The Knights Hospitaller

in Cyprus and Rhodes:

When the Crusades ended, the Hospitallers remained in the East, eventually establishing headquarters on the island of Rhodes. Here they dreamed of launching new Crusades and of founding an idyllic Arthurian kingdom. The reality of their lives was a continual naval and economic war with Turkey, often degenerating into piracy. The Order became increasingly aristocratic, and the Greek Orthodox villagers over whom the Catholic Knights ruled felt economically exploited and religiously harassed. At the same time, the Order never abandoned its charitable activities, and the Knights' persistence in their centuries-long war undoubtedly is part of the reason that Christian Europe survived the Islamic challenge.

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