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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 295

were besieged in the lower fortress. The Hospital played a leading role in
the defense, and on May 1, 1345, the pope named a Hospi taller, John of Biandrate,
prior of Lombardy, as capitaneus armatae generalis. In December a Hospitaller
galley was among the six which met Humbert, the dauphin of Viennois, at Negroponte,
and in the summer of 1346 the Hospital participated in his unsuc cessful
expedition to Smyrna;31 talk of a truce followed, while Humbert wintered
at Rhodes before returning to France in 1347. Around the end of April the
Hospital's feet, supported by other Latin forces, destroyed over a hundred
Turkish vessels at Imbros near the mouth of the Dardanelles. 
 Success at Imbros did little to relieve Smyrna. In April 1347 the new master,
Dieudonné of Gozon, specifically forbade the Hospital lers to assume
responsibility for its defense; for while the Genoese were occupying Chios
for their own advantage, the Venetians, quar reling bitterly with the Hospital
over customs duties at Rhodes and persistently calling for action against
Umur, were reluctant to make any contribution toward the defense of Smyrna,
where they could expect only limited profits. After Clement VI had sanctioned
truce negotiations in November 1346, the Hospitallers realistically took
the lead in reaching an agreement that, in return for trading conces sions
at Smyrna and Altoluogo, the Latin powers would raze the harbor fortress
at Smyrna. The pope vetoed this arrangement in February 1348, but after Umur
was killed by chance while attacking the walls of Smyrna in May, a peace
favorable to the Latins was agreed upon with Umur's brother Khidr on August
18. Clement and the Venetians again opposed the settlement and, when envoys
from Venice, Cyprus, and Rhodes finally met at Avignon in May 1350 to ratify
it, they were instead persuaded to form a new league. On August 11 the Hospitallers
agreed to contribute 3,000 forms annu ally toward the cost of maintaining
the garrison at Smyrna, and to provide three galleys for a fleet to defend
Christian shipping. Then war between Genoa and Venice wrecked the new coalition,
and Clement formally dissolved it in September 1351.32 
 After Villeneuve's death in 1346 the Hospitallers' lack of clear purpose
again became evident. On papal instructions they sent some assistance to
Cilician Armenia in 1347, but they ignored further orders to intervene there
in 135 The Hospitallers' difficulties in 
 31. On Humbert's crusade see above, pp. 12—13. 
 32. Lemerle, Aydin, pp. 180—203, 226—235; Luttrell, "Venice,"
pp. 203—205; see also J. Gay, Le Pape Clement VI et les affaires d'Orient,
1342—1 352 (Paris, 1904). 
 33. Luttrell, "Cilician Armenia" [forthcoming]; this amends the standard
accounts (e.g. in Gay, Clement VI, pp. 146—149). The Hospitallers did
not retake Ayas (Lajazzo) in 1347. 

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