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The Knights Templar and Other Secret Societies of the Middle Ages


The Knights Templar and Other Secret Societies of the Middle Ages Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The cultural clash between Christianity and Islam that shook the world a thousand years ago has re-emerged as the central theme of modern life for millions around the world. This book illuminates the conflict's origins, tracing the development of secret societies formed by men who sought mysteries beyond the dogma of their own faith: the Templars, warrior monks who exercised their religious devotion through force of arms; and the Assassins, Islam's first monastic military order, who fought Muslim and Christian alike to spread their doctrine.

In addition to its chronicles of the Assassins and Templars, this absorbing history profiles the secret tribunals in Westphalia known as the Fehm-Gericht, a vigilante organization that conducted trials and executions during a medieval period of lawlessness in Germany. Originally published in 1837, this was the first book to offer information on these secret orders. Written by an author of vast learning and deep reflection, this classic remains a foundation reference upon which many contemporary scholars rely.


This groundbreaking study examines the far-reaching history of  the Assassins of the Middle East, the Knights Templar of Europe, and the Secret Tribunals of Westphalia.


This groundbreaking study examines the far-reaching history of three very different medieval organizations: the Assassins of the Middle East, the Knights Templar of Europe, and the Secret Tribunals of Westphalia. Sophisticated and widely used, it provides insights into such modern secret societies as the Freemasons and Illuminati.

Table of Contents


The Assassins.

Chapter I--State of the World in the Seventh Century--Western Empire--Eastern Empire--Persia--Arabia--Mohammed--His probable Motives--Character of his Religion--The Koran

Chapter II--Origin of the Khalifat--The first Khalifs--Extent of the Arabian Empire--Schism among the Mohammedans--Soonees and Sheähs--Sects of the latter--The Keissanee--The Zeidites--The Ghoollat--The Imamee--Sects of the Imamee--Their political Character--The Carmathites--Origin of the Fatimite Khalifs--Secret Society at Cairo--Doctrines taught in it--Its Decline

Chapter III--Ali of Rei--His son Hassan Sabah--Hassan sent to study at Nishaboor--Meets there Omar Khiam and Nizam-al-Moolk--Agreement made by them--Hassan introduced by Nizam to Sultan Malek Shah--Obliged to leave the Court--Anecdote of him--His own account of his Conversion--Goes to Egypt--Returns to Persia--Makes himself Master of Alamoot

Chapter IV--Description of Alamoot--Fruitless attempts to recover it--Extension of the Ismaïlite Power--The Ismaïlites in Syria--Attempt on the Life of Aboo-Hard Issa--Treaty made with Sultan Sanjar--Death of Hassan--His Character

Chapter V--Organization of the Society--Names given to the Ismaïlites--Origin of the name Assassin--Marco Polo's description of the Paradise of the Old Man of the Mountain--Description of it given by Arabian writers--Instances of the obedience of the Fedavee

Chapter VI--Keäh Buzoorg Oomeid--Affairs of the Society in Persia--They acquire the Castle of Banias in Syria--Attempt to betray Damascus to the Crusaders--Murders committed during the reign of Keäh Buzoorg

Chapter VII--Keäh Mohammed--Murder of the Khalif--Castles gained in Syria--Ismaïlite Confession of Faith--Mohammed's Son Hassan gives himself out for the promised Imam--His followers punished--Succession of Hassan--He abolishes the Law--Pretends to be descended from the Prophet--Is murdered

Chapter VIII--Mohammed II.--Anecdote of the Imam Fakhr-ed-deen--Noor-ed-deen--Conquest of Egypt--Attempt on the Life of Saladin

Chapter IX--Sinan the Dai-al Kebir of Syria--Offers to become a Christian--His Ambassador murdered by the Templars--Cardinal de Vitry's Account of the Assassins--Murder of the Marquis of Montferrat--Defence of King Richard

Chapter X--Jellal-ed-deen--Restoration of Religion--His Harem makes the Pilgrimage to Mecca--Marries the Princess of Ghilan--Geography of the Country between Roodbar and the Caspian--Persian Romance--Zohak and Feridoon--Kei Kaoos and Roostem--Ferdoosee's Description of Mazanderan--History of the Shah Nameh--Proof of the Antiquity of the Tales contained in it. Death of Jellal-ed-deen--Character of Ala-ed-deen, his successor--The Sheikh Jemal-ed-deen--The Astronomer Nasir-ed-deen--The Vizir Sheref-al-Moolk--Death of Ala-ed-deen--Succession of Rukn-ed-deen, the last Sheikh-al-Jebal

Chapter XI--The Mongols--Hoolagoo sent against the Ismaïlites--Rukn-ed-deen submits--Capture of Alamoot--Destruction of the Library--Fate of Rukn-ed-deen--Massacre of the Ismaïlites--St. Louis and the Assassins--Mission for the Conversion of the People of Kuhistan--Conclusion

The Templars.

Chapter I--Introduction--The Crusades--Wrong Ideas respecting their Origin--True Causes of them--Pilgrimage--Pilgrimage of Frotmond--Of the Count of Anjou--Striking Difference between the Christianity of the East and that of the West--Causes of their different Characters--Feudalism--The Extent and Force of this Principle

Chapter II--First Hospital at Jerusalem--Church of Santa Maria de Latina--Hospital of St. John--The Hospitallers--Origin of the Templars--Their original Poverty--They acquire Consideration--St. Bernard--His Character of the Templars--The Order approved of and confirmed by the Council of Troyes--Proofs of the Esteem in which they were held

Chapter III--Return of the Templars to the East--Exoneration and Refutation of the Charge of a Connection with the Ismaïlites--Actions of the Templars--Crusade of Louis VII.--Siege of Ascalon--Sale of Nassir-ed-deen--Corruption of the Hospitallers--The Bull, Omne Datum Optimum--Refusal of the Templars to march against Egypt--Murder of the Ismaïlite Envoy

Chapter IV--Heroism of the Templars and Hospitallers--Battle of Hittin--Crusade of Richard of England and Philip of France--Corruption of the Order--Pope Innocent III. writes a Letter of Censure--Frederic II.--Great Slaughter of the Templars--Henry III. of England and the Templars--Power of the Templars in Moravia--Slaughter of them by the Hospitallers--Fall of Acre

Chapter V--Classes of the Templars--The Knights--Their Qualifications--Mode of Reception--Dress and Arms of the Knight--Mode of Burial--The Chaplains--Mode of Reception--Dress--Duties and Privileges--The Serving-Brethren--Mode of Reception--Their Duties--The Affiliated--Causes and Advantages of Affiliation--The Donates and Oblates

Chapter VI--Provinces of the Order--Eastern Provinces--Jerusalem--Houses of this Province--Tripolis--Antioch--Cyprus--Western Provinces--Portugal--Castile and Leon--Aragon--France and Auvergne--Normandy--Aquitaine--Provence--England--Germany--Upper and Central Italy--Apulia and Sicily

Chapter VII--Officers of the Order--The Master--Mode of Election--His Rights and Privileges--Restraints on him--The Seneschal--The Marshal--The Treasurer--The Draper--The Turcopilar--Great-Priors--Commanders--Visitors--Sub-Marshal--Standard-bearer

Chapter VIII--Chapters--Mode of holding them--Templars' Mode of Living--Amusements--Conduct in War

Chapter IX--Molay elected Master--Last attempt of the Christians in Syria--Conduct of the Three Military Orders--Philip the Fair and Pope Boniface VIII.--Seizure of the Pope--Election of Clement V.--The Papal See removed to France--Causes of Philip's enmity to the Templars--Arrival of Molay in France--His interviews with the Pope--Charges made against the Templars--Seizure of the Knights--Proceedings in England--Nature of the Charges against the Order

Chapter X--Examination of the captive Knights--Different kinds of Torture--Causes of Confession--What Confessions were made--Templars brought before the Pope--Their Declarations--Papal Commission--Molay brought before it--Ponsard de Gisi--Defenders of the Order--Act of Accusation--Heads of Defence--Witnesses against the Order--Fifty-four Templars committed to the Flames at Paris--Remarkable words of Aymeric de Villars-le-Duc--Templars burnt in other places--Further Examinations--The Head worshipped by the Templars--John de Pollincourt--Peter de la Palu

Chapter XI--Examinations in England--Germany--Spain--Italy--Naples and Provence--Sicily--Cyprus--Meeting of the Council of Vienne--Suppression of the Order--Fate of its Members--Death of Molay

The Secret Tribunals of Westphalia.

Chapter I--Introduction--The Original Westphalia--Conquest of the Saxons by Charlemagne--His Regulations--Dukes of Saxony--State of Germany--Henry the Lion--His Outlawry--Consequences of it--Origin of German Towns--Origin of the Fehm-gerichte, or Secret Tribunals--Theories of their Origin--Origin of their Name--Synonymous Terms

Chapter II--The Tribunal-Lord--The Count--The Schöppen--The Messengers--The Public Court--The Secret Tribunal--Extent of its Jurisdiction--Places of holding the Courts--Time of holding them--Proceedings in them--Process where the Criminal was caught in the fact--Inquisitorial Process

Chapter III--Accusatorial Process--Persons liable to it--Mode of Citation--Mode of Procedure--Right of Appeal

Chapter IV--The General Chapter--Rights of the Emperor--Of his Lieutenant--Of the Stuhlherrn, or Tribunal-Lords 315

Chapter V--Fehm-courts at Celle--At Brunswick--Tribunal of the Knowing in the Tyrol--The Castle of Baden--African Purrahs

Chapter VI--The Emperor Lewis the Bavarian--Charles IV.--Wenceslaus--Rupertian Reformation--Encroachments of the Fehm-courts--Case of Nickel Weller and the Town of Görlitz--Of the City of Dantzig--Of Hans David and the Teutonic Knights--Other instances of the presumption of the Free-counts--Citation of the Emperor Frederic III.--Case of the Count of Teckenburg

Chapter VII--Cause of the degeneracy of the Fehm-courts--Attempts at reformation--Causes of their high reputation--Case of the Duke of Würtemberg--Of Kerstian Kerkerink--Causes of the Decline of the Fehm-jurisdiction


Product Details

Keightley, Thomas
Dover Publications
Keightley, Th
Secret societies
Secret societies - History - To 1500
World History - Medieval and Renaissance
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Dover Occult
Publication Date:
, Y
8.25 x 5.19 in 0.81 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Metaphysics » Secret Societies

The Knights Templar and Other Secret Societies of the Middle Ages New Trade Paper
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Product details 368 pages Dover Publications - English 9780486454764 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
This groundbreaking study examines the far-reaching history of  the Assassins of the Middle East, the Knights Templar of Europe, and the Secret Tribunals of Westphalia.
"Synopsis" by ,
This groundbreaking study examines the far-reaching history of three very different medieval organizations: the Assassins of the Middle East, the Knights Templar of Europe, and the Secret Tribunals of Westphalia. Sophisticated and widely used, it provides insights into such modern secret societies as the Freemasons and Illuminati.

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