ISBN is

978-0-300-06885-6 / 0300068859

The Knights of Malta

by Sire, H. J. A.

Publisher:Yale University Press

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

This is the most complete history in any language of the Order of St John, or Knights Hospitaller, successively known as the Knights of Rhodes and of Malta. Founded in eleventh-century Jerusalem, the Order has played an important military, religious and political role over succeeding centuries. H.J.A. Sire not only provides a full narrative account, but describes and illustrates the architectural and artistic legacy of the Knights, from Crusader castles in the Holy Land, to the medieval city of Rhodes, the Maltese capital of Valletta, and manors, churches and fortified villages throughout Europe. These, as well as religious art, portraiture and illuminated manuscripts are copiously illustrated, revealing the wealth, culture and longevity of the Order. This is moreover the first general work to do full justice to the Order's international character by including a detailed account of its European Priories and the role played by the Knights in the history of their respective countries. It includes chapters on Crac des Chevaliers and other Hospitaller castles of the crusading period, on the career of Grand Master Heredia as a statesman and patron of medieval learning, and on the caring traditions of the Order. The chapter on the Navy of the Knights offers the first rigorous study of the Order's strategic naval role in the Mediterranean. The final section describes the resurgence of the Order since Napoleon's conquest of Malta in 1798, and its efforts over two centuries to recover an effective role. It considers the attempt in the 1950s to subject the Order to Vatican control, and its position today, under the first English Grand Master in its history. With its traditional rights ofsovereignty widely recognised, and diplomatic relations established with an increasing number of countries, a modernised Order of over ten thousand Knights continues nine centuries of hospitaller work throughout the world.

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