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The Hospitaller Knights of Saint John at Rhodes 1306-1522 (Hardcover)
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The first of a series of volumes on the Hospitaller Knights of Saint John, this volume covers the period 1306-1522.
The Hospitaller Knights had developed during the Crusades from a monastic order providing hostels for Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. The need to provide armed escorts to these pilgrims brought about their evolution into a Military Order. An elite component of Crusader armies, Hospitallers were involved in most large-scale Christian-Saracen engagements following the First Crusade. Taking to the sea, the Hospitallers became a major naval power in the Mediterranean.
The author draws on the work of the Order's official historians, Giacomo Bosio and his successor Bartolomeo dal Pozzo. He transcribes their writings for the modern reader, while also presenting new information revealed in the 400 years of scholarship since Bosio's death in 1627. This volume opens with Hospitaller relocation from Cyprus to Rhodes during the years 1306 to 1309 while introducing other entities wielding power in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Mamluk Egypt, Turkish beyliks emerging from disintegration of the Seljuk Empire, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, Cyprus itself, and not least, the Republic of Venice controlling most Aegean islands. The book brings to light the contributions of Hospital leaders (Grand Masters) as well as of lieutenants, allies and opponents, including those of Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, who became Grand Master in 1521.
Complete with an extensive glossary of notable figures, this volume is believed to be the only continuous history since Bosio of the Hospitallers during the period 1306 through 1522, and is certainly the only such history in the English language.