The Ismaili Assassins

A History of Medieval Murder

James Waterson

 
Date Published :
October 2008
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Contributor(s) :
David Morgan
Illustration :
16 pages of illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781526760821
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$29.95

Overview
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The Ismaili Assassins were an underground group of political killers who were ready to kill Christians and Muslims alike with complete disregard for their own lives. These devoted murderers were under the powerful control of a grand master who used assassination as part of a grand strategic vision that embraced Egypt, the Levant and Persia and even reached the court of the Mongol Khans in far away Qaraqorum. The Assassins often slayed their victims in public, cultivating their terrifying reputation. They assumed disguises and their weapon of choice was a dagger. The dagger was blessed by the grand master and killing with it was a holy and sanctified act poison or other methods of murder were forbidden to the followers of the sect.

Surviving a mission was considered a deep dishonor and mothers rejoiced when they heard that their Assassin sons had died having completed their deadly acts. Their formidable reputation spread far and wide. In 1253, the Mongol chiefs were so fearful of them that they massacred and enslaved the Assassins women and children in an attempt to liquidate the sect. The English monarch, Edward I, was nearly dispatched by their blades and Richard the Lionheart's reputation was sullied by his association with the Assassins murder of Conrad of Montferrat.

The Ismaili Assassins explores the origins, actions and legacy of this notorious sect. Enriched with eyewitness accounts from Islamic and Western sources, this important book unlocks the history of the Crusades and the early Islamic period, giving the reader entry into a historical epoch that is thrilling and pertinent.

About The Author
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James Waterson was born into a London family of Royal Marines and Paratroopers. Fatherly advice however steered him away from a military career and into academia and teaching. He is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and received his Masters degree from Dundee University. He worked and taught in the United States and China for a number of years and now divides his time between the Middle East and Italy whilst trying to makes ends meet. The Ismaili Assassins is his second book and grew out of his travels in Iran. His first book, The Knights of Islam, a history of the slave soldiers of Islam, was published in 2007 by Greenhill Books. He continues to work at producing a life of the Crusader Bohemond of Taranto but knows it will never be finished.

REVIEWS
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“ …weaves the Assassin’s history, their political ideology, and their determined, deadly tactics into a broader tapestry of the region’s history from their origination to the height of their influence to their fading historical force.”

- Midwest Book Review

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