Medieval Spell Logo Search
Medieval Travel Guide

Knights Of Rhodes

The Knights of Rhodes was the name given to the Knights Hospitaller after they occupied the Island of Rhodes, and established their headquarters there. The scheme had the approval of the Pope and the King of France. A Crusade was preached, without mention of its destination. The Greek Emperor, Andronicus, refused to give up his claim upon Rhodes, and, when Villaret and his knights landed on the island, they were met with strong resistance.

Knights of Rhodes-The Siege
The Siege of Rhodes
After fierce fighting, with considerable losses on both sides, on August 15, 1310, Rhodes was in possession of the Knights of Saint John, who from then on became known also as the Knights of Rhodes.

The Knights of Rhodes attacked

Under Villaret, the Knights of Rhodes fortified the city of Rhodes and took possession of the neighboring small islands. The island became a bishop's see, clergy were appointed, and churches built on the main island and the neighboring islands as well. Steps were also taken for the promotion of industry, and for the administration of justice.

In 1440 the Sultan of Egypt attacked the Knights of Rhodes, and a naval battle followed, without decisive results. In 1444, he attacked Rhodes again, this time the city coming under siege. But the strong resistance forced the Sultan’s forces to withdraw after forty days. In 1453, the Turks under Mehmed II captured Constantinople.

With the Ottomans established on European soil, the Knights of Rhodes became even more important players in the strategic games in the Mediterranean.

The Knights of Rhodes against the Ottoman Empire

The Knights of Rhodes took measures in view of the expected Turkish attack. A general Chapter of the Order was held to organize the supply of provisions and ammunition, and to arrange the details of the campaign.

The Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Peter D'Aubusson, was one of the greatest of those who held the office. He was well ahead of his time, a real genius. He was a first rate engineer, a chemist, manufacturing his own gunpowder, a financier, a skilful commander, and even a practicing physician and surgeon in the wards of the hospitals of the Order.

He commanded the Knights of Rhodes everywhere in Europe to contribute money, and men power to the defending of Rhodes. As Mehmed did not feel he is ready for a confrontation yet, he asked for a truce, accepted by the Grand Master.

In 1479, the Ottomans attempted the first attack against the Knights of Rhodes, but they were driven back to their ships with great losses. In May 1480, the great Turkish fleet set sail for Rhodes, and in June, the Turks attacked both by sea and land. After three months of fierce fighting, including one assassination attempt against the Grand Master, the assailants gave up, embarked in their ships and sailed away.

With no enemy at the gates, D' Aubusson turned his attention to the internal discipline of the Knights of Rhodes Order, reviving the strictness with respect to clothing, ornaments, and eating habits. The death of D'Aubusson in 1503 was the signal for renewed Turkish attacks.

The Knights of Rhodes forced to leave the island

In January 1521, Philip de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam was elected Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Andrew d' Amaral, Chancellor of the Order and Grand Prior of Castile, considering that he should have been elected, commenced a treacherous correspondence with the Turks, informing them about the weak parts of the fortifications. During the preparations for siege, Amaral also prevented the storage of sufficient gunpowder.

In June 1522, the invasion fleet arrived, and the Siege of Rhodes began. After months of fighting, overwhelmed by enemy’s numbers, and without enough gunpowder as a result of Amaral’s treason, the Knights of Rhodes accepted Sultan Suleiman’s terms, which were surprisingly generous, the knights being allowed to leave the island with all their weapons and valuables.

On January 1, 1523, after two hundred and twenty years, the Knights of Rhodes left the island for ever. The Grand Master and five thousand followers sailed to Crete, then a Venetian possession. In 1530, the Knights of Rhodes obtained Malta from Emperor Charles V, and from then on, they will also be named "The Knights of Malta".

Knights Of Malta

 Medieval Gothic
 Medieval Gothic  Cathedrals
 Medieval Castles
 Medieval House
 Medieval Manors
 Medieval Architecture-
 Interior View

 Medieval Code of  Chivalry
 Knights In Middle Ages
 Medieval Knights- Jousting
 Medieval Armor
 Medieval Swords
 Medieval Helmets
 Medieval Tournaments
 Medieval Shields- Designs
 Medieval Life Overview
 Medieval Castle Life
 Roles Of Women In The  Middle Ages
 Medieval Fashion
 Medieval Food
 Medieval Cooking
 Medieval Drinks
 Medieval Feast
 Medieval Entertainment
 Medieval Hunting History
 Medieval Games
 Medieval Guilds
 Medieval Merchants
 Medieval Punishment
 Medieval Medicine
 Medieval Warfare- Weapons
 Medieval Archers
 Medieval Siege
 Medieval Siege Weapons
 About us
 Privacy policy
 Medieval Painters
 Gothic Art
 Gothic Sculpture
 Gothic Painting
 Medieval Decor
 Gothic Furniture
 Medieval Towns
 Italian Cities
 The Hanseatic League
 Medieval Church
 The Great Schism
 Saint Benedict
 Medieval Monasteries
 Medieval Monks
 Monastic Orders
 Cluny Abbey
 Teutonic Knights
 -Teutonic Knights History
 Knights Hospitaller
 -Knights Hospitaller   History
 -Knights Of Rhodes
 Knights Templar