Knights of Malta, 1523-1798 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Knights of Malta, 1523-1798.

S. Lane-Poole:  Barbary Corsairs. (Stories of the Nations.) 1886.

E. DRIAULT:  La Question d’Orient.  Paris. 1898.

J.A.R.  Marriot:  The Eastern Question.  Oxford. 1917.

G. VIULLIER:  Le Tour du Monde.  Malte et les Maltais.

P.J.O.  Doublet:  L’lnvasion et I’Occupation de Malte.  Paris. 1883.

C.T.E.  De TOULGOET:  Les Responsabilites de la Capitulation de Malte en 1798. (Revue des Questions Historiques. 1900.)

De la JONQUIERE:  L’Expedition d’Egypte.  Paris. 1901.


For the Statutes of the Order we possess the Italian edition of 1567, two Latin editions of 1556 and 1588, and the collection at the end of Vertot’s fourth volume, which is later and more complete.  The Codice Diplomatico of Fr. Pauli is the only collection of Charters to my knowledge which covers practically the whole history of the Order:  the magnificent Cartulaire of Delaville Le Roulx only covers the Syrian period in the Knights’ history.  Many valuable hints can be found in the Calendars of State Papers issued by the Record Office, but they fail us at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Of the various historians above mentioned, Bosio, for the period he covers, is by far the best and completest.  Vertot only goes down to 1565:  after the siege he treats the subject in a bare annalistic form.  Boisgelin, who was a Knight himself and wrote his history after his expulsion from Malta, is valuable for his elaborate excursus on the financial system of the Order.  All three—­who are our completest authorities—­wrote from the point of view of the Order, and consequently are very unreliable in some matters.  The treatment that the Maltese received from the Order is very inadequately dealt with, and none of them can seriously estimate the Mediterranean background to the history of the Knights, and especially their relations with the Barbary pirates.  General Porter, whose history is the only English one at all worthy of mention, possesses the same faults.  Though his knowledge of the island is thorough, his ignorance of European history makes him neglect the importance of the external activities of the Knights, and he follows the Order’s chroniclers too slavishly to claim authority as an independent investigator.  Miege, who was a French Consul at Malta, is interesting as a bitter opponent of the Order and all its work; and he practically confines himself to the treatment of the Maltese at the hands of the Knights.

The best authority on sixteenth-century sea power in the Mediterranean is Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, while Commander Currey’s book is very sound and interesting.

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Knights of Malta, 1523-1798 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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