The Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, recognized as a religious order by Pope Paschal II in 1113. Initially, its goal was to provide charitable aid to pilgrims in the Holy Land. However, after the First Crusade's (q.v.) conquest of Jerusalem (q.v.) in 1099, master Raymond du Puy reorganized the order along military lines, effectively turning its monks into soldiers. Thereafter, like the Templars, they were a mainstay of Crusader armies in the Holy Land. After the Crusaders were expelled from the Holy Land in 1291 the Hospitallers established a base on Rhodes (q.v.) from 1309 to 1522, the year when it was conquered by the Ottomans (q.v.). They had a house in Constantinople (q.v.). Manuel I (q.v.) used Hugo, prior of that house, as a diplomatic envoy. In 1390 the Hospitallers helped future Emperor Manuel II to restore his father John V (q.v.) to the throne, driving out John VII (q.v.). In 1399, Hospitallers aided Manuel II and Marshal Boucicaut (q.v.) in a joint expedition against the Black Sea (q.v.) fortress of Riva, held by the Ottomans. Lacking the resources to defend the Morea (q.v.), in 1397 Manuel's brother Theodore I Palaiologos (q.v.) negotiated the sale of Corinth (q.v.) to the Hospitallers, who then defended it against the Ottomans until 1403. The Hospitallers expanded their control as far as Mistra (q.v.) until popular resistance forced Theodore to buy back the entirety of Morea in the Treaty of Vasilipotamo in 1404. As stipulated by the treaty, the Hospitallers withdrew their forces. The Hospitaller attempt to create a base of operations in the Morea had failed.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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  • HOSPITALLERS —    the name given to several religious brotherhoods or orders of knights under vow to provide and care for the sick and wounded, originally in connection with pilgrimages and expeditions to Jerusalem …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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  • hospitallers — The knights of a religious order, so called because they built a hospital at Jerusalem, wherein pilgrims were received. All their lands and goods in England were given to the sovereign by 32 Hen. VIII, c. 24 …   Black's law dictionary

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