Synopsis (from book cover):

After the taking of Jerusalem by crusaders in the year of grace 1099, pilgrims started to travel to Palestine in ever greater numbers to worship at the tomb of Christ, the Holy Sepulchre.  It was to ensure their protection that in 1119 – 1120, a knight from Champagne, Hugh de Payns, founded an order which was going to become extremely famous, the “Templars”.  Yet, who, today, still recalls that, originally, the “Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon” could be counted on the fingers of one hand?

After the Council of Troyes in 1129, the Order of the Temple experienced huge growth, creating hundreds of commanderies in the West and playing a key role in the defence of the Crusader States.  Enjoying the unfailing support of the papacy, in the 13th century, it became such an economic and financial force that it soon generated jealousy among temporal powers and, in particular, the King of France, Philip IV of France.

From glory to tragedy, this was the fate of the brothers of the Temple, who were accused of all forms of evil in 1305 and who were all arrested on teh same day, the “fateful” Friday 13th October 1307.  As was their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, most of the were burnt at the stake after being unfairly tried.

Removed from the esotericism of which, all too often, they are the subject, this work offers to take a clear look at the incredible history of these soldier monks, the Knights Templar.


I picked this book up as a companion to a book about the Cathars when I visited Carcassonne last year, it gives a brief but very detailed overview of the “knights Templar”.  The book starts by explaining the idea of a crusade and then goes on to detail  the various crusades, the notable characters that were involved and the conflicts between the Templars and politic and religious authorities.

The book contains many illustrations and there is a lot of information packed into a book of only 126 pages.  There is a bibliography giving ideas for further reading and also a page detailing places/organisations where you can ‘find out more’ about the Templars.

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like a brief but thorough introduction/overview of the Knights Templar’.

The book is published by Editions OUEST-FRANCE

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