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Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: 1995
|Dimensions: 5 X 7 1/2 (inches)|
The Templars, the Hospitallers (later Knights of Malta), the Teutonic Knights and the Knights of the Spanish and Portuguese orders were "noblemen vowed to poverty, chastity and obedience, living a monastic life in convents which were at the same time barracks, waging war on the enemies of the Cross." The first properly disciplined Western troops since Roman times, they played a major role in defending the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, in the "Baltic Crusades" which created Prussia, in the long reconquest of Spain from the Moors, and in fighting the "Infidel" right up to Napoleonic times. This celebrated book tells the whole enthralling story, recreating such epics as the sieges of Rhodes and Malta and the destruction of the Templars by the Inquisition. Acclaimed on publication, it has now been revised and updated, with a concluding chapter to take events into the 1990s.
Professor David Knowles in The Times Literary Supplement
"His scholarship is great, his theme both interesting and largely unexplored and his judgment sound"
"The book is excellent and firmly based on the primary sources of which Seward has a remarkable grasp."
"Compulsive reading, attractively written, and retaining one's fascinated interest throughout"
Jonathan Couser4 Stars Out Of 5May 18, 2000Jonathan CouserSeward provides a readable and entertaining overview of the military orders, which combined monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with crusading commitment to fighting against Islam. While his treatment is enjoyable and informative, it also is colored by Seward's own admiration and prejudices. For instance, he regards the invasion of Rhodes by the Knights of St. John as a response to the unwashed evil of the Rhodian pirates and doesn't give much consideration to the more practical issues involved. The book is suitable as an introduction for the Crusade enthusiast; those seeking more serious analysis might look to Malcolm Barber's The New Knighthood (Templars), Dennis Sire's The Knights of Malta (Hospitallers), or Alan Forey's The Military Orders (all orders). Sire and Barber are quite accessible; Forey is densely scholarly.