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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)

Page 288

ducted the negotiations which led to James's marriage in 131 5 to a Cypriote
princess, Marie de Lusignan; the Hospital even guaranteed the dowry, probably
in the hope that the birth of a son would give to Aragon the reversion of
the crowns of Cyprus and Jerusalem and thus permanently implicate Aragonese
strength in an area where it might support the Hospital. James however lost
interest in the Levant even before Marie died, childless, in 1322. 13 
 Fulk of Villaret, once established at Rhodes, where he saw himself as sovereign,
fell into extravagance, corruption, and despotism. Ignor ing the crusading
projects proposed to him and neglecting the Hospi tal's debts and difficulties
in Europe, he increased his own powers and income. The leading conventual
brethren were incensed by actions such as the granting to the grandiose Albert
of Schwarz burg, a Saxon noble, of the Hospital's Cypriote lands at half
their proper responsiones, and in 1317 they attempted to assassinate Villaret.
When he fled they besieged him in the castle at Lindos and elected the draper,
Maurice of Pagnac, as master. Both parties then appealed to pope John XXII,
who summoned them to Avignon. The Convent had some legal right to replace
a corrupt master, but Viliaret was popular in Europe, and early in 1319 John
XXII quashed Pagnac's election; Villaret was confirmed as master but was
then persuaded to resign. In June 13 19 Hélion of Villeneuve became
master, being in effect appointed by the pope.14 Papal intervention in the
Hospital's affairs had increased after the Convent's appeal to the pope against
the master in 1295. There was a general expansion of papal powers at this
time, and after 13 12 the papacy could threaten to take back the Templars'
lands that it had granted to the Hospital in that year. From 1317 on John
XXII, usurping the master's duties, acted with the best intentions to reduce
the Hospital's debts, prevent alienations of its lands, and enforce discipline.
 In the Levant the Turks again became aggressive, but Albert of Schwarzburg
achieved a success against them in 1318, and on July 23, 1319, Schwarzburg,
now grand preceptor and commanding twenty-four vessels with eighty Hospitallers
and other knights, plus a galley and some six other vessels provided by Martin
Zaccaria, the Genoese lord of Chios, defeated a Turkish force from Altoluogo
(Ephesus) off the island of Chios; many Turks were killed and out of ten
galleys and eighteen other craft only six Turkish ships escaped. Schwarzburg
next captured the castle of Leros, an island just north 
13. Luttrell, "Aragonese Crown," pp. 5—6. 
 14. ". . . fuit per papam creatus, cum consilio procerum domus": L. de Mas-Latrie,
"Notice sur les Archives de Malte a Cité-la-Valette," Archives des
missions scientifiques et littéraires, 1st ser., VI (1857), 29. Vilaret
died in retirement in 1327. 

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