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

IX: The Hospitallers at Rhodes, 1421-1523,   pp. 314-339 PDF (14.1 MB)

Page 339

Ch. IX THE HOSPITALLERS AT RHODES, 1421—1523 339 63. Cf. R. Valentini,
"I Cavalieri di S. Giovanni da Rodi a Malta: Trattative diplomatiche," Archivium
melitense, IX (1935), 137—237. 
to Civitavecchia, and met pope Hadrian VI in August 1523. At the end of 1523
he began to treat with Charles V for the cession of the islands of Malta
and Gozo as a new residence for the order. Negotia tions with the new pope,
Clement VII, were protracted for several years, because of various judicial
and political questions, including objections by the Maltese, and hesitation
by the knights to assume the obligation imposed upon them to take over the
defense of Tripoli as well as the Maltese islands. The act of cession was
finally signed by Charles V on March 24, 1530, at Castelfranco, and the grand
master took up his residence at Malta on October 26, 1530. During those years,
Villiers de l'Isle Adam had cherished the hope of reconquering Rhodes. A
conspiracy of Rhodian citizens who remained faithful to the order had been
organized in Rhodes, and theHospitaller Antonio Bosio had entered into communication
with them, to plan an out break in Rhodes to coincide with a projected naval
attack from the west. But in 1529 Bosio, who had gone to Rhodes, told the
grand master that the plot had failed, having been repressed by the Turks.
And so the order hastened its negotiations for the cession of Malta, Gozo,
and Tripoli; held the latter from 1530 to 155 1, when it was captured by
the Turks; and defended Malta heroically in the great siege of 1565.63 
Memories of Rhodes followed the order to its new seat in Malta. There were
built in Malta churches and palaces with the same names as those in Rhodes:
the churches of St. John, St. Catherine, and Our Lady of Victory, and the
auberges of the langues. In Malta are preserved an important part of the
archives of the order relating to the Rhodian period, when it was in fact
what it purported to be, an eastern bulwark of Latin Christendom against
the Ottoman menace. 

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