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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 297

Ch. VIII THE HOSPITALLERS AT RHODES, 1306—1421 297 
where in the principality of Achaea, possibly at Corinth. The Ange yin rulers
of Achaea rejected the idea and entrusted Corinth to Nicholas Acciajuoli
in 1358. The project was abandoned if not forgotten; it may have met opposition
at Rhodes, but it indicated some awareness that the brethren might be more
effectively and honorably employed.40 
 After Umur's death the Turks of Altoluogo and Palatia were less dangerous,
but a sporadic piratical conflict continued at sea. With peace between Venice
and Genoa, the league to defend Smyrna was revived in 1356; that autumn the
Hospital's galleys lay ready, but the Venetian preparations were delayed
and there was no significant action. In June and July 1358 a hundred Hospitallers
were sum moned to Rhodes, and in 1359 the pope appointed the Florentine Hospitaller
Nicholas Benedetti as captain of Smyrna for eight years. Benedetti was to
fortify the town with walls and towers and to maintain 150 Latin mercenaries
and two galleys; he received a papal license to send one ship and two galleys
to trade at Alexandria to finance these measures, while he and his brothers,
who were granted rights of succession during his eight-year tenure, were
to retain any territory they might capture from the Moslems. Probably in
1359, a fleet which included a Rhodian contingent under Raymond Béren
ger, preceptor of Cos, burned thirty-five Turkish ships off Megara in Greece.
Late in 1359 the Gascon Carmelite Peter Thomas, newly appointed as papal
legate, visited Smyrna, where he organized the defenses and forced the Turks
of Altoluogo to pay tribute. From 1363 until 1371 the captain of Smyrna was
Peter Racanelli, an important Genoese of Chios, and the pope and the Hospital
were sharing the cost of Smyrna's defense, 6,000 forms yearly. 
 In Byzantium itself, civil war had weakened resistance to the Turks. Innocent
VI had made it clear that the price of Latin assis tance was Greek submission
in matters of faith, and in 1353 he had instructed the Hospitallers and others
to help John VI Cantacuzenus in such circumstances. In 1354 the Ottoman Turks
captured Gàlli poli, establishing themselves in Europe; in 1357 John
V Palaeologus 
 40. Documents referring obscurely to a negotium principatus Achaye (Archivio
Segreto Vaticano, Reg. Vat. 238, folios 64r—65v; 239, folios 74v-75r)
were used, but inaccurately, by Bosio. Later scholars, notably K. Hopf, K.
Herquet, and J. Delaville Le Roulx, misled by Bosio and by each other, have
produced wildly fantastic interpretations of this negotium; [H.] Zeininger
de Borja, "Les Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jerusalem en Grèce conti.
nentale," Rivista araldica, LVII (1959), 297—300, unfortunately followed
them in these, as in various other errors (cf. below, p. 303, note 53). 


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