Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
VIII: The Hospitallers at Rhodes, 1306-1421, pp. 278-313 PDF (20.9 MB)
298 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES submitted to the Roman church;41 and in 1359 Peter Thomas arrived at Constantinople, accompanied by Venetian and Rhodian galleys. He failed to cement the union between the churches, but with Greek assistance the Latin forces destroyed the Ottoman fort at Lampsacus opposite Gallipoli in the Dardanelles; fifty Hospitallers fought a notable rearguard action in the withdrawal from the fort. The legate then sailed to Smyrna, and early in 1360 he lay ill at Rhodes. He went from there to Cyprus, abandoning the Latin league; two Hospitaller galleys were laid up at Rhodes and the Venetians were left to oppose the Ottomans alone. At the very moment when seapower had been used effectively against the Ottomans, who, unlike the Turks of Aydin and the emirates south of Smyrna, had no fleet and were therefore vulnerable, Peter Thomas, more interested in converting heretics than in defending the Balkans, turned Latin strength to another sphere centered on Cyprus. Demotica and Adria nople fell to the Ottomans in 1361.42 Peter de Lusignan, king of Cyprus from 1359, his chancellor Philip of Mézières, and Peter Thomas were jointly responsible for the diversion to the southern Levant of the limited political and financial support the papacy could provide. The Hospitallers were accustomed to participate in Cypriote affairs, and were probably more sympa thetic to the French elements in Cyprus and to their own ancient chivalric ideal, the recovery of Jerusalem, than to Venetian com mercial interests in Romania or to the Greeks, with whom coöpera tion was so difficult. The Hospital provided four galleys and some troops for the Cypriote campaign which captured Adalia from the emir of Tekke in August 1361, and when Peter de Lusignan visited Rhodes in 1362 on his way westward to organize a crusade, the Hospital gave a written promise of assistance. The king returned in 1365 and during August and September he assembled his forces at Rhodes, where the emirs of Altoluogo and Palatia hastened to offer him tribute through the master's mediation. After intensive preach ing by Peter Thomas, a fleet of over 150 galleys sailed for an unannounced destination on October 4; the Hospital provided four galleys, some transport vessels, and a hundred brethren under the admiral, Ferlino of Airasca, prior of Lombardy. This force in fact made for Alexandria. There the Hospitallers' unexpected appearance 41. Cf. above, pp. 69—70, for a somewhat different interpretation. 42. To Luttrell, "Venice," pp. 205—206, add details in 0. Halecki, Un Empereur de Byzance a Rome: Vingt ans de travail pour l'union des églises et pour la defense de l'empire d'Orient, 1355—1375 (Warsaw, 1930), pp. 9—30, 60—77; J. Smet, The Life of Saint Peter Thomas by Philippe de Mëzières (Rome, 1954), pp. 84—90, 206—212. See also above, pp. 72—73.
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