The Knights Hospitallers

The History of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, complete in one volume

by René-Aubert Vertot

This English translation of Vertot's most famous work was originally published in 5 volumes in 1757. It gives a lively account of the history of the Order from its earliest beginnings to the conclusion of the Great Siege of Malta, supplemented by succinct Annals of the order to the year 1725.

In the course of these 600 years we are treated to the formation and expansion of the Templars, their rivalry with the Hospitallers, and their ultimate dissolution; to the corruption and greed of many of the popes and cardinals (leading to the work being banned by the Vatican); to the rise of the Turks and of Mahometanism; to the heroism and barbarism of warfare and sieges.

Three discourses, or dissertations, are included in the History:

  • A Discourse upon the Alcoran. It offers an analysis of the Koran and its authorship. It must be remembered that this dates from 1724 and reflects the attitudes and understanding of its day.
  • A Dissertation upon the Ancient and Modern Government of the Religious and Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
  • A Dissertation on two Cotemporary and Original Historians who relate the same facts, but with circumstances so very different, that they entirely alter the nature of it.

The History of the Knights Hospitallers, complete: Amazon US / Amazon UK

The Dunnett connection:

The fourth volume in this compilation gives the background to much of books 3 and 4 in the Lymond series: Disorderly Knights and Pawn in Frankincense. Dorothy had clearly read it!