This book is an essential exploration into the history of a legendary group of Crusaders, which are prominently featured in Dan Brown's recent best seller, The Da Vinci Code. The Knights Templar rose from humble beginnings to become the most powerful military religious order of the Middle Ages.
In November 1095, Pope Urban II called on the Christian rulers and knights of Europe to drive the Muslims from the Holy Land and claim Jerusalem back for Christendom. Any Crusader who died in the attempt would be rewarded in Heaven. The response was overwhelming and launched a religious conflict that would last for over three centuries.
Covering a thousand years of history, this richly illustrated volume tells the story of the creation of Western civilization in Europe and the Mediterranean. Written by noted scholars and based on the latest research, it offers the most authoritative account of life in medieval Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire to the coming of the Renaissance.
In 1099, the city of Jerusalem, a possession of the Islamic Caliphate for over four-hundred years, fell to an army of European knights intent on restoring the Cross to the Holy Lands. From the ranks of these holy warriors emerged an order of monks trained in both scripture and the military arts, an order that would protect and administer Christendom's prized conquest for almost a century: the Knights of the Temple of Solomon, or the Templars.
This is the revised English translation from the original work in Russian of the history of the Great Byzantine Empire. It is the most complete and thorough work on this subject. From it we get a wonderful panorama of the events and developments of the struggles of early Christianity, both western and eastern, with all of its remains of the wonderful productions of art, architecture, and learning.