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Did the Assassins exist? | The sect of the Nizaris in the Middle East

If you are a lover of video games and the worlds of adrenaline and fantasy that derive from them, surely the legendary Assassin’s Creed series will sound familiar to you, that complex universe of action and adventure where a certain dose of violence is not exempt. In this digital environment, we find a protagonist who masterfully combines elegance and violence. Murders, crimes and risks seem to be the strategic engine of the game. But, the idea that the Assassins existed can be real? Could our past be inhabited by these enigmatic characters? If we delve into medieval history, we find a mysterious group of Shiite Muslims who coincide in characteristics with these characters. Today in Top10world We tell you its interesting story.

Indeed, history reveals that the Assassins existed, and that they are not just an expression of human creativity applied to fun. But to understand it, we must first put ourselves in context. In a complex and interesting context: Ismailism , which is defined as a current of Shiite Islam, and its followers, conceive the Koran in a very particular way to the rest of Muslims. It is essentially a text where there is a hidden message, which in turn is a metaphor for a more hidden one. A compendium of peculiar esotericism that acquired great relevance in the year 1094.

When the Caliph of Ismailism passed away, a succession war arose between his sons. One of the groups praised his eldest son, Nizar, and although he ended up dying, he lit a fuse so that another parallel group would in turn originate. The so-called Nizaries, who were known by their enemies by another name: the “Assassins”.

This man established his power precisely on a mountain in northern Iran, where he built a fortress known as “Alamut.” It was an incredible and impregnable construction 2,000 meters high where his “eagle’s nest” was located, a name established by Marco Polo himself , after meeting them on one of his many trips.

1. What was life like for the Assassins?

Understanding that the Assassins existed opens up a whole range of knowledge about their habits and ways of life. It is known that people who lived under this philosophy trained and studied in this emblematic place, the Alamut fortress. There they followed a strict instruction based on religious initiations, acquisition of scientific, astronomical, and ceremonial knowledge. A whole legacy of exceptional knowledge within its branch of the Islamic religion, where magic or esotericism were not excluded.

They were very skilled in the use of the dagger and mimicry. When their initiation was over, the Assassins infiltrated the population and the upper echelons as spies, waiting to receive orders to kill their targets. They were cunning and skillful executors.

It was said that inside that immense fortress, they had some spectacular gardens.  Once immersed in this dream world of drugs, they were dressed in rich clothes, and then let them wake up somewhere in those fabulous gardens.

When they returned to reality, they woke up next to an evocative scene, with incredible trees, birds, beautiful flowers… They were left there for a few hours, and later, they were drugged again and dressed again in their usual uniform of white cape and red belt. . Once awake in their humble rooms, it was explained to them that they had been in the company of Mohammed , in his paradisiacal garden of him. It was part of the philosophy under which the Assassins existed, in which they were part of a psychological manipulation mode where they were convinced that dying was something beautiful and placid. Death meant being back in that paradisiacal corner.

2. What was the true power of the Assassins?

The reality about whether the Assassins existed is not only reduced to a physical, spiritual and intellectual preparation, nor in a function of mere espionage. In fact, the group of knights that made up this medieval order reached an unusual power. Just saying his name made people tremble. They were cunning executioners with the ability of a shadow to enter any room, with the speed of the wind, the elegance of a feather and the coldness of a knife edge.

They killed soldiers and sultans, politicians and military… anyone who was of strategic interest. They killed and killed for more than two centuries… Until the time came when they had to face other powerful enemies: the Mamluks and the Mongols.

3. The End of the Assassins

That the Assassins existed is a historical fact. It is also true that they marked an era, in which they gained fame for being stealthy, cunning assassins with the skill of a panther. But the day would come when they came face to face with enemies who surpassed them in violence and strategy. The Mamluks and Mongols destroyed the forces that the Assassins had built up for centuries. It was in the year 1219 when the Mongols entered with force to conquer the Islamic world. So they annihilated his libraries and massacred his men. The few that remained scattered, fleeing for their survival.

Many centuries later, the Ismailite religious sect survives, to the point that there are still some fifteen million Ismailites , distributed in some twenty-five countries. In fact, they are the second largest group of Shia Muslims, although their ideological structure has already left behind the daily acts of violence, espionage and assassinations as a means of livelihood.

And you, did you know that the Assassins really existed? Or did you just attribute them to the fun video game? Without a doubt, the past is full of interesting stories that show us the motivations and complexities of men throughout the centuries. If you liked this topic, do not miss the article in which we tell you about the famous Order of the Knights Templar .

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