The Assassins: the story of Medieval Islam's Secret Sect Hardcover – 1 Jan 2001
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"An excellent work of popular history geared to general readers, but scholars will appreciate both the accuracy and insight Bartlett displays." --"Booklist" on "An Ungodly War"
"More to Lewis's story than one of terror and bloodshed . . . a fascinating glimpse into an extraordinary and unsettling world." "Kirkus Reviews UK""
"Anexcellent work of popular history geared to general readers, but scholars will appreciate both the accuracy and insight Bartlett displays." "Booklist" on "An Ungodly War"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
W.B. Bartlett is the author of God Wills It! An Illustrated History of the Crusades (Sutton, 1999) and An Ungodly War: The Sack of Constantinople and the Fourth Crusade (Sutton, 2000). He lives in Bournemouth.
Top customer reviews
Now I know that many who have read this will have done so as a result of the fascinating realms of the Assassin's Creed series. It does not exactly turn into a rendition of the game, but to the discerning eye the influence to many aspects of the mere concept are moderately influenced by the reality of it all. For instance, the whole eagle thing in the game is most likely related to Alamut which is named after the phrase 'Aluh Amut' which means 'The Eagle's Teaching'. I would suggest that you do not read this unless you want the bleak reality of the Nizari Ismaili's. Luckily, Islam fascinates me. Marvellous read.
This is actually one of those books that decides to give us the chance to actually learn about an old tale by actually boring us by giving us the actual truth. UUURRRGGGHHHH!!!
To be honest, this is the sad facts that we don't know the truth of a subject. The tales of the Assassins came to us from Marco Polo, a man who traveled the world seeing sights none of the western world had ever seen, so as all men, he lied. Well that is a bit of a harsh statement, probably the fair thing to say is that if he was in the modern world he would probably be one of those gits who exaggerate how great the Iphone is compared to all other minion phones. This book therefore tells us that Polo did push the boat out a fair bit, so we are brought back to earth by being truthful and giving us facts, real facts. Facts that tell us that those fun stories that Marco Polo had told are actually a load of rubbish.
So you can read an interesting book about facts, which is actually an interesting read, with a few interesting parts, or you can ignore it and just play Assassins Creed and believe that it is fairly close to the actual truth (without the strange orb type things and the Eagle Vision)
If you do decide to , you've actually bothered to extend you mind and I applaud you good sir. Let's all read this, and many other books, expand our minds to the truth that maybe video games aren't true, and with that nor are films, TV shows, and fantasy books (I've never met a Hobbit no matter how hard I tried).
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you have the Lewis book on the assassins then you almost certainly dont need to buy this one. A number of things let me down with this book not least on checking the bibliography at the back and finding largely the standard Western translations of a few of ibn Athirs books, Juwaynis and ibn Munqidh.
The book covers the well trodden ground in the history of the Assassins, largely from an entirely western perspective. The first encounters from a Western crusader to the early history of the Ismailis in Egypt and the split causing the Nizari sect. The establishment of their castles in Persia and Syria and the various assassinations that took place leading up to their eventual fall and spread into India.
Unfortunately this book offers nothing new. There is no study of the Ismaili philosophy, nothing on what happened to the religious beliefs of the Nizaris or the Ismailis beyond the Mongol invasion. Nothing on the all too obvious links with the Kizilbashi in North East Iran and East Turkey or the Alevi groups in Syria and Turkey or even their possible influence on Sufism through the Bektashi order. In short nothing.
If you really want to read something of substance about this group you may want to try the institute of Ismaili studies. This and the book of Bernard Lewis is nothing more than coffee table sensationalism.
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