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The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon, better known as the Knights of Templars is the story told by Peirs Paul Read in his book The Templars.

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Introduction

The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon, better known as the Knights of Templars is the story told by Peirs Paul Read in his book The Templars. These military monks of the middle ages surround the crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries. In his book, Read addresses all aspects of the Templars, from their history to the politics involved as he creates a fully rounded understanding of that time period and the events circulating around. Read tells the story of the Templars and of the Crusades basically into three broken down parts, origins of the Templars, the historical events of the Templars and the eventual downfall of the Templars. Read begins his book with explaining to his audience why Jerusalem is considered to be "at the centre of the world" (Read, p3) to al three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here where Read really begins to dive into the book, right at the beginning, spending almost eighty pages on something that could have been briefly summed up in the preface. Read tells the story of Abraham and Isaac, and the sacrifices that were to be preformed. Abraham is a belief all three religions have in common. The importance of the Temple mound is also explained by Read and as to why this sited was where the Templars choose that site for their founding and as their area to defend Christianity. ...read more.

Middle

The Crusades of the 12th century, through the end of the Third Crusade (pages 166-177) in 1192, illustrate the tensions and problems that plagued the enterprise as a whole. For the lords of Outremer a compromise with the residents and Muslim powers made sense; they could not live in constant warfare. And yet as European transplants they depended on soldiers and resources from the West, which were usually only forthcoming in times of open conflict. Furthermore, rivalries at home were translated into factional quarrels in Outremer that limited any common policy among the states. Read also does a good job touch on the rulers and their conflicts in great depth. Richard I, the Lion-Hearted of England, Philip II of France, and Frederick I, called Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor were three rival rulers. Richard and Philip had long been in conflict over the English holdings in France. Though English kings had inherited great fiefs in France, their homage to the French king was a constant source of trouble. Frederick Barbarossa, old and famous, died in 1189 on the way to the Holy Land, and most of his armies returned to Germany following his death. Philip II had been spurred into taking up the Crusade by a need to match his rivals, and he returned home in 1191 with little concern for Eastern glories. But Richard, a great soldier, was very much in his element. ...read more.

Conclusion

Read gives more space to the researches of later historians on whether the Templars were in fact guilty of anything and he finds the consensus to be that the Templars were not guilty of the charges, although it is difficult to be certain. In his book The Templars, Piers Paul Read does a clear cut analysis of the Crusades and more explicitly the Templars. In his book though, read has a couple of fallbacks. Most importantly he is writing at a level that he presumes his readers have had previous historical background to the Crusades and the Templars because of his in depth historical analysis. Because of this, Read's readers may be lost in regards to the people and places he refers to. Read takes the book at a fast pace from one event to the other with the mixture of so many people throughout that it makes it difficult for a reader to keep up. From Read's book though, you learn that about these military monks of the Middle Ages. You learn that they are as fascinating as they are strange, since the brutal and fearsome warrior who was also a man of the cloth. You learn how they came to exist, when to kill in battle seemed so antithetical to Christ's teaching, how they protected and cared for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, how they fought in military conflicts and why they disappeared in disgrace early in the 14th century. Each of these are endlessly intriguing questions, and Read addresses them thoroughly in his book, The Templars. 1 ...read more.

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