Dividing the Land, Uniting the Peoples: the Hospitallers on Rhodes, 1347 - 1374

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Arts and Humanities | European History | History


Theresa Vann, History


When the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem captured the island of Rhodes in 1310, they were faced with the dilemma of having to govern a primarily non-Latin populace of Rhodian Greeks, while still trying to attract other Latin settlers from Western Europe to the island. This paper examines how the Order tread a fine line between favoring the different groups on the island, focusing on property grants from 1347 to 1374. It makes the case that the Hospitallers, by granting land fairly evenly among the different peoples of the island, gave all the differing groups an economic stake in the island, thereby promoting the common good.