Salvatore T. Bruno, |
of Warrior Monasticism
The Templars were a religious military order founded around 1129 to protect pilgrims and the holy places in the Holy Land from Muslims and other non-Catholics. They became a very powerful and independent order that owed obedience only to the Pope. This order lasted over 150 years.
Salvatore Bruno is a vice president at Lockhead Martin. He looks at the organization of the Templars from a businessman's point of view and notes how successful the Templars were in the medieval business world. He also presents how well the organizational structure worked for them during times of peace and during times of war.
Martha Thompson, the illustrator, adds visual aids to the text. This helps to see what the author is discussing.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the famous Cistercian abbot who preached for a crusade, helped found the Templars. The Rule for the Templars is based on the Rule of St. Benedict. Bruno gives some history of the Templars, but that's not his main focus.
The Templars could still be in existence if they had not run afoul of some kings and had kept control of the island of Cyprus. There are in the Catholic Church orders of knights that originated from the days of the Crusades and still exist today, such as the Knights of Malta. Other orders exist, too, like the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher. These orders now do not ride horses into battle, but are mainly concerned with charitable works for the Holy Land and the Church.
Bruno provides a short bibliography, a glossary and an index. The charts in the book are unfortunately illegible. There are good photos and maps with the illustrations. His writing style is very readable and he footnotes his material well.
This book is recommended to those interested in the Templars and the Crusades. It is also recommended to those who are interested in medieval economics. It meets its goal of providing the readers with knowledge of their organization.