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The Trial of the Templars Paperback – 7 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (7 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521672368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521672368
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 706,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'… this detailed narrative of the last days of the Order of the Temple has deservedly established itself as the standard account in a major European language.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Book Description

For nearly two centuries the Templars fought for Christianity against Islam. In 1307 King Philip IV of France accused them of betraying their calling, culminating in the suppression of the Order. In this new edition, Malcolm Barber cuts through past myths to present the true story of the Templars' downfall.

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
One gets the impression both from this book and his previous work, 'The New Knighthood' that Malcom Barber rushed himself into print as a reponse to the current trend of explaining every Christian mystery through the Knights Templar. This volume concentrates on the last years of the order and its infamous destruction by Philip IV of France. It is a privilege for the reader to be granted access to such meticulous research, detail and scholarship for this is no vague account. Taking in every contemporary source he provides almost a day by day narrative, no mean feat when dealing with the early fourteenth century. Barber's argument is that the Templars were suppressed as a result of the avarice and arrogance of Philip la Bel rather than in response to any nefarious pratices of their own. Philip, in successive revenue drives had set a precedent by attacking the Lombards and Jews, merchant communities made weak by their immigrant status. Philip expelled both groups under trumped up pretexes very similar to the formula that was used to rid himself of the Templars. And of course his motive in all three cases was to lay his hands on those communities' assets. The French crown was the main power in Western Christendom at the time and the Pope was entirely its pawn, particularly since his predecessor in trying to resist Philip's will had been violently siezed in Rome by his men. The Templars had had an ambiguous role since the loss of the Holy Land, their wealth and untouchable status was all very well under the justification of the Crusades, but rapidly began to provoke jealousy and discontent once back in Europe.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
I own many books on the Templars, but very few deal primarily on their downfall on the Friday 13th, and the gruelling, protracted trials afterwards. The Templars have always fascinated me, an order founded on a vow of poverty that rose to become one of the richest and most powerful organisations of their time, a religious order, yet it was politics and money that sealed their fate and brought about their destruction.
Very well written, it is rich in detail, but in a witty narrative that keeps the reader enthralled and forgetting they are reading history, which is usually dry and stale. High Recommended. Anyone interested in the Templars needs to add this one to their collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I PICK THIS BOOK UP ALMOST EVERY NIGHT, I FIND IT INTERESTING AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO KNOW MORE. I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE WHO HAS AN INTEREST IN THESE PEOPLE.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chaffro on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book has got absolutely nothing to do with Simon Templar, the debonair thief brought to life first by Roger Moore in a TV series called The Saint and then by Val Kilmer in a movie, the title of which escapes me. Instead it's all about a bunch of knights who went to the desert for a while, lived in France for a while and then all died. It's a bit like the Jedi from Star Wars, except they didn't live in France to the best of my knowledge; at least this book didn't mention anything about that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
A wealth of scholarship from the foremost Templar scholar 10 Jan. 2001
By Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One gets the impression both from this book and his previous work, 'The New Knighthood' that Malcom Barber rushed himself into print as a reponse to the current trend of explaining every Christian mystery through the Knights Templar. This volume concentrates on the last years of the order and its infamous destruction by Philip IV of France. It is a privilege for the reader to be granted access to such meticulous research, detail and scholarship for this is no vague account. Taking in every contemporary source he provides almost a day by day narrative, no mean feat when dealing with the early fourteenth century.
Barber's argument is that the Templars were suppressed as a result of the avarice and arrogance of Philip la Bel rather than in response to any nefarious pratices of their own. Philip, in successive revenue drives had set a precedent by attacking the Lombards and Jews, merchant communities made weak by their immigrant status. Philip expelled both groups under trumped up pretexes very similar to the formula that was used to rid himself of the Templars. And of course his motive in all three cases was to lay his hands on those communities' assets. The French crown was the main power in Western Christendom at the time and the Pope was entirely its pawn, particularly since his predecessor in trying to resist Philip's will had been violently siezed in Rome by his men. The Templars had had an ambiguous role since the loss of the Holy Land, their wealth and untouchable status was all very well under the justification of the Crusades, but rapidly began to provoke jealousy and discontent once back in Europe. Thus follows Barber's theory, that anxious to annexe their assets, Philip invented the outrageous charges of blaspehemy, sodomy etc, and with a succesful propaganda campaign, sustained pressure on the Pope and confessions wrought under torture, he was able to seal their fate. As Barber progresses we are shown the shocking inactivity of Grand Master Jaques de Molay and his naive faith in papal justice throughout the crisis until the fate of the Order was sealed and de Molay symbolically burnt. This is a famous story, and Barber provides us with the definitive version. An excellent account in all respects, grounded entirely in fact and a treasure for anyone geninely interested in the Knights Templar.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
accurate, realistic - the perfect summary of evidence 1 Jun. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Barber's "Trial of the Templars" is to my knowledge by far the best (and almost the only) serious piece of historical research in English this century into the Order's trial. Although the wealth of detail can at times be overwhelming, close attention rewards the reader with an objective answer to the ridiculous hysteria which has grown up around the Order's demise. Barber's close attention to contemporary documents gives his conclusions a firm factual basis - something the conspiracy nuts who are so attracted to this subject would be well advised to take note of. As a companion to his "The New Knighthood", "Trial..." gives what is likely to remain (Barring the discovery of the Templar archive) the best summary in English of the available evidence. Final verdict? Essential to anyone actually interested in the truth about the Templar affair ie: as an example of the growth of the power of the nation state and the history of propaganda.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The destruction of the Militum Christi 23 Mar. 1998
By Chris Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Malcolm Barber examines the trial and supression of the Poor Knights of Christ of the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Knights Templars, as the trial unfolded in France and other countries. The account of the positional jockeying between the French King Philip IV and Pope Clement V is fascinating. Professor Barber is detailed and scholarly, but he has an absorbing story to tell and he is a wonderful story-teller. Essential
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Term-paper Research Relief 23 Nov. 2001
By Jason Monti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I was assigned a Humanities term-paper on the something having to do with the Medieval period, I chose to research the Templars, specifically their trial and destruction, I found a myriad of books on the subject, but most had to do with the history of the Order itself and only mentioned, in passing, generally how their destruction was brought about. Thus it was with great relief that I found such a detailed examination of the topic in Barber's "The Trial of the Templars." Furthermore, his writing is witty and concise. It was a refreshing change from the often dry, and verbose nature of several of the other texts I used in my research as well. Even if one is not researching for any particular report, I still recommend reading this book for its own sake. You won't be disappointed.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read 12 Nov. 2003
By Lee Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Barber's 'The Trial of the Templars' is the best and perhaps only serious academic study of the political machinations of French King Philip IV, "the Fair," which resulted in the trial and suppression of one of the most noble and powerful of the Medieval crusading orders.
The wealth of source material in the book makes it indispensible.
One would hope that Barber's work would go a long way towards debunking the myths of the Templars as neo-New Age adepts possessing secret occult wisdom, since, as Barber demonstrates, many of the Templars at the time of the suppression were uneducated, illiterate old men from preceptories in Europe, most of whom who had never even set foot in the Holy Land and were thus incapable of the occult practices ascribed to them. Of 115 Templar depositions resulting from the hearings in Paris, sixty-nine brethren stated that they were forty years old or older. The average age of these 115 men was 41.6 years. Most of the accused Templars were serving brothers and seargeants (41); seventeen were priests and only fifteen were actually knights. The average length of service of deposed Templars was 14.2 years. Hardly the stuff of which powerful occult magicians are made.
Definitely add this one to your library.
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