An order of warrior monks founded after the First Crusade to protect pilgrims to Jerusalem, the Templars developed into one of the wealthiest and most powerful bodies in the medieval world. Yet two centuries later, the Knights were suddenly arrested and accused of blasphemy, heresy and orgies, their order was abolished, and their leaders burnt at the stake. Their dramatic end shocked their contemporaries and has gripped peoples' imaginations ever since. This new book explains the whole context of Templar history, including, for the first time, the new evidence discovered by the Vatican that the Templars were not guilty of heresy. It covers the whole swathe of Templar history, from its origins in the mysteries of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem through to the nineteenth century development of the Freemasons. The book also features a guide to Templar castles and sites, and coverage of the Templars in books, movies and popular culture, from Indiana Jones to the Xbox360 game Assassin's Creed.