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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 290

290 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES 
Genoese shipping, and the Venetians in particular were reluctant to help.
Throughout the century the Hospitallers could seldom provide more than three
or four galleys for an expedition, plus one or two retained to guard Rhodes.16
Genuine debts and difficulties were ignored, even by an experienced man such
as Marino Sanudo Tor sello, whose crusading projects envisaged the exploitation
of Latin seapower and the prohibition of all trade with Moslems through the
maintenance of a blockade to be enforced by ten galleys, two of them to be
provided by the Hospital. In about 1323 Sanudo claimed that, since the defense
of Rhodes was costing less, the Hospitallers' Cypriote and Armenian incomes
could be used to support 150 armed horsemen to defend Cilicia. In 1329 Sanudo
expressed surprise that despite an annual income from the responsiones alone
of 180,000 forms, of which some 20,000 came from Cyprus, the Hospitallers
were unable to provide even two or three galleys for a small cam paign; he
also accused them of harboring pirates at Rhodes. 17 Papal crusading plans
of 1323 theoretically involved a Hospitaller contribu tion of a thousand
men-at-arms.18 
Villeneuve, well aware of the serious problems in the west, re mained in
Europe from 1319 until 1332. There were rulers who seized the Hospitallers'
lands and incomes, demanded their services, sought to control nominations
to priories, and prevented men and money from leaving for Rhodes. The brethren
themselves often failed to pay their responsiones, alienated the Hospital's
lands, and refused to go to the Convent in the Levant. The master attacked
these defi ciencies in chapters-general held in Provence and, with papal
coopera tion, continued the struggle to gain effective control of the Templars'
lands. Except in Portugal, Castile, and Valencia, a considerable num ber
of these properties were secured, after much negotiation and litigation with
kings, bishops, and nobles who claimed or had occu pied them; in France,
for example, the king demanded 200,000 livres for their transfer. These lands
certainly enriched the Hospital, but their assimilation involved administrative
problems, and the new priories of Catalonia, Aquitaine, Toulouse, and Champagne
were created.19 Some of the lands were sold to meet the huge debts 
 16. E. Rossi, Storia della marina deli' Ordine di S. Giovanni di Gerusalemme,
di Rodi e di Malta (Rome and Milan, 1926), pp. 10—17; A. Luttrell,
"The Servitudo Marina at Rhodes: 
1306—1462," Zeitschrift fur Neogräzistik [forthcoming]. 
 17. Sanudo, in Gesta Dei per Francos, ed. J. Bongars, II (Hanover, 1611),
5—7, 31, 
3 13—316. 
 18. Finke, Acta aragonensia, I (Berlin, 1908), 494—496. 
 19. A. Luttrell, "La Corona de Aragón y las Ordenes militares durante
el siglo XIV," VIII Congreso de Historia de la Corona de Aragón, III
(Valencia, 1970), 67—77; "The Hospital lers of Rhodes in Portugal:
1291—1415," Congreso Luso-Espanhol de Estudos medievais (Porto [forthcoming]).


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