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Greece & Turkey

The Military Orders of Knights

In this lecture, we examined the phenomenon of the religious, military orders, which were created during the eleventh and twelfth-century Crusades to fill a need for defensive troops in the newly conquered Crusader States of Outremer. We saw how their original purpose changed and how these disciplined elite fighting forces became a threat to rulers across Europe. We explored the many legends, mysteries and conspiracy theories, which surround the orders even today, including numerous ideas about the Massacre of the Templars in 1307.  We moved on to an examination of the Knights Hospitallers, who successfully transitioned from land troops to a powerful naval force, first in Rhodes and later Malta.  We saw their reemergence as a powerful political force during the decisive Battle of Lepanto.  We also looked at the Knights Hospitallers today.

There is no shortage of works dedicated to the Military Orders, with a heavy emphasis on the Templars.  The list below focuses on scholarly works by popular and engaging historians and a few historical novels who get the history right.  I have not included books on conspiracy theories.


Enjoy my interview with Katherine Pangonis about this book.


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