The Templars: The History and the Myth: From Solomon's Temple to the Freemasons Info

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Arguably one of the most provocative, puzzling, and
misunderstood organizations of medieval times, the legendary Knights
Templar have always been shrouded in a veil of mystery, while inspiring
popular culture from Indiana Jones to Dan Brown. In The
Templars
, author Michael Haag offers a definitive history of these
loyal Christian soldiers of the Crusades—sworn to defend the Holy
Land and Jerusalem, but ultimately damned and destroyed by the Pope and
his church. A bestseller in the United Kingdom—the first history
of the enigmatic warriors to include findings from the Chinon Parchment,
the long-lost Vatican document absolving the Knights of
heresy—The Templars by Michael Haag is
fascinating reading.


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Reviews for The Templars: The History and the Myth: From Solomon's Temple to the Freemasons:

3

Sep 27, 2011

A sort of primer on Templar history... good for somebody like me who is a novice in the field. I think it may leave serious historians dissatisfied.

I seemed to detect a subdued pro-Christian bias throughout the narrative, but maybe that's just my perception. The book does a good job of presenting the history of the Templars without any frills, and debunking conspiracy theories and far-fetched ideas. However, being a fan of mythology, it is the legends linking the Templars to the Holy Grail that A sort of primer on Templar history... good for somebody like me who is a novice in the field. I think it may leave serious historians dissatisfied.

I seemed to detect a subdued pro-Christian bias throughout the narrative, but maybe that's just my perception. The book does a good job of presenting the history of the Templars without any frills, and debunking conspiracy theories and far-fetched ideas. However, being a fan of mythology, it is the legends linking the Templars to the Holy Grail that I found most interesting!

I would recommend it as a good introduction to Templar history for the layman. ...more
1

Jan 28, 2010

I am sad I had to stop reading this book. I'm very interested in the Templars, but this book is so anti-Islamic, It gets in the way of taking anything else seriously. And I'm a Christian.
3

Apr 15, 2012

I found the history of the templars really interesting, having read a lot of the conspiracy theory stuff first. The likely truth about the odd stories of the initiation rituals and the way it was twisted by Phillip is much more convincing than the conspriracy stuff. Having said that, knowing that the documentation is pretty scarce, I would have liked more on which details were coming from where - there was some, but not enough in my opinion - and also more about interactions between Outremer, I found the history of the templars really interesting, having read a lot of the conspiracy theory stuff first. The likely truth about the odd stories of the initiation rituals and the way it was twisted by Phillip is much more convincing than the conspriracy stuff. Having said that, knowing that the documentation is pretty scarce, I would have liked more on which details were coming from where - there was some, but not enough in my opinion - and also more about interactions between Outremer, the Templars, the Hospitalers and the Muslim states besides who was attacking what when. Not sure if this due to lack of documented evidence, though. I skipped most of the last section. I think it's probably likely that if you're interested enough in the Templars to pick this up, you're not likely to need much of a list of 'Templars in popular culture' examples. ...more
2

Jun 26, 2013

Every once in a while, you get an enthusiastic amateur who writes a delightful history for the rest of us amateurs. This book is neither delightful nor reliable as a history.
4

Feb 03, 2019

I would highly recommend this as an introduction to the world of the Knights Templar. This medium-length book should be all that most people would need to know about the Templars and their actual history versus the numerous fabrications and outright fantasy erected around them in the centuries since their demise in 1314. It is well-paced and written, with numerous interesting sidebars, some photos and small maps interspersed. There is so much here--from early Biblical history and the building of I would highly recommend this as an introduction to the world of the Knights Templar. This medium-length book should be all that most people would need to know about the Templars and their actual history versus the numerous fabrications and outright fantasy erected around them in the centuries since their demise in 1314. It is well-paced and written, with numerous interesting sidebars, some photos and small maps interspersed. There is so much here--from early Biblical history and the building of Solomon's Temple through the entire Crusading era, the downfall of the Templars at the hands of Phillip IV of France and beyond. He does a wonderful job of eviscerating the modern Templar conspiracy industry epitomized by the Dan Brown distortions or outright inventions (glad I never spent a nickel on any of it) and many other movies and books that deal even tangentially with the Templars. Very few appear to have much truth other than a nugget or two to build off of into all kinds of conspiracies and world-wide plots. But hey, they make great stories apparently and he provides brief reviews of their historicity. If you are one who leans toward a belief in many conspiracies you might do well to read this book, as so many seem to tie back into the Templars or the Freemasons (there is a good section on how they emerged) or the Roman Catholic Church or of course international Jewry. The section on further reading is very good and annotated by topic making it very useful. In addition, there is a chapter on Templar 'tourism' sites around the world and a final section of related websites (although some are now dated). Could almost give this 5-stars but can't say it falls into the category of 'greatness', but still a really solid all-around outing. ...more
5

Apr 24, 2011

the only thing the auther didnt mention about why the crusade happened is that the catholic church waged war against muslims not because of defending their faith but to raid the gold rich middle east since the french were using squirl skins as currency.

the author also explains how the templars created their organization , self governing with legance following the catholic church, and started international banking by receiving huge donations then loaning to europeans monarchs,and how the the only thing the auther didnt mention about why the crusade happened is that the catholic church waged war against muslims not because of defending their faith but to raid the gold rich middle east since the french were using squirl skins as currency.

the author also explains how the templars created their organization , self governing with legance following the catholic church, and started international banking by receiving huge donations then loaning to europeans monarchs,and how the churches benefited from trading through them in the middle east.

the author used for his references chronicles from both sides. he have also written about egyptian civilization if anybody is interested. ...more
2

Sep 24, 2014

I am probably underrating this book, but I couldn't get to the last page, which is unusual for me. The first third of the book is hard core fact. It's a little pendantic. There are so many names, places, and dates that it is hard to keep track. It is interesting, just a little less textbook would have made it easier to read. The second section is takes on Templar myth, which is extremely interesting. The last third itemizes books and movies that are based on Templar stories. The author lost me I am probably underrating this book, but I couldn't get to the last page, which is unusual for me. The first third of the book is hard core fact. It's a little pendantic. There are so many names, places, and dates that it is hard to keep track. It is interesting, just a little less textbook would have made it easier to read. The second section is takes on Templar myth, which is extremely interesting. The last third itemizes books and movies that are based on Templar stories. The author lost me here. It is just too choppy and too opinionated. I got through over 80% of the book. That's good enough for me. ...more
4

Dec 06, 2017

A great study. Haag covers the history of the order in ample depth whilst also addressing some of the frequent misperceptions around the Templars. Haag is at times a little too assertive in his denotion of certain ideas as 'conspiratorial' and comes across as dismissive of feasible links as a result.
4

Apr 17, 2014

An excellent introduction for the layman

Long shrouded in myth, the spell the Templars weave upon the popular imagination has long been an enduring feature of Western culture, and of numerous conspiracy theories.

With wit, wisdom, and an erudite piece of work, Michael Haag consigns these theories to the bonfire, as well as setting the historical record straight.

Whilst not an in-depth look at every nut and bolt of Templar history, Haag presents enough of the early days of the founding of the An excellent introduction for the layman

Long shrouded in myth, the spell the Templars weave upon the popular imagination has long been an enduring feature of Western culture, and of numerous conspiracy theories.

With wit, wisdom, and an erudite piece of work, Michael Haag consigns these theories to the bonfire, as well as setting the historical record straight.

Whilst not an in-depth look at every nut and bolt of Templar history, Haag presents enough of the early days of the founding of the order, their role in the crusades, and their subsequent decline and fall, to whet to the appetite for further reading ( numerous links are provided in the further reading section)

As to the destruction of the Templars and the numerous conspiracies that abound, Haag (like many others) argues convincingly that the loss of the Holy Land robbed the Templars of their rasion d'etre, and made them prey to the ruthless ambition of the French King, Philip IV.

Despite this dose of logic, the Templar myths do not die easily, linking everybody from the Masons, to the Nazis, to the Spice Girls, in one vast, global conspiracy.

To my mind, what is most appealing about this book is not the conspiracy theories, but the excellent section of where to go to see Templar sites. Surprisingly, a large number remain in good condition in the UK, and for this, the book deserves all the credit it has received.

A wonderful blend of Templar history, theory, and places to visit.



...more
4

Aug 05, 2014

There are so many myths and, frankly, misinformation in print and cinema about the organization of crusader knights called the Knights Templar that I no longer knew what to believe. So I was looking for a book which would dispel the fiction and myth and report the history of the Templars. "The Templars: History & Myth" by Michael Haag was did just that. In the book Haag details the history of the organization from its inception to the current day. In doing so he clears up all the myth There are so many myths and, frankly, misinformation in print and cinema about the organization of crusader knights called the Knights Templar that I no longer knew what to believe. So I was looking for a book which would dispel the fiction and myth and report the history of the Templars. "The Templars: History & Myth" by Michael Haag was did just that. In the book Haag details the history of the organization from its inception to the current day. In doing so he clears up all the myth surrounding the Templars. One of the greatest myths permeating current culture is that the Templars somehow morphed into the Freemasons, a myth that is reported as fact time and again on the History Channel (which should be called the misinformation channel for it's embracing of the "Ancient Aliens" poppycock). This myth was totally dispelled by Haag. It is a great book and, if you are interested in the facts about the Knights Templar, this is just about as good as it gets. I recommend it highly. ...more
1

Jan 07, 2012

Ok I decided to go on with the book despite of the author's apparent prejudice towards Islam and I thought I will just read it as a story or something just to know what people think of the issue of the Templar. But the distorted stories he presented on the some of the historical facts that I know made me stop because I could not take it any more.
3

Jul 12, 2010

10th book of 2010. Very interesting subject but the book kind of reads like a high school text book. It is a bit too dumbed down. I did learn some things though. If you already know quite a bit about the Templars, you'll know a lot of the stuff in it already, though there are some facts that still might surprise you.
1

Nov 07, 2013

Read it for my history class this semester thinking it would be an interesting read. It was terrible to try and follow what was going on and had too many inserted tidbits that made the confusion worse. Barely got through it!
1

Jul 15, 2012

Mixes legend, possible events, and solidly established history without distinguishing among them. He did manage to develop some skepticism when he got to Islamic myths, but that's it.
1

Jun 03, 2010

Too textbookish. A few interesting things mixed into tons of boring facts. Just had to force myself to finish. It did mention Joseph Smith.
5

May 12, 2013

Gives an accurate history of the Templars and debunks the myths about them.
2

Aug 08, 2015

Nothing really new

If you do not know anything about the order and you can tolerate a slightly clumsily written book this can serve as a decent introduction
5

May 18, 2017

Awesome read and very informative. If you love the history of Knights especially the Knights Templar this book is a must read.
5

Dec 10, 2017

British historian Michael Haag has assembled an excellent introduction to the facts and myths surrounding the Templar Knights. His approach is scrupulously even-handed in dealing with Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as the numerous heretical offshoots that arose in the period before and during the career of the Templars. Haag starts with the history of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, continuing to the rise of Islam and the Muslim acceptance of Jewish holy sites as their British historian Michael Haag has assembled an excellent introduction to the facts and myths surrounding the Templar Knights. His approach is scrupulously even-handed in dealing with Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as the numerous heretical offshoots that arose in the period before and during the career of the Templars. Haag starts with the history of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, continuing to the rise of Islam and the Muslim acceptance of Jewish holy sites as their own. This history is also extremely relevant in that it explains the bloody and destructive violence of ISIS in being firmly within the context of a rabid form of Islam that dates back from the founding of the cult by Mohammed and his lust for conquest and expansion to the many militaristic splinter groups that continued his tradition of the desire for religious empire, such as the Assassins and the Khorezmians. Even powerful leaders such as Baybars are investigated for their dishonorable treatment of captives, occasionally (when it suited their purposes) promising to let the inhabitants of a besieged city to go free, only to enslave all the women and children and behead the men. Christians, too, have their low points, but more for their killing of Jews than for their treatment of Muslims. Haag also plausibly explains the Templars' fall from power and into disrepute, largely not from what they did, but from what they did not do--retain the Holy Land in Christian hands. Finally, the controversy over secret initiation rituals in the Order are well-handled and well-explained. This history also deals with the countless ahistorical conspiracy theories surrounding the Templars, most infamously in Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code." Those interested in the truth and facts are warned to stay away from such nonsense. The last part of Haag's book is a compendium of the best histories, collections, and websites on the Templars. For an understanding of the history of Jerusalem and the Holy Land in light of the rise, fall, and lingering influence of the the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, as well as (secondarily) the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (the Knights Hospitaller), Haag's history is a resource-rich place to start. ...more
5

Mar 25, 2018

What a fascinating book this is. It's well worth making this your choice alongside several other scholarly books available which explore the truth of the Templars and their failure to secure the Middle East for Christendom between the years 1119 and 1314. The author gives a comprehensive list of other books on the subject at the end of the volume. Michael Haag delivers a lively and engaging account of the historical facts, along with an exploration of the various myths that have arisen in recent What a fascinating book this is. It's well worth making this your choice alongside several other scholarly books available which explore the truth of the Templars and their failure to secure the Middle East for Christendom between the years 1119 and 1314. The author gives a comprehensive list of other books on the subject at the end of the volume. Michael Haag delivers a lively and engaging account of the historical facts, along with an exploration of the various myths that have arisen in recent decades about the Templars. And I write as one who devoured "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" as well as "The Da Vinci Code" and is willing to credit both books for high entertainment value - though not for a scrupulous attention to historical truth. Finally the author gives an enjoyable and helpful survey of the treatment of the Templar story in books, films and TV as well as within gaming and rock music. The effect of this book is certainly to awaken or revitalise an interest in medieval history, alongside its primary aim to dispel some of the myths that have so excited the imaginations of the conspiracy theorists and the historical revisionists. Highly recommended. ...more
4

Jun 22, 2019

An extremely interesting read

An interesting historical account of the origins of the Knights Templar including some of the myths and legends associated with this military religious order from the Middle Ages. I was quite surprised reading through the book as it was quite detailed and offered a very easy reading style. This is not an easy subject area to read unless you’re a real history enthusiast or have particular interest in the Templar story. It offered varying accounts of some key events An extremely interesting read

An interesting historical account of the origins of the Knights Templar including some of the myths and legends associated with this military religious order from the Middle Ages. I was quite surprised reading through the book as it was quite detailed and offered a very easy reading style. This is not an easy subject area to read unless you’re a real history enthusiast or have particular interest in the Templar story. It offered varying accounts of some key events such as the different theories around events that led to the battle of Hattin and the actions of characters like Raymond of Tripoli.
It was also interesting to read about the Chinon Parchment and the role it could have played in the final outcome in the trial of Jacques de Molay, definitely worth further reading. All in all a very good book if you are interested in historical facts not just conjecture, speculation and downright fairytales. My only criticism would be some of the typo errors especially where Raymond became Reynald and made some of the reading a bit confusing. Otherwise I would have been happy to give 5 stars!! ...more
5

May 29, 2019

Unbelievably good. An absolute Must-Read for anyone wanting to learn about the Templar's whilst also getting a feel for Medieval architecture; religious beliefs; and the sociological machinations underpinning much of what unfolds. The best part of this book is that you will NOT feel like you're reading a historical textbook; yet you are. Its pace is excellent; it flows incredibly smoothly; you aren't bombarded by dates, names, places, and all the other items that bog-down a lot of other books Unbelievably good. An absolute Must-Read for anyone wanting to learn about the Templar's whilst also getting a feel for Medieval architecture; religious beliefs; and the sociological machinations underpinning much of what unfolds. The best part of this book is that you will NOT feel like you're reading a historical textbook; yet you are. Its pace is excellent; it flows incredibly smoothly; you aren't bombarded by dates, names, places, and all the other items that bog-down a lot of other books similar to this.
I truly cannot gush about this book anymore than I have without repeating myself. An absolute joy and it took me less than a week to devour this thing. That is saying quite a bit as I am a terrible procrastinator. You REALLY have to be worth something in order for me to dedicate myself; and this did it in spades. Michael Haag, you did an amazing job. ...more
3

Dec 21, 2017

I didn't feel the author's excitement. I really tried. I crossed the finish line with this book, and felt that I got a decent enough survey course of the scope of the Templars. But I was left with no idea who they really were; what they were thinking; or any really juicy anecdotes to portray what it was like to be a Templar, or to be in their midst. Heresy. Sodomy. Idolatry. I was hoping to hear more. To complement what I read, I went to YouTube and saw a few excellent documentaries that brought I didn't feel the author's excitement. I really tried. I crossed the finish line with this book, and felt that I got a decent enough survey course of the scope of the Templars. But I was left with no idea who they really were; what they were thinking; or any really juicy anecdotes to portray what it was like to be a Templar, or to be in their midst. Heresy. Sodomy. Idolatry. I was hoping to hear more. To complement what I read, I went to YouTube and saw a few excellent documentaries that brought to life the Templars. The scholars were passionate and exuberant about their topic, so something vital was missing from the book. Recommendations for other books on the Templars are welcome. ...more
4

Aug 03, 2018

"You could always tell a lunatic because sooner or later he'd bring up The Templars." - Umberto Eco.

This book is an excellent summary of what's real, what's speculation, and what's made up out of whole cloth about the Templars. Most of what's on TV on The Conspiracy Theory Channel (look for it near the Artillery Channel, the Hitler Channel, and the Aliens Channel) is just plain made up.

Well-organized and well-researched.
3

Oct 04, 2019

I read this book to learn more about the Templars and I certainly accomplished that. There is an overwhelming number of dates, names and locations packed into this, but I would not call it a a reference book because there is a definite chronological storyline for the reader to follow. I especially liked the section that talks about conspiracies and alternate histories because it shines light on modern day portrayals and why/where they are not factual.

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