tumultuous events surrounding the First Crusade and the ensuing centuries of struggle for the conquest of the Holy Land has reverberated throughout the centuries and affected our collective psyche to this date. The Sword and the Green Cross offers a minutely researched analysis of the creation of one of the monastic and military Orders of the period: the Knights of Saint Lazarus.
Devoid of the chequered popularity of their contemporary Knights Templar or the Knights of Saint John, the Knights of Saint Lazarus, with their green cross and invariable care of lepers and other afflicted pilgrims, nobles, knights and peasantry, offer the reader a fascinating history of diplomacy, military exploits, survival instinct and a legacy which has permeated throughout time. The book explores the Orders birth in the Outremer, its expansion and Papal sponsorship, its constant interaction with the Templars and the Hospitallers and its tremendous growth in Europe which later justified its lengthy operations on the Continent even though the Holy Land was lost to the Crusades.
The book analyses its complete change from a Papal Order to a Monarchical Order under the benign overseeing of the French Kings and dwells at length on the immediate and long term ramifications of the French Revolution and the Orders demise.
The Sword and the Green Cross colourfully projects the period in which the Order flourished and illustrates prominent Lazarites from throughout the centuries. It also minutely dissects the modern day revivals of Lazarite organisations worldwide and, by means of hitherto unpublished documentation, sifts through the interpolated myths of such a revival and its magnetic allure to thousands worldwide.
With a forward by best-selling author Tim Wallace Murphy, The Sword and the Green Cross is a must read for all history buffs and those into Muslim-Christian relations and chivalry.