First Templar Nation: How Eleven Knights Created a New Country and Refuge for the Grail by Freddy Silva is a fascinating book. I consider my knowledge of the history of The Kingdom of Portugal to be fairly strong. Including the first county of Portugal (which is not mentioned in this book). However, I learned a ton of new stuff regarding the involvement of different people both in The Kingdom of Jerusalem and what would end up being The Kingdom of Portugal. Although the Templars were the focal point, this connection was definitely not just limit to them. This book does a great job introducing the important involved in the creation of The Kingdom of Portugal. In this book uou’ll learn about the first crusade, and the difference between a Templar and a crusader.
The author is a brilliant researcher, just about every important claim is well sourced. That’s something more historians need to do! My only problem with this book is that it lacked of a proper history editor to review it. For example simple things like confusing the Holy Roman Empire with the Byzantine Empire. Also, as a medieval Hispanic history geek, I don’t agree with some of the terminology used through the book.
Coming in to this book, I knew off the bat that it was going to be more of a contrarian approach. Even on the back of the book itself, it’s labeled under the “Secret Societies” category rather than “History”. There were certainly many “controversial” topics covered in the book, some of them are well connected, while others are completely out there and in my opinion don’t really have a good argument.
Lastly, this book is only focused on the Templar Order in Portugal. It doesn’t even mention the Order’s involvement in other Spanish Christian realms, like Aragon for example; where the Orders of The Temple, Hospital, and Holy Sepulcher were bequeathed the entire kingdom!