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From a master historian, the definitive account of history's first terrorists

An offshoot of the Ismaili Shi'ite sect of Islam, the Assassins were the first group to make systematic use of murder as a political weapon. Established in Iran and Syria in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, they aimed to overthrow the existing Sunni order in Islam and replace it with their own. They terrorized their foes with a series of dramatic murders of Islamic leaders, as well as of some of the Crusaders, who brought their name and fame back to Europe. Professor Lewis traces the history of this radical group, studying its teachings and its influence on Muslim thought. Particularly insightful in light of the rise of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. and in Israel, this account of the Assassins -- whose name is now synonymous with politically motivated murderers -- places recent events in historical perspective and sheds new light on the fanatic mind.

About the Author


Bernard Lewis (1916-2018), author of What Went Wrong?, The Middle East, The Muslim Discovery of Europe, The Arabs in History, and many other books, was Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780465004980
ISBN-10: 0465004989
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: November 23rd, 2002
Pages: 192
Language: English