Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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David & Charles, Aug 31, 2012 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 464 pages
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This is Thomas Keightley's history of three secret societies of the Middle Ages: the Assassins, the Templars and the Fehmgerichte. A well-researched and detailed work on secret societies, Keightley gives a rather contemporary view, and with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code bringing secret societies to the attention of modern audiences over recent years, this ebook is even more interesting to readers today.
The Assassins chapter begins by introducing the state of the world in the Seventh Century, a brief history of Islam, and Keightley then goes on to discuss many of the influential members, as well as the organisation of the society. In the chapter on The Templars, Keightley is critical of Medieval Christianity, and the Christian thought which fueled the Crusades. Keightley presents an interesting case for the respect and bravery of the Templars and their unjust trial and subsequent dissolution. The chapter introduces the Templars, their heroism, the classes of the Templars and provinces. The shorter final chapter on The Secret Tribunals of Westphalia is perhaps the most interesting through examining this little-known group which helped to preserve order during a period of chaos in Germany in the 14th and 15th centuries.
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About the author (2012)

Thomas Keightley (1789–1872) was a historian, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, who wrote works on mythology and folklore, and, at the request of Dr. Thomas Arnold of Rugby, a series of textbooks on English, Greek, and other histories. Keightley was long occupied in compiling historical manuals for educational or popular purposes. Keightley was author of The Crusaders, or Scenes, Events, and Characters from the times of the Crusaders (1834), and Secret Societies of the Middle Ages, which was published anonymously, and against his wish, in Charles Knight's Library of Entertaining Knowledge, in 1837.

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