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The Templars (English Edition) par [Dan Jones]
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The Templars (English Edition) Format Kindle

4,5 sur 5 étoiles 2 372 évaluations

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Longueur : 565 pages Word Wise: Activé Confort de lecture: Activé
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Description du produit



"A Golden Basin Filled with Scorpions"

It was a foul autumn morning in Jaffa when the pilgrims came out of the church. They were immediately swept up in the stampede of a crowd heading toward the sea, drawn by a dreadful cacophony: the scream of timber being wrenched apart and, scarcely audible below the roar of the wind and explosions of waves, the shrieks of terrified men and women fighting for their lives. A violent storm, building over the previous day, had burst during the night and thirty or so ships anchored off Jaffa's steeply shelving beach were being hurled about upon great mountains of water. The largest and most robust among them were ripped from their anchors, driven into sharp rocks and hammered into sandbanks until, in the words of one onlooker, all had been "torn to pieces by the tempest."

The crowd on the shore watched helplessly as sailors and passengers were washed from the decks. Some tried to stay afloat by hanging on to splintered masts and spars, but most were doomed. "Some, as they were clinging, were cut apart by the timbers of their own ships," wrote the observer. "Some, who knew how to swim, voluntarily committed themselves to the waves, and thus many of them perished." On the shore, corpses had begun to wash up with the surf. The dead would eventually number one thousand, and only seven ships would survive the storm unwrecked. "A greater misery on one day no eye ever saw," the pilgrim wrote. It was Monday, October 13, 1102.

The pilgrim to whom we owe this account was an Englishman known as Saewulf. He had been traveling for several months, having left Monopoli, on the coast of Apulia (the heel of the boot in modern Italy) on July 13, a day he described as hora egyptiaca, as it had been thought since the age of the Pharaohs that this was an astrologically accursed date on which to begin an important task. And so it had proved to be. Saewulf had already suffered one shipwreck on his passage from England to the eastern Mediterranean. Mercifully he had survived. His subsequent route had taken him to Corfu, Cephalonia and Corinth, overland via Thebes to the Aegean Sea, then southeastward through the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands to Rhodes. Several more days at sea had brought him to the Cypriot port of Paphos from where, after exactly thirteen weeks during which he had traveled some two thousand miles, he finally arrived in Jaffa, the main port of the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem. He was rowed to shore just hours before the fatal storm struck.

Despite the many privations and terrible risks of seafaring, Saewulf had seen great things on his journey east as he and his fellow travelers had alighted their boat every few days to beg accommodation from islanders whom he called, generically, the Greeks. He had gazed on the silk workshops of Andros and had been to the site of the long-vanished Colossus of Rhodes. He had visited the ancient city of Myra, with its beautiful semicircular theater, and had been to Finike, a windswept trading port founded by the Phoenicians in an area known by the local people as "sixty oars," due to the roughness of the seas. He had prayed at the tomb of Saint Nicholas and had walked, in Cyprus, in the footsteps of Saint Peter. Yet his real prize lay one step farther. Once the storm had abated, he would be heading to the most important city on earth: he would set out on the road southeast to Jerusalem, where he intended to pray at the tomb of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and savior of mankind.

For a Christian like Saewulf, who piously described himself as "unworthy and sinful," a visit to Jerusalem was a redemptive journey to the center of the world. God had told the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel that he had set Jerusalem "in the midst of the nations," and this was regarded as more than a mere figure of speech. Maps produced in Europe at the time represented the Holy City as the kernel around which all of earth's kingdoms, both Christian and pagan, grew. This fact of geography was also a fact of cosmology. Jerusalem was understood to be a place where the heavenly was made manifest, and the power of prayer magnified by the presence of relics and holy sites. It was not just seen, but felt: a visitor could personally experience the sacred details of biblical stories, from the deeds of the Old Testament kings to Christ's life and Passion.

Approaching Jerusalem on the road from Jaffa, Saewulf would have entered through David's Gate, a heavily fortified portal in the city's thick defensive walls, guarded by a large stone citadel built on the remains of a fortress erected by Herod: the king who the Bible claimed had put every baby in Bethlehem to death in an attempt to kill the infant Christ. In the southeastern quarter of the city was the Temple Mount, crowned with the shimmering cupola of the Dome of the Rock, which the Christians called the Temple of the Lord. Beside this was the al-Aqsa Mosque, a wide, low, rectangular building also topped with a dome, built in the seventh century and converted to Christian use as a palace for the Christian king of Jerusalem, a wealthy soldier from Boulogne known as Baldwin I.

Beyond the Temple Mount, on the other side of Jerusalem's eastern wall, lay a cemetery, and beyond that Gethsemane, where Christ had prayed with his disciples, and where he was betrayed by Judas on the night of his arrest. Farther on lay the Mount of Olives, where Jesus had spent many weeks teaching, and from where he had eventually ascended to heaven. Saewulf wrote in his diary that he himself climbed the Mount of Olives and looked down over the city of Jerusalem, examining where the city's walls and boundaries had been expanded during its occupation by the Romans.

The most holy place of all, and the real object of every Christian pilgrimage, lay within Jerusalem. It was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which Saewulf called "more celebrated than any other church, and this is meet and right, since all the prophecies and foretellings in the whole world about our Saviour Jesus Christ were all truly fulfilled there."

It was a double-storied complex of interlinked chapels and courtyards, many of which commemorated, and were thought literally to mark the sites of, the central events in the Passion. Saewulf listed them: the prison cell where Jesus was kept after his betrayal; the spot where a fragment of the Cross had been found; a pillar against which the Lord had been bound when he was flogged by Roman soldiers and "the place where he was made to put on the purple robe and crowned with the crown of thorns" and Calvary, where Christ was crucified-here Saewulf examined the hole in which the Cross had been held, and a rock split in two, as had been described in the Gospel of Matthew. There were chapels dedicated to Mary Magdalen and Saint John the Apostle, to the Virgin Mary and Saint James. Most important and impressive of all, though, was the great rotunda at the western end of the church, for here lay the Sepulchre itself: the tomb of Christ. This was the cave in which Jesus had been buried following his Crucifixion, before the Resurrection. The shrine was surrounded by continuously burning oil lamps and paved with slabs of marble: a still, fragrant place for prayer and devotion. Nowhere on earth or in history was more sacred to Christians. Saewulf acknowledged as much in the very first line of his memoir: "I was on my way to Jerusalem to pray at the Lord's tomb." To stand before the Sepulchre was to venture to the cradle of Christianity, which was why pilgrims like Saewulf were willing to risk their lives to go there.

Pilgrimage was a centrally important part of Christian life in the early twelfth century, and had been for nearly one thousand years. People traveled incredible distances to visit saints' shrines and the sites of famous Christian deeds. They did it for the good of their souls: sometimes to seek divine relief from illness, sometimes as penance to atone for their sins. Some thought that praying at a certain shrine would ensure the protection of that saint in their passage through the afterlife. All believed that God looked kindly on pilgrims and that a man or woman who ventured humbly and faithfully to the center of the world would improve his or her standing in the eyes of God.

Yet Saewulf's perilous journey was not just devout. It was also timely. Although Christians had been visiting Jerusalem on pilgrimage since at least the fourth century, it had never been entirely friendly territory. For most of the previous seven hundred years the city and surrounding area had been under the control of Roman emperors, Persian kings, Umayyad caliphs and Seljuq rulers called beys (or emirs). From the seventh century until the end of the eleventh century, Jerusalem had been in Muslim hands. To the followers of Islam, it was the third-holiest city in the world, after Mecca and Medina. Muslims recognized it as the location of al-Masjid al-Aqsa (the Furthest Mosque), the place where, according to the Qur'an, the Prophet Muhammad was brought on his "Night Journey," when the angel Gabriel transported him from Mecca to the Temple Mount, from which they ascended together into the heavens.

Recently, however, conditions had changed profoundly. Three years before Saewulf's journey, a dramatic upheaval had torn through the city and the wider coastal region of Palestine and Syria, which had fundamentally changed the appeal and nature of pilgrimage for men and women of the Latin West. Following a bitter and sustained war that raged between 1096 and 1099, major parts of the Holy Land had been conquered by the armies of what would come to be known as the First Crusade.

Several large expeditions of warrior pilgrims had traveled from Western Europe to the Holy Land (sometimes they called this "Outremer," which translates simply as "overseas"). These pilgrims were known collectively by Christian writers as the "Latins" or the "Franks," a term mirrored in Muslim texts, which referred to them as Ifranj. Reacting to a cry for military assistance from the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, backed by the enthusiastic preaching of Pope Urban II, these men and women had marched first to Constantinople and then on to the Levantine coast to fight the Muslims who held sway there. Urban promised, alluringly, that going on crusade could be substituted for all penances the Church had imposed on individuals for their sins-an entire lifetime's wrongdoing could theoretically be wiped out in a single journey. Initially these armed pilgrims had been little more than an undisciplined, violent mob led by rabble-rousers such as the French priest Peter the Hermit, who whipped his followers into a frenzy of devotion, but was unable either to provision them properly or to control their violent urges. Subsequent waves of crusaders were led by noblemen from France, Normandy, England, Flanders, Bavaria, Lombardy and Sicily, driven by a genuinely righteous sense that it was their Christian duty to liberate the holy places from their Muslim occupiers, and encouraged by the fact that Jerusalem and the surrounding area were politically and militarily divided between numerous mutually hostile factions of the Islamic world.

The fissures were political, dynastic and sectarian. On one side were the Seljuqs, originally from central Asia, who had built an empire stretching from Asia Minor to the Hindu Kush, blending Turkic and Persian culture and observing religious loyalty to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam. For twenty years before 1092 the Seljuq empire was ruled by Sultan Malikshah I, but on his death the empire split between his four sons, who fell into fractious dispute.

Pitted against the Seljuqs was the rump of the Fatimid caliphate, with its heartlands in Egypt, whose leaders claimed descent from Muhammad's daughter Fatima. From the mid-tenth century the Fatimids ruled most of North Africa, Syria, Palestine, the Hijaz and even Sicily, loyal to their own Shi'a caliph in Cairo. In the late eleventh century the Fatimid empire was also breaking up, losing territory and influence and contracting back toward its Egyptian heartlands. Sectarian and political rivalry between the Seljuqs and the Fatimids, as well as within the Seljuq empire itself, had caused a period of exceptional disunity within the Islamic world. As one of their own chroniclers put it, the various rulers were "all at odds with one another."

So it was that the Christians of the First Crusade had enjoyed a staggering series of victories. Jerusalem had fallen on July 15, 1099, an astonishing military coup that was accompanied by disgraceful plundering and massacres of the city's Jewish and Muslim inhabitants, whose beheaded bodies were left lying in piles in the streets, many with their bellies slit open so that the Christian conquerors could retrieve gold coins their victims had swallowed in a bid to hide them from the marauding invaders. Greek Orthodox priests in Jerusalem were tortured until they revealed the location of some of their finest relics, including a fragment of wood from the True Cross on which Christ had died, embedded in a beautiful gold, crucifix-shaped reliquary.

The crusaders took the major northern cities of Edessa and Antioch, as well as smaller towns including Alexandretta, Bethlehem, Haifa, Tiberias and Jaffa. Other coastal settlements including Arsuf, Acre, Caesarea and Ascalon remained in Muslim hands but agreed to pay tributes to be left alone and were in time conquered. A series of new Christian states was established along the Mediterranean coast: the county of Edessa and the principality of Antioch in the north were bordered to the south by the county of Tripoli and the kingdom of Jerusalem, which claimed theoretical feudal lordship over the whole region-although this was only ever very loosely enforced.

Given the unprecedented conditions of their arrival, the sheer distance from home and the sapping nature of waging war in such an unforgiving climate, the Christians' hold on these lands was still incomplete. By the time of Saewulf's pilgrimage to Jerusalem, troops, boats and holy men arriving from the West had helped expand the territories subject to the rule of Jerusalem's first crusader king, Baldwin I. But there were not very many of them and they were threatened by multiple enemies from outside, and internal divisions among the crusaders, drawn as they were from parts of the West not renowned for easy cooperation.

In the summer of 1102, Saewulf thus found himself in a new, small, occasionally beleaguered but aggressive Christian kingdom of the East, whose very existence was thought by the zealots who had established it to be evidence that God had "opened to us the abundance of His blessing and mercy." The Muslims who had been displaced not surprisingly saw things otherwise. They referred to their new neighbors as the product of "a time of disasters" brought about by the "enemies of God." --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition paperback.

Revue de presse

“When it comes to rip-roaring medieval narratives, Jones has few peers, and in The Templars he finds the perfect subject. The warrior monks have always appealed to conspiracy theorists, and although Jones strips away the myths, he has great fun recounting their bloodthirsty crusading exploits.” -- The Sunday Times, History Book of the Year
"Dan Jones gives no credence to the conspiratorial fantasies that have been spun around the Templars over the years . . . His aim is to present a gripping historical narrative, and in this he succeeds . . . Religions collide and atrocities abound. Cries of 'Allahu akhbar' pierce the din of battle. The power of states is threatened, or seen to be threatened, by unaccountable forces with global tentacles. Information is unreliable and easily manipulated, allowing conspiracy theories to take root and spread." - Cullen Murphy, The Washington Post

"Dan Jones has created a gripping page-turner out of the dramatic history of the Templars, from their spiritual warrior beginnings until their tragic destruction by the French king and the pope. It is genuinely moving and a chilling contemporary warning about the abuse of power through persecution and lies."
-- Philippa Gregory, author of The White Queen

“They combined the warrior code of aristocratic knights with the poverty and religious devotion of monks. …In Jones’s bravura account, this tension between aristocratic killer and humble monk shadows the Templar story. Jones’s fast-paced history is laced with tales of blood and bravery, disaster and victory. . . . Drawing on Christian and Muslim sources, he carries the Templars through the crusades with clarity and verve. This is unabashed narrative history, fast-paced and full of incident.” The Sunday Times 

“Gripping… Jones tells the story of the Templars with energy and verve, regalling readers with well-chosen details and anecdotes. The Templars became poster boys of the early middle ages, famed for their piety and their military prowess. It was an intoxicating combination... The author’s ambition, he says, is 'to write a book that will entertain as well as inform.' He has done precisely that.” – Peter Frankopan, The Telegraph  

"Business chiefs listen up, especially in the world of big tech where egos are becoming rather inflated . . . There's a vital message for those who get too powerful tucked into this new book: One day you'll draw the ire of someone more powerful, and they will attempt to destroy you. The caution, although not explicit, comes in the epic story of the warrior monks known as the Knights Templar whose activities have given rise to much speculation and theories, some reasonable and some absurd. Expert history writer Dan Jones digs deep for the facts and chronicles their history Jones recounts the gruesome battles in the Holy Land where the warriors fought to either take or hold key positions. If you have any illusion that war was ever glamorous, then these passages should be a quick antidote.” – Simon Constable, Forbes 

“The story of the Templars, the ultimate holy warriors, is an extraordinary saga of fanaticism, bravery, treachery and betrayal, and in Dan Jones they have a worthy chronicler. Templars is a wonderful book!”
— Bernard Cornwell, author of The Last Kingdom

"This is a fascinating story of fanaticism, set in a land still known for its brutality and strife. Jones is  an entertainer, but also a fine historian who knows how to render serious scholarship into accessible prose. Seldom does one find serious history that is so easy to read." -- The Times (London)

“A fresh, muscular and compelling history of the ultimate military-religious crusading order, combining sensible scholarship with narrative swagger, featuring a cast of exuberantly monstrous sword swingers spattering Christian and Islamic blood from Spain to Jerusalem.”
-- Simon Sebag Montefiore author of Jerusalem: The Biography  

"In this thrillingly lucid account, Dan Jones demystifies the Templars in a story spanning hundreds of years and countless rulers, knights and archbishops, a seemingly disproportionate number of whom ended up beheaded . . . Anyone who has read Jones’s earlier medieval chronicles will know what to expect here: fast-paced narrative history depicted with irresistible verve, bloody battle scenes and moments of laugh-out-loud wit. There are contemporary parallels, too, with the Templars eventually being laid low by the medieval equivalent of a kind of 'fake news': anti-Templar propaganda spread by the church. This is another triumphant tale from a historian who writes as addictively as any page-turning novelist."
--The Guardian

“Thank God this book is sane… Jones tells the engrossing story of an ascetic order of warrior knights chiefly dedicated to the defense of pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem… Templars is based on a wide-ranging and thorough research and relies overwhelmingly on primary sources… It reads like a morality tale.”
– Robert Irwin, Literary Review

“An up-close look at the legendary band of Crusaders. Jones examines the storied Templars, an organization of quasi-monastic warriors who rose to fame and power in the midst of the Crusades, only to rapidly collapse in questionable scandals . . . A meaty, well-researched history replete with primary source quotes [and] accessible to general readers. An exceptional introduction to the Templars.” 
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“With engaging liveliness . . . Jones chronicles the Templars’ actual record of great military achievement, fiduciary responsibility, exceptional faithfulness, and lasting  cultural significance.”

Praise for Dan Jones’s The Plantagenets:

“A real life Game of Thrones,  as dramatic and blood-soaked as any work of fantasy . . . Fast-paced and accessible, The Plantagenets is old-fashioned storytelling and will be particularly appreciated by those who like their history red in tooth and claw.” —The Wall Street Journal 

The Plantagenets is rich in detail and scene-setting. . . . The Plantagenets’ saga is the story of how English monarchs learned, or failed to learn, how to be kings, and how the English people, commoners and barons alike, learned how to limit their powers.” —USA Today 

“Jones has brought the Plantagenets out of the shadows, revealing them in all their epic heroism and depravity. His is an engaging and readable account . . . researched with exacting standards. [A] compelling reading.” —The Washington Post

“Outstanding. Majestic in its sweep, compelling in its storytelling, this is narrative history at its best. A thrilling dynastic history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery, and brutal warfare across two centuries of British history.”
—Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin 

“Some of the greatest stories in all of English history . . . rich in pageantry and soaked in blood.”
—Lewis Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly 

“Dan Jones’s epic portrait of the medieval royals is a timely reminder that things haven’t always been so rosy for those on the throne.” —GQ 

Praise for Dan Jones’s The Wars of the Roses:

“Exhilarating, epic, blood-and-roses history . . . Thrilling. There is fine scholarly intuition on display here and a mastery of the grand narrative; it is a supremely skillful piece of storytelling.” —The Sunday Telegraph

“An engrossing read and thoroughly enjoyable.” —The Spectator

“If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or The Tudors, then Dan Jones’ swashbucklingly entertaining slice of medieval history will be right up your alley. . . . Every bit as entertaining and readable as his previous blockbuster The Plantagenets.” —Daily Express

“Jones is a born storyteller, peopling the terrifying uncertainties of each moment with a superbly drawn cast of characters and powerfully evoking the brutal realities of civil war.” —The Evening Standard 

“Jones tells a good story. That is a good thing, since storytelling has gone out of favor among so many historians. . . . His delightful wit is as ferocious as the dreadful violence he describes.”The Times (London)

Praise for Dan Jones’s Magna Carta:

“Lively and excellent.” 
—The New York Times

“Excellent and very well crafted.”
—The New York Review of Books 

“Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government.”
—Antonia Frasier
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition paperback.

Détails sur le produit

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01NBYHPR7
  • Éditeur ‏ : ‎ Head of Zeus (7 septembre 2017)
  • Langue ‏ : ‎ Anglais
  • Taille du fichier ‏ : ‎ 7339 KB
  • Synthèse vocale ‏ : ‎ Activée
  • Lecteur d’écran  ‏ : ‎ Pris en charge
  • Confort de lecture ‏ : ‎ Activé
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Activé
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Activé
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée  ‏ : ‎ 565 pages
  • Commentaires client :
    4,5 sur 5 étoiles 2 372 évaluations

Commentaires client

4,5 sur 5 étoiles
4,5 sur 5
2 372 évaluations
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Dj Atkinson
2,0 sur 5 étoiles A rehashed history of the crusades rather than any insight into the templers.
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 17 juin 2018
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Djilly L.
5,0 sur 5 étoiles Had big doubts, but totally unfounded; highly entertaining and educational
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 23 novembre 2018
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C. Aitken
5,0 sur 5 étoiles An excellent balance between academic and accessible to all
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 22 août 2018
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I. A. Peden
5,0 sur 5 étoiles The Graves in the Kirk yard now have a history !
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 9 avril 2018
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Neil Osborne
5,0 sur 5 étoiles The Story of the Templars
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 21 octobre 2018
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