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The Hospitallers and the Holy Land

The Hospitallers and the Holy Land: Financing the Latin East, 1187-1274

Judith Bronstein
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 206
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  • Book Info
    The Hospitallers and the Holy Land
    Book Description:

    The Order of the Hospital of St John was among the most creative and important institutions of the Middle Ages, its history provoking much debate and controversy. However, there has been very little study of the way in which it operated as an organisation contributing to the survival of the Christian settlement in the East, a gap which this book addresses. It focuses on the impact of the various crises in the East upon the Order, looking at how it reacted to events, the contributions that western priories played in the rehabilitation of the East, and the various efforts made to restore its economic and military strength. In particular, the author shows the key role played by the papacy, both in the Order's recovery, and in determining the fate of the crusader states. Overall, it offers a whole new perspective on the connections between East and West. JUDITH BRONSTEIN gained her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-402-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Maps
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    THE MILITARY ORDERS of the Hospital and the Temple are considered the most original products of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. These institutions, the main aim of which was defined in terms of fighting for the Holy Land and caring for the poor and pilgrims, were responsible for the survival of the Latin settlement in the East until the final fall of the kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291. The Hospitallers’ standing at the forefront of the defence of Palestine and Syria exposed them to great expense in maintaining their castles and manpower even in normal times; but natural disasters and...

  7. 1 The Hospitallers in the Holy Land, 1187–1274
    (pp. 11-63)

    THE HISTORY OF the Latin Kingdom from 1187 to 1274 is marked by a succession of calamities, which had a strong impact on the situation of the Order in the East. The battle of Hattin, on 4 July 1187, led to the contraction of the Latin settlement. After 1188 all that remained of the kingdom of Jerusalem was the city of Tyre, although the Third Crusade was to re-conquer the coast from Tyre to Jaffa, including the important city of Acre. The city of Tripoli, the Hospitaller fortress of Crac des Chevaliers, and the Templar castle of Tortosa were almost...

  8. 2 The Order in the West and Crises in the Latin East: The French Priories
    (pp. 64-102)

    THE HOUSES IN FRANCE were the biggest and richest the Hospitallers had in Europe. St. Gilles was the first priory to be constituted, at the beginning of the twelfth century. By the middle of the century it controlled a vast area extending from Aragon and Catalonia in the south to the low countries in the north. It seems also to have administered the Order’s estates in England. St. Gilles’ intensive expansion made it necessary to divide the priory into smaller administrative units. Although it would remain the most important priory in the Order’s provincial structure, the Hospitallers created new priories...

  9. 3 The Popes, the Hospitallers, and Crises in the Holy Land
    (pp. 103-132)

    THE PAPACY played an important role in the rehabilitation of the Hospital following crises in the Latin East. To help the Order fulfil its double role of defending the Holy Land and caring for the poor and pilgrims the papacy granted it a wide range of privileges.¹ The critical situation in the East had led to a change of attitude to the Hospital’s militarization, which had begun in the 1120s and had intensified by the 1160s.² At first the papacy showed concern with the Order’s increasing participation in military activities. The failed campaign of King Amalric to Egypt in 1168...

  10. 4 Members of the Order Serving in the Latin East and in the French Priories
    (pp. 133-139)

    THE PREVIOUS CHAPTERS have shown that besides a constant transfer of money and provisions, the Hospitallers in the East required a continual supply of manpower. Comparing lists of members of the Order serving in the Latin East with those in the French priories between 1187 and 1274 could help to clarify the brothers’ places of recruitment and service, as well as the mobilization of forces for the Latin East.¹

    Such a comparison shows that most brothers serving in French houses were locals and were never sent to the East.² They usually served close to their places of origin: Gaucher of...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 140-145)

    THIS BOOK has examined the reaction of the Hospitallers, as an international order of the Church, to crises in the Latin East. These crises included defeat on the battlefield, the loss of castles and towns, and natural disasters; they could be so severe as to impel the Order to change its policies or re-deploy its international resources.

    The defeat of the Christians at the battle of Hattin resulted in the almost complete devastation of the Hospitallers’ military disposition and economy in the Levant. They lost most of their castles, agricultural lands, and urban properties. Although appeals were sent to the...

  12. Appendix: List of Members of the Order Serving in the Latin East and in the French Priories, 1187–1274
    (pp. 146-166)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 167-182)
  14. Index
    (pp. 183-190)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 191-191)