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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Templars in pictures and prose
With dozens of fascinating illustrations this book gives a good overview of the history of the Knights Templar from their foundation in the twelfth century through to their dissolution following a trumped up trial in France on charges of heresy and sodomy. The Templars take their name from the mosques on the Temple Mount which the Crusaders wrongly identified as being...
Published on 23 May 2012 by James Horgan

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A history of the Templar Order by a real historian, no sensational theories, no aliens, just the facts
Helen Nicholson is an academic, a real historian who has written extensively on the Templars. Other books for the general reader on this subject try to assemble the information into a single coherent whole, to give the reader an experience of a consistent, novel-like story arc. Nicholson doesn't do this. She summarises all the evidence, even if some of it appears...
Published 24 months ago by interestingdave


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Templars in pictures and prose, 23 May 2012
This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
With dozens of fascinating illustrations this book gives a good overview of the history of the Knights Templar from their foundation in the twelfth century through to their dissolution following a trumped up trial in France on charges of heresy and sodomy. The Templars take their name from the mosques on the Temple Mount which the Crusaders wrongly identified as being Solomon's temple. Initially their job was to protect the Holy Land from Muslims and to protect pilgrims. Their castles and activities in the Holy Land are described, along with their crusading activities in the Iberian Peninsula and Poland. Their donations and commanderies in the peaceful parts of Europe are also recorded. Since these existed mainly to funnel money east to support military efforts, the Knights Templar had a system of moving money around Europe that was used by others, and they were often entrusted with the safekeeping of valuables.

With the loss of the last Crusader castles the Knights Templar relocated to Cyprus. Unlike the Knights Hospitaller, who had captured and ruled Rhodes, the Templars needed to get on well with the King of Cyprus. Getting involved in a local coup backfired when the previous monarch returned to power at about the same time King Philip the Fair of France authorised heresy trials. Once heresy trials had started there was no way back. Accusation was regarded as proof of guilt and torture was routinely used in the belief that people were more likely to speak the truth when tortured. The Templars were then disbanded by the Pope. They had lost their power base and could not recover from this. Their possessions were merged into the Hospitallers.

The book is reasonably well written by an expert in this field, but what really brings it together is the wealth of photographs on almost every page which tie in effectively with the text. The book ends with a brief chapter pointing out the complete lack of any connection between the real Templars and modern Templar groups nor with bunkum originating from grail myths. I read the first edition which has, near the end, a photo of the Knights Templar pub under construction in London. This is immediately adjacent to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys. Since the book was written Hertford has also gained a pub named after the Templars due to alleged local links. Those with an interest in Crusading, Medieval or Military history will enjoy it.

Please note this is a review of the first edition so the final chapter, and pub pictures, may be updated!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A history of the Templar Order by a real historian, no sensational theories, no aliens, just the facts, 3 May 2013
This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
Helen Nicholson is an academic, a real historian who has written extensively on the Templars. Other books for the general reader on this subject try to assemble the information into a single coherent whole, to give the reader an experience of a consistent, novel-like story arc. Nicholson doesn't do this. She summarises all the evidence, even if some of it appears conflicting, before she draws her conclusion. This makes her book a little less readable, sometimes a dry and slightly dull listing of a string of similar facts, but she's doing the reader the favour of presenting him with all the information, and giving him the chance to decide for himself whether to agree with her conclusion.

That said, it's a history of the Templar order, sticking to the facts, giving no space to any of the sensational theories - no conspiracies, no UFOs. Just the facts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This a really good, but extremely detailed account of the history of ..., 3 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
This a really good, but extremely detailed account of the history of the Knights Templar. It can be a bit heavy going a t first until you realise that you don't have to remember all the names and all the dates. I found it very informative and filled a number of gaps in my understanding of this organisation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Knights Templar - Helen Nicholson., 10 Jan. 2015
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An excellent copy for £2.99 in first class condition. The Book is for a study course on The Knights Templar, over a month or so. Very well written, easy to absorb.
Thank you for excellent service.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brief history of the Knights Templar, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
One of the better books on the subject, it covers all areas where the Templar's were based and fought. Although the subject matter was thin I found it still enjoyable to read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top quality review of Templar history., 27 Mar. 2013
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DC Nicoll (Daventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
Debunks myths, and presents a very compelling review of the Templar story with top drawer academic quality. Comprehensive, accessible, and actual history rather than myth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 17 Mar. 2015
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A really easy to read book that gives a good insight into this fascinating historical organisation.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 Sept. 2013
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ken hill (BRIGHOUSE, W Yorkshire, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
The book is excellently written and goes into depth regarding the Knights Templars throughout their two hundred year period very enlightening
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
A good addition to my library
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Turgid and long winded, 20 July 2014
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This review is from: A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) (Paperback)
The book started off well and I had high hopes. However the further I got into the book, the more turgid I found it. I also found it became increasingly long winded and beginning to get bogged down in minute detail. By the end it was in danger of losing its way and confusing me at the same time.
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A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories)
A Brief History of the Knights Templar (Brief Histories) by Helen Nicholson (Paperback - 25 Feb. 2010)
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