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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 331

help because we are their sons; and except them we know no other superior,
and to God and then to them we have to answer for our affairs, and we hope
in God that while we do justice, his aid will not fail us."45 
 These and other incidents,46 however, did not cause a complete break in
the truce with the Turks. In 1507, in giving permission to a certain Nidio
de' Moralli to arm a brigantine at Cos, the order forbade him to molest Venetian
ships, or to break the truce with the Turks within the stated confines (limites
induciarum), that is to say, on the stretch of sea comprised between Palatia
and Adalia, and in the channel of Chios. 
 The relations of the order with Egypt were ambivalent, from the time when,
around 1505, sultan Kansuh al-Ghtiri, although fearing the Turks, had drawn
closer to them and received from them provi sions of war, and especially
timber, for the ships with which he intended to dispute with the Portuguese
the control of the Red Sea. Kansuh received help even from the Venetians,
whose trade in spices was ruined by Portuguese colonial expansion. In fear
of being handed over to Bayazid, a son47 of Jem Sultan had fled from Cairo
to Rhodes. This also could well be a motive for the Ottoman sultan's breaking
the truce with Rhodes. However, no Turkish attack on Rhodes occurred yet.
Instead, there were many naval successes of the knights at this time over
the Egyptians. In 1506 near Cos the Hospitallers captured seven Egyptian
ships which had come to devas tate the island. In 1507 near Crete they captured
a large merchant ship, called the "Gran Nave Mogarbina," chiefly employed
in carry ing spices from Alexandria to Tunis to supply the whole Maghrib.
The ship was towed to Rhodes; in it were goods of great value, spices, cloths,
and carpets, and travelers for whose ransom the Egyptians paid heavily. In
the same year three Saracen ships were captured off Cyprus. 
 In 1510 the Egyptian sultan Kansuh sent his fleet to load timber in the
ports of the Gulf of Alexandretta, which belonged to the Turks. The order
learned of this, and on August 6 the grand master Amboise ordered Andrew
do Amaral, the chancellor's lieutenant, and Philip Villiers de l'Isle Adam,
the seneschal, the two commanders of the order's fleet, to sail toward the
gulf, avoiding Cyprus (in order to keep the voyage secret), and, when the
Egyptian fleet appeared, to 
45. Malta, cod. 80, fols. 85—92. For "Cortogoli" see below. 
46. In 1505 Kemal Re'is attacked the islands of Nisyros, Telos, and Syme,
and in 1506, Leros. 
47. Probably named Murad; he was killed at Rhodes, together with his two
sons, after the Turkish conquest, in January 1523. Cf. Rossi,Assedio e conquista,
p. 42, note 2. 

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