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.
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