The Monks of War Desmond Seward Folio Society 2000


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The Monks of War by Desmond Seward

The 12th century saw the foundation of the great crusading military orders: the Templars, Knights of Malta and the Teutonic Knights, some of which still survive today. This is a fascinating history of their attempt to fight their way into heaven. The three great orders were the Templars, Hospitallers (Knights of Malta) and Teutonic Knights, though Santiago and Calatrava were no less formidable. They were the first properly disciplined and officered troops in the West since Roman times. In this acclaimed history, the only one of its kind, Desmond Seward explores the little-known history of the monks of war. He shows how the brethren fought to hold Jerusalem and Rhodes, their faceless masks and billowing white cloaks striking fear into their adversaries. The Teutonic Knights created the land of Prussia, and their Iron Cross remains the emblem of the German army, while in Spain, the knights of Santiago ranched sheep and cattle on the lonely meseta where no peasant dared settle for fear of Moorish raiders. Seward also explores why one order met a grisly end – the last of the Templars, Jacques de Molay, was burnt alive over a slow fire – while others endure today as religious charities. With a text revised considerably by the author, this is a fascinating account of those who attempted, literally, to fight their way into heaven.


  • Folio Society First Edition
  • Publisher Folio Society, London; 2000
  • Black Cloth Hardback, 338 pp
  • With 24 pages of plates, 16 in colour
  • Size 240 x 160mm, 1.3kg

Condition: Fine – Superb Unmarked Copy

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Additional information

Weight 1.3 kg


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