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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
(1975)

VIII: The Hospitallers at Rhodes, 1306-1421,   pp. 278-313 PDF (20.9 MB)


Page 287

Ch. VIII THE HOSPITALLERS AT RHODES, 1306—1421 287 
lost their predominance at Rhodes when the Hospitallers enforced the papal
prohibitions against trading in war materials with the Moslems, the importance
of which Villaret had stressed in his crusad ing tract. The Hospital confiscated
a Genoese galley, and in 1311 Antonio Spinola arrived from Genoa to demand
its return, having incidentally captured Vignolo between Candia and Rhodes.
Spinola and the Genoese, meeting a refusal, offered 50,000 forms to the Turks
of Menteshe to attack Rhodes. Numerous merchants from Rhodes were arrested
on the mainland, and Genoese and Turkish galleys seized Hospitaller vessels
bound for Rhodes. In 13 12, how ever, the Hospitaller fleet pursued twenty-three
Turkish ships to Amorgos in the Cyclades; when the Turks landed, the Hospitallers
burned their ships and destroyed or captured almost the entire force, themselves
losing some fifty or more brethren and three hundred foot, a serious loss.
Marino Sanudo Torsello, who was at Rhodes with Villaret, had high praise
for the way in which the master curbed the power of Orkhan, emir of Menteshe,
and incited the other emirs against him. The Hospitallers took Cos and occupied
certain castles on the mainland. In May 1313 Villaret seized more Genoese
ships, including two galleys, but later the Genoese presumably reached an
agreement with him. A period of peace followed. 10 
The Venetians, traditionally anticlerical and opportunistic in cru sading
affairs, were always hostile to the Hospital, although there were usually
Venetian traders at Rhodes and circumstances often forced the two powers
into uneasy alliance. The Venetians, like the Genoese, protested against
the enforcement of the papal restrictions on trade, and were angered when
in about 1312 the Hospitallers seized Carpathos and the other islands between
Rhodes and Crete from Andrew Cornaro. In 1312 and 13 14 the Venetian government
sequestered Hospitaller funds in transit at Venice, and even after the return
of the occupied islands to the Venetians in 13 16 there were continual incidents
and quarrels.11 Villaret, still far from secure at Rhodes and unable to rely
on Genoese or Venetian support, carefully maintained close relations with
James II of Aragon, ignoring papal instructions of 13 12 that the Hospital
should intervene against the Catalans in Greece. 12 In Aragon, Catalonia,
and Valencia the fate of the lands of the Temple and of those of the Hospital
was in the balance until 1317. Certain influential Catalan Hospitallers con
10. Delaville Le Roulx, Rhodes, pp. 4—7, 10—11; Luttrell. "Feudal
Tenure," pp. 755— 
757. No more is heard of Vignolo. Statistics concerning forces and losses
should be treated with caution. 
11. Luttrell, "Venice," pp. 196—197, 202. 
12. See above, pp. 181—182. 


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