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)
286 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES III distracted by events in Cyprus, where reports of the coming pas sagium had justifiably perturbed the usurper Amalric de Lusignan. Early in 1310 Amairic sent king Henry to Cilicia as a prisoner, but was himself assassinated on June 5. Hospitaller Rhodes had been a center of opposition to Amalric, and in July Henry, from Cilicia, named Villaret to act for him in Cyprus. The master was unable to leave Rhodes, but he increased his forces in Cyprus during June and July until they numbered eighty Hospitallers, twenty other horse men, and two hundred foot. These played a leading part in Henry's restoration, and in 1312 the Hospital secured the Templars' lucrative lands in Cyprus, which proved an invaluable source of supplies in times of dearth at Rhodes.8 Tile Convent and its hospital were moved to Rhodes, where the fortifications were presumably intact. The indigenous population of Rhodes had been reduced to perhaps some ten thousand Greeks. Chapters-general held there in April 13 11 and November 1314 passed numerous measures, including ambitious decisions to maintain five hundred horse and a thousand foot to defend the island. The Floren tine, Genoese, and other businessmen to be found at Rhodes from the time of its conquest increased its wealth and its dependable Latin population, but colonists who would fight were also needed. In May 1313 the Hospital publicly offered lands captured from the Greeks and Turks, both in Rhodes and on the mainland, to be held in perpetuity with obligations of military service, to any Latins who would settle with their families. Different terms were advertised for nobles, freemen, and laborers, and for those who would maintain an armed galley or a lignum armatum and its crew. Some settlers were found; in 1316, for example, the Assanti family of Ischia was enfeoffed with the island of Nisyros, just south of Cos, with the obligation to maintain an armed galley. Later, in 1325, when the Hospital granted the casale of Lardos to Vignolo de' Vignoli's brother Fulk, to be held in feudum nobile by him and his heirs in perpetuity, Fulk was forbidden to alienate the property without permission and was obligated to serve with a Latin man-at-arms in defense of Rhodes or outside the island. On the whole, however, strictly feudal arrangements were rare, and during the fourteenth century uncultivated lands in Rhodes were being leased to both Latins and Greeks on non-feudal tenures in perpetual emphyteusis.9 The Genoese had provided galleys for Villaret in 1309, but they 8. G. Hill, A History of Cyprus, II (Cambridge, 1948), 228—262, 270—275; cf. below, pp. 345—347. 9. A. Luttrell, "Feudal Tenure and Latin Colonization at Rhodes: 1306—1415," English Historical Review, LXXXV (1970), 755—775.
Copyright 1975 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the hardcover book, see: http://www/wisc/edu/wisconsinpress/books/1734.htm