Knight Hospitaller 1100-1306 is an excellent treatment of the Knight in the
Order of St John/Malta in its formation period up to the conquest of
Rhodes. It follows the transformation from a Monastic Order to a Military
The text is highly readable, and the book gives a good account of life in
the Order. Well covered are the divisions of classes where the Knight
emerged as the prime class in an institution which became predominantly military
in purpose, although never entirely losing its
hospitaller and religious role. Noted is the loss of a real novitiate,
due to the pressures of the need to recruit those already trained in
warfare (page 9).
The Sections covered are; Introduction: 'Warrior Monks'- Chronology - Origins
and Militarisation of the Hospitallers - Recruitment - Organisation and Structure
- Ranks and hierarchy - Motivation and Morale - Costume, weapons and harness
- Uniform - Arms - Training, Strategy and Tactics - Support Services - Everyday
Life - Colour plate commentary - Collections and major related sites - Archives
and Museums - Main Middle Eastern Castles - Bibliography - Glossary.
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Contact details for Osprey:
Osprey Direct, P.O. Box 140, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN8 2FA, UK.
For the details of the second Volume
|In addition to the information covered, the book is well
illustrated with a centerpiece of 10 full colour pages, and in excess
of 60 black & white/Grey Scale illustration throughout the book of 64
For anyone seeking to learn about the Order, this book and its companion
first volume are well worth buying, providing a wealth of detail not
found elsewhere for the price. The colour illustrations are unique.
One criticism is that a claim made for the cross of the Order may be
anachronistic. Page 26; "cross... in the characteristic eight-pointed hospitaller
form first seen in the early 13th century". The evidence is that
the Order appears not to have been consistent in its use of a form of
Cross, and that the Cross Formée/Cross Pattée - without
the v shaped indentations was used in the 13th century. Certainly
in Rhodes there is a settled form of Cross Pattée with 'v'
indentations 'The Rhodian Cross' in the 14th Century. The criticism
is minor, and the book achieves its aim of providing details on the
Knight of the Order, plus a wealth of connected detail. The book is one to
be enjoyed, and worth buying, along with the companion volume 2.
The Reverend Michael Foster.
Rector Chase Benefice, Salisbury Diocese, Church of England.
Historian to the Order of Knights Hospitaller, Russian Grand Priory.