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Recommended reading list for the Brotherhood



Here you will find a list of preferred reading material that focuses on the actual history of the Military Orders and not the myths. Books identified in RED are primary sources and a great place to start your studies!

The Rule of the Templars: J.M.Upton-Ward

The Order of the Knights Templar, whose original purpose was to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, was first given its own Rule in 1129, formalising the exceptional combination of soldier and monk. This translation of Henri de Curzon's 1886 edition of the French Rule is derived from the three extant medieval manuscripts. Both monastic rule and military manual, the Rule is a unique document and an important historical source. It comprises the Primitive Rule, Hierarchical Statutes, Penances, Conventual Life, the Holding of Ordinary Chapters, Further Details on Penances, and Reception into the Order. There are details of clothing, armour and equipment; instructions on conduct while on campaign; information on the daily life of members of the order and on the discipline which made it a formidable fighting force. The Rule evolved over almost 150 years of the Order's history, and is thus a dynamic piece of work, showing how the Templars adapted to political change and formulated their disciplinary code. An introduction gives the historical background to the Rule and summarises the various sections. An appendix by MATTHEW BENNETT discusses the military implications. J.M. UPTON-WARD gained her M.Phil. at the University of Reading.

Templar Organization, The Management of Warrior Monasticism: S.T. Bruno

Templar Organization combines serious historical research with the insights of an aerospace industry executive. By doing so, it reveals the inner workings of a remarkable medieval institution. The most successful and unique military and religious group in history, the Templars ran a multinational business across all of Europe and Northern Africa. Their agricultural, shipping, and banking efforts funded an amazingly effective military force deployed on crusade in the holy land. The author decodes their internal regulations with his unique understanding of complex organizations. He unravels how they managed this far flung operation and the reasons behind their techniques. The unparalleled success of this group extended for over 150 years and culminated in a shockingly sudden demise. Its history reveals lessons for scholars and modern leaders alike.

A to Z of the Knights Templar


A Guide to their History and Legacy: Gordon Napier

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, popularly known as the Knights Templar or the Order of the Temple, were among the most famous of Christian military orders. The order existed for about two centuries in the Middle Ages, and was created after the First Crusade of 1096 to ensure the safety of European pilgrims to Jerusalem after its conquest. Officially endorsed by the Catholic church in 1129, the order became a favored charity across Europe, and grew rapidly. Templar knights, easily recognizable in their white mantle with a distinct red cross, were some of the best equipped, trained, and disciplined fighting units of the Crusades. Non-warrior members of the order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, innovating many financial techniques that were an early form of banking. When the Holy Land was lost and the Templars suffered crushing defeats, support for the Order faded. Rumors about the secret initiation ceremony created mistrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the order, began pressuring Pope Clement V to take action. On October 13, 1307 King Philip had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into "confession," and burned at the stake. In 1312, Pope Clement forcibly disbanded the order. The sudden disappearance of a major part of the European infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the name "Templar" alive.

The New Knighthood, A History of the Order of the Temple: M. Barber

The Order of the Temple, founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims around Jerusalem, developed into one of the most influential corporations in the medieval world. It has retained its hold on the modern imagination thanks to the dramatic events of the Templars' trial and abolition two hundred years later, and has been invoked in historical mysteries from masonic conspiracy to the survival of the Turin shroud. Malcolm Barber's lucid narrative separates myth from history in this full and detailed account of the Order, from its origins, flourishing and suppression to the Templars' historic afterlife.

Crusader Castles in the Holy Land: David Nicholle

The bloody crusades that swept across the Middle East in medieval times left their mark on the landscape, where fortifications which once acted as bastions of power for the beleaguered Crusader States now cast their ruined shadows over the earth.

These fortifications varied considerably in size, architecture and function from the mighty Crac de Chevaliers, the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller in Syria to smaller fortified dwellings and religious centers. With almost constant warfare between Crusaders and Saracens they were vitally important both as centers of defense and bases for the launch of offensive operations. Citadels of Christendom is a beautifully illustrated guide to the development, construction, purpose and history of these castles. Examining the castles built in the Holy Land between 1097 and 1302 as well as the castles built in Cyprus, Greece and the Aegean between 1191 and 1571, this book provides a rare overview of the history and notably the evolution of fortresses and defenses during the Crusades. Contemporary photographs and the latest research resurrect these imposing reminders of over two centuries of conflict.

Nobly Born 

An illustrated History of the Knights Templar: Stephen Dafoe

The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Templar of Solomon, popularly known as the Knights Templar, was the most famous and infamous of the crusading military orders. Created in the aftermath of the First Crusade,(1096-1099) the Templars were established to ensure the safety of the large numbers of European pilgrims, who flowed towards Jerusalem after its conquest. The Templars were an unusual Order in that they lived both an active and contemplative life; making them effectively the first warrior-monks in the western world. As such the Templars quickly expanded beyond their role as protectors of pilgrims and played a vital role in many battles of the Crusades.Although they suffered more defeats than celebrated victories, the Templars are remembered as Christendom's most fearless military force.Through innovative financial techniques that could be considered the foundation of modern banking and the use of a well established network of land holdings, the Templars in many ways resembled today's multi-national corporations. The Order's highly organised infrastructure, coupled with influential patrons, allowed the Order to gain great wealth and power in a relatively brief period of time. This rise in power and prosperity continued until the Templars ran foul of King Philip IV of France, who arrested the Templars on October 13, 1307 on a variety of heretical charges. Philip had the Templars tortured in order to extract confessions of guilt and many of their number were ultimately burned at the stake. Under the influence of King Philip, Pope Clement V disbanded the Order on March 22, 1312. In Nobly Born: An Illustrated History of the Knights Templar, noted expert Stephen Dafoe explores the Order from its origins through to its dissolution, set against the complex political and sociological backdrop that was the middle ages; a period of history where enemies couldbecome allies at the drop of a hat.Individual chapters examine: -The factors that led to the First Crusade as well as a detailed account of the capture of Jerusalem.-The origin of the Templars between the years of 1118 - 1120 AD.-The Order's rise to papal favour and power and their commercial activities.-The day to day life of the Templar in the convent.-The military structure and discipline of the Order in the field.-The major battles fought by the Templars during the Crusades.-The downfall of the Order following the loss of the Holy Land in 1291.-The legacy and mythos of the Templars that has developed since their demise.Alongside the author's well-researched and comprehensive text is a superb illustrative content, vividly portraying the life of the Templars during this remarkable period of history.

Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic Knights: 

Images of the Military Orders 1128-1291: Helen Nicholson

The Military Orders were religious orders originally founded to protect Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. They gradually became responsible for the defence of the Holy Land itself and throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries they played a major role in every crusade to the Holy Land. Historians have long disagreed over how contemporaries viewed these institutions. Were they accepted as valid religious orders? How far did criticism reflect a decline in support for crusading? This book sets out to examine the contemporary primary sources without preconceptions, considering a wide variety of written evidence from across Europe and the Middle East, including literary sources and the legends which grew up around the Military Orders during the crusades.

The Templars, The Secret History Revealed: Barbara Frale

Barbara Frale gives us an explosive, exhaustively researched history of the medieval world’s most powerful military order, the Templars. At its height, the Order of the Knights Templar rivaled the kingdoms of Europe in military might, economic power, and political influence. For 700 years, the tragic demise of this society of warrior-monks amid accusations of heresy has been plagued by controversy, in part because the transcript of their trial by the Inquisition—which held the key to the truth—had vanished.

Templar historian Barbara Frale happened to be studying a document at the Vatican Secret Archives when she suddenly realized that it was none other than the long-lost transcript! It revealed that Pope Clement V had absolved the order of all charges of heresy. The Templars chronicles the spectacular rise and fall of the organization against a sweeping backdrop of war, religious fervor, and the struggle for dominance, and finally lifts the centuries-old cloak of mystery surrounding one of the world’s most intriguing secret societies.

A Brief History of the Knights Templar: Helen Nicholson

Much has been written about the Knights Templar in recent years, most of it highly speculative and with no historical foundation. Helen Nicholson is a leading specialist in the history of this legendary medieval order and offers here a full account of the knights of the order of the Temple of Solomon, bringing the latest findings to a general audience.

Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291: Ian Heath

Interesting study of Organization, Tactics, Dress and Weapons of the Crusading period, with brief descriptions of combatants matched with 1980s illustrations. Produced by a wargaming company for use as background information to provide historical context and realism.

Military Religious Orders of the Middle Ages: F.C.Woodhouse

F.C. Woodhouse's The Military Religious Orders of the Middle Ages: The Hospitallers, The Templars, The Teutonic Knights and Others is a lengthy history that looks at the medieval history of the most famous Christian military orders, groups that continue to fascinate the world today. While looking at the history of the organizations, the book also examines the roles they played in the Crusades and after.

The Knights Hospitaller: Helen Nicholson

This short study of the history of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta, also known as the Knights Hospitaller, is intended as an introduction to the Order for academics working in other fields, as well as the interested general reader. Beginning with a consideration of the origins of the Order as a hospice for pilgrims in Jerusalem in the eleventh century, it traces the Hospitaller's development into a military order during the first part of the twelfth century, and its military activities on the frontiers of Christendom in the eastern Mediterranean, Spain and eastern Europe during the middle ages and into early modern period: its role in crusades and in wars against non-Christians on land and at sea, as well as its role in building and maintaining fortresses. It also considers the Order's activities away from the frontiers of Christendom: its economic activities and its relations with patrons and rulers throughout Europe, as well as its hospitaller work and its religious life. The focus of the study is on the medieval period down to the loss of Rhodes in 1522, but the final chapters of the book consider the Order's history on Malta from the sixteenth to the end of the eighteenth century, and from the loss of Malta in 1798 to the present day. HELEN NICHOLSON is Senior Lecturer in History, Cardiff University.



Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era 1050-1350: Western Europe and the Crusader States: David Nicolle


2,400 illustrations
* 3 maps
* 8 x 10
* Comprehensive account of weapons and equipment
* Covers the forces of major and minor powers

This lavishly illustrated volume details the armies of western and central European states and their client kingdoms in the Middle East in over three centuries of military development and almost continuous warfare--a decisive period when Christendom, Islam, and the Mongol world came into violent and sustained conflict, this definitive study pinpoints the evolving military sciences, technologies, and practices in an era of revolutionary change.

Dr. David Nicolle is a leading historian of Middle Eastern and Islamic military history. His other books include The Janissaries, The Mongol Warlords, and The Medieval Warfare Sourcebook.

The Medieval Military Orders 1120-1314: N. Morton


This new addition to the popular Seminar Studies series looks at the origins, development and organisation of the Military Orders during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, showing how they functioned as a form of religious life and concentrating on their role in the Crusades and in the government and defence of the Christian kingdoms in the Holy Land. Dr Nicholas Morton offers coverage of the Templars, Hospitalers and Teutonic Knights, as well as various smaller orders.

Perfect for undergraduate students studying the Crusades, and for anyone with an interest in this popular topic, this concise and useful history contains numerous primary source materials as well as features to aid understanding.

© 2016 by Beausant Brotherhood

The Teutonic Knights in the Holy Land 1190-1291: N. Morton

The Teutonic Order was founded in 1190 to provide medical care for crusaders in the kingdom of Jerusalem. In time, it assumed a military role and played an important part in the defence of the Christian territories in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Baltic regions of Prussia and Livonia; in the Levant, it fought against the neighbouring Islamic powers, whilst managing their turbulent relations with their patrons in the papacy and the German Empire. As the Order grew, it colonised territories in Prussia and Livonia, forcing it to address how it distributed its resources between its geographically-spread communities. Similarly, the brethren also needed to develop an organisational framework that could support the conduct of war on frontiers that were divided by hundreds of miles.BR> This book - the first comprehensive analysis of the Order in the Holy Land - explores the formative years of this powerful international institution and places its deeds in the Levant within the context of the wider Christian, pagan and Islamic world. It examines the challenges that shaped its identity and the masters who planned its policies. Dr NICHOLAS MORTON is Lecturer in Medieval History at Swansea University.

Templar Knight vs Mamluk Warrior 1218-50 (Combat): David Campbell

Step into the violent world of the 13th century, where the European states of the Levant battled with Muslim powers for control of Jerusalem. At the cutting edge of the conflict were the elite fighting men of the Crusader and Egyptian armies - the Knights Templar and Mamluk warriors, respectively. The Knights Templar were the most famous and formidable of all the Western Christian military orders, whilst the Mamluks were a slave caste whose fighting prowess had elevated them to the point of holding real political clout, threatening their Ayyubid masters who relied on them so desperately for military success. This book, drawing on the latest research, a gripping narrative and full-colour illustrations, tells the story of three key clashes from the Fifth Crusade to the Seventh Crusade. It reveals the extraordinary ferocity with which these holy wars were fought, and how the combats between Knights Templar and Mamluk warriors came to shape the political future of the region.

The Military Orders: From the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Centuries: Alan Forey

  The present volume seeks to summarize recent research on individual orders and is based on a wide range of primary sources, providing a survey of these orders up to the early 14th century. The reasons for the emergence and establishment of military orders on the various borders of Western Christendom and within the West are discussed, as are the military functions and roles which they assumed. The major contribution which they made to the defence and expansion of Western Christendom necessitated considerable funds and reserves of manpower - the ways in which these were obtained are considered, together with the governmental machinery which was developed to enable the orders to carry out their tasks and to utilize their resources effectively. Although their members combined a military with a monastic way of life, the military orders are shown to have differed from other religious foundations not only in their daily routine but also in administrative structure and in their predominantly lay membership. The orders' attempts to increase their wealth helped to provoke criticism, which was also encouraged by the decline of Christian fortunes in the Holy Land. Proposals for reform were not implemented, but changing circumstances led to a modification of roles in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, while the Temple was destroyed through the actions of the French crown. The final chapter is devoted to these topics.

The Templars at War: Zvonimir Grbasic 

Zvonimir Grbasic (A Beausant Brotherhood member) outlines their history, narrating many of their greatest victories and defeats in detail (such as Montgisard and the Horns of Hattin), describes their organization and hierarchy, training and daily life. These elite warriors, both the knights and the lowlier ranks, are illustrated with the author's beautiful original paintings and drawings.


You may also consider 

  1. God’s War, A New History of the Crusades: Christopher Tyerman

  2. The Last Templar, The Tragedy of Jacques de Molay: Alain Demurge

  3. The Knights Templar, A New History: Helen Nicholson

  4. Richard the Lionheart; The Mighty Crusader: D. Miller

  5. The Knights Templar in the Golden Age of Spain: Atienza

  6. The Illustrated History of the Knights Templar: Wasserman

  7. God’s Warriors: H. Nicholson

  8. Acre 1291: Osprey Publishing

  9. The 3rd Crusade: Osprey Publishing

  10. Knights Templar: Osprey Publishing

  11. Knights Hospitaller: Osprey Publishing

  12. Teutonic Knights: Urban

  13. The Dream And The Tomb: Payne

  14. Knights Templar: S. Howarth

  15. Knights Templar-God’s Warriors, The Devil’s Bankers: Sarello

  16. The Templars: P. Read

  17. Templars and Assassins: Wassermann

  18. The Templars: E. Burman

  19. Warriors of God: J. Reaston

  20. Northern Crusades: Christensan

  21. The Monks of War: D. Seward

  22. Fighting For Christendom: Tyerman

  23. Dungeon, Fire, and Sword, The Knights Templar in the Crusades: Robinson

  24. The Knights Templar: S. Martin

  25. Soldiers of The Faith: Finucane

  26. The Rise and Fall of The Knights Templar: G. Napier

  27. Armies of the Crusades: Osprey Publishing

  28. The Piebald Standard : Edith Simon

  29. The Real History of the Templars : Sharan Newman

  30. The Templars, A complete introduction to the Legendary Monk Warriors: Miguel Gomez

  31. The Knights Templar, Discovering the myth and reality of a legendary Brotherhood: Susie Hodge

  32. Fighting for the Faith : D. Niccole

  33. Warriors of the Lord: The Military Orders of Christendom : Michael J. Walsh

  34. Battles of the Crusades 1097-1444; from Dorylaeum to Varna : Devries, Dickie, Dougherty, Jestice, Jorgensen, and Pavkovic

  35. Templar Knights and the Crusades; Charles R. Dillon

  36. The Enigma of the Knights Templar: Marilyn Hopkins

  37. Knights of Jerusalem, The Crusading Order of Hospitallers 1100-1565: David Nicholle

  38. Chronicles of the Crusades; Villehardouin & Joinville

  39. Teutonic Knight 1190-1561; Osprey Publishing

  40. The Illustrated history of the Crusades and the Crusader Knights ; C. Phillips

  41. The Templars, The History & The Myth; Michael Haag

  42. Leper Knights: Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in England, c.1150-1544;  D. Marcombe

  43. The Templars, Knights of Christ; Regine Pernoud

  44. The Templar Code for Dummies; Chris Hodapp

  45. Illustrated History of the Knights Hospitaller; Steven Dafoe

  46. Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain; Joseph F. O'Callaghan

  47. The Knights Templar on Trial: the trial of the Templars in the British Isles, 1308-1311; Helen Nicholson

  48. Knights of the Cloister: Templars and Hospitallers in Central-Southern Occitania, c.1100-c.1300: Dominic Selwood

  49. The Knights of Christ: Osprey Publishing

  50. European Medieval Tactics I & II: David Nicholle

  51. The History of the Knights Templar: CG Addison

  52. The Tragedy of the Templars: Michael Haag

  53. The Sword & The Shield, The Knights of St John, Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta; Ernle Bradford

  54. The Great Siege: Malta 1565: Ernle Bradford

  55. Ecclesiastical Knights: The Military Orders in Castile, 1150-1330 (Fordham Series in Medieval Studies)

  56. The Later Crusades 1274-1580: Housley

  57. The Battle of Alarcos 1195: (Spanish Edition)

  58. The Accursed Tower (The Fall of Acre & The End of the Crusades); Roger Crowley

© 2016 by Beausant Brotherhood


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