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Elaych_Acaler
02-24-2015, 01:02 AM
Hello,

I'm hoping that I am not the first person to wonder at this and that there may be a ready answer. I'm interested in reading about the time period between 1000 and 1200 when the Assassin's were at their peak and responding to the Crusades and in direct conflict with the Templars. I'm aware that there are a swathe of books available on the topic. However, since I know diddly about the topic (except what Wikipedia has taught me), I fear that I am no judge and I don't want to risk buying a book that's either wrong or poorly written.

If anyone has any recommendations I would be very grateful.

Best,
Brian

VestigialLlama4
02-24-2015, 07:00 PM
Hello,

I'm hoping that I am not the first person to wonder at this and that there may be a ready answer. I'm interested in reading about the time period between 1000 and 1200 when the Assassin's were at their peak and responding to the Crusades and in direct conflict with the Templars. I'm aware that there are a swathe of books available on the topic. However, since I know diddly about the topic (except what Wikipedia has taught me), I fear that I am no judge and I don't want to risk buying a book that's either wrong or poorly written.

If anyone has any recommendations I would be very grateful.

Best,
Brian

The novel which inspired the first Assassin's Creed (set during the Crusades) is ALAMUT by Vladmir Bartol. That was the book which inspired the first game and general theme though there are quite a few changes. The later games take influences from a variety of different books.

Elaych_Acaler
02-25-2015, 12:26 AM
I also ran into "The Assassin's" by Bernard Lewis. It got a lot of reviews from publications that I respect, including The Economist. It appears to be a historical account of the group and the relevant period.

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B009W6VJT4/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o00_?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thank you for linking me to Alamut. I'll check it out. (The link, for anyone reading this who is interested in Alamut is here):

http://smile.amazon.com/Alamut-Vladimir-Bartol-ebook/dp/B009Y3O2AS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424820220&sr=8-1&keywords=alamut

VestigialLlama4
02-25-2015, 01:11 PM
I also ran into "The Assassin's" by Bernard Lewis. It got a lot of reviews from publications that I respect, including The Economist. It appears to be a historical account of the group and the relevant period.

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B009W6VJT4/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o00_?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Bernard Lewis is regarded as obsolete by quite a few historians these days. It's too orientalist and right-wing, his book also tries to compare the historical Assassins to Bin-Laden which is ridiculously absurd and ahistorical.

Cornik22
02-25-2015, 03:15 PM
Black Flag was pretty much based on "The Republic of Pirates" by Colin Woodard

VestigialLlama4
02-25-2015, 04:52 PM
Black Flag was pretty much based on "The Republic of Pirates" by Colin Woodard

Yeah and also the original book of Pirates: A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE ROBBERIES AND MURDERS OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS PYRATES by a Captain Charles Johnson.

As far as the Ezio games are concerned, the key books, as cited by Patrice Desilets, is Machiavelli's Florentine Histories and The Prince (pretty much all the main cast are included in that book including Caterina Sforza, Savonarola, Cesare Borgia, Rodrigo and of course Niccolo himself in those pages). ''Revelations'' however seems pretty original, drawing more on general history of Ottoman Turkey than anything else.

''Assassin's Creed III'' generally draws itself from James Fenimore Cooper's stories of the Revolution, including one with George Washington as the head of the Culper Ring. Visually it's highly influenced by Michael Mann's THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (as is Rogue, which has George Monro and the Seven Yeaars War) and also, Gore Vidal's ''BURR'' (the first section covers the Revolution and it includes Washington's spotty record as a General, the founders being slaveowners and hypocrites, has a cool cameo by Israel Putnam and depicts Charles Lee and Benedict Arnold's fall from grace...surprisingly Burr himself is not there in the main game which is a shame since he's the only founding father who could have been an Assassin).

UNITY is actually interesting in that it's drawn entirely from fiction spun around the Revolution rather than historical research, whereas the earlier games used a popular general account with new research to debunk myths. The key books are:

1) Abbe Barruel's HISTORY OF JACOBINISM (1799-Yup while the blood was still wet on the guillotine) is essentially the world's first conspiracy theory book. It's written by a whackjob priest who argued that the people obviously did not want freedom and democracy but were misled by the Freemasons and the Illuminati via their front organization of Jacobinism to destroy monarchy against their will. The book was basically the Royalist self-delusion about why democracy took root, the fact that it might actually appeal to people and so, all by itself, negate divine right of kings doesn't enter the equation. Every conspiracy theory whether its the Protocols of Zion or other trash has its roots here.

2) Then SCARAMOUCHE - Rafael Sabatini's adventure story about an orphan raised by a wealthy aristocrat(who falls in love with his daughter) and gets involved in the Revolution.

3) Alexandre Dumas' JOSEPH BALSAMO - The first scene of this book as a secret society promise to usher in the Revolution, the leader is called the "Great Copt" who is supposedly immortal (i.e. a Sage?)

4) The whole Cour des Miracles stuff comes from Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame than anything else.

Elaych_Acaler
02-25-2015, 05:35 PM
Bernard Lewis is regarded as obsolete by quite a few historians these days. It's too orientalist and right-wing, his book also tries to compare the historical Assassins to Bin-Laden which is ridiculously absurd and ahistorical.

That is terribly disappointing. Most of the reason why I disregarded the other search results is that they made the same connexion. I'm beginning to despair of finding any reliable historical sources (at least written in English).

VestigialLlama4
02-25-2015, 06:49 PM
That is terribly disappointing. Most of the reason why I disregarded the other search results is that they made the same connexion. I'm beginning to despair of finding any reliable historical sources (at least written in English).

This book seems good. It's also short.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Assassin-Legends-Myths-Ismailis/dp/1850439508

But generally, the history on the Asasiyun is fairly thin. They endured as part of the cult. Probably the most famous observation comes from Friedrich Nietzche:

"When the Christian crusaders in the Orient came across that unconquered Order of Assassins, that free-spirited order par excellence, whose lowest ranks lived a life of obedience of the sort no order of monks attained, then they received by some means or other a hint about that symbol and motto, which only the highest ranks kept as their secret, "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." . . . Well now, that was spiritual freedom. With that the very belief in truth was cancelled. . . Has a European, a Christian free spirit ever wandered by mistake into this proposition and its labyrinthine consequences?"
— Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals.

William S. Burroughs was also a huge fan of the Assassins.