen (or read).
30 of 30 people found this review helpful
By Tad Davis on 10-15-17
Dan Jones is a rarity - a lively and informed writer who is also a great narrator of his own work. Because the Templars are bound up in the history of the Crusades, there is much here about the Crusades and the Crusader states as well. They came to a sad end, crushed (and burned at the stake) by a French king eager to get his hands on their money. A brief epilogue dispenses with the many vast conspiracy theories involving the order.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful