Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
For a variety of reasons, the history of crusading in the later middle ages (after c. 1300) has, until recently, been a topic largely ignored by historians. Acre, the last Christian outpost in Palestine, fell in 1291, and within twenty years, one of the major corporations associated with the crusading movement, the Knights Templar, came under attack and were ultimately suppressed as a religious order. With the lack of attention to the crusade in the later middle ages came a lack of attention to the 'crusading orders;' few historians chose to make either topic a focus of study, and many works which deal with them do so in isolation, often inadvertently confirming what other historians already supposed---namely that the remaining Military Orders, especially the Knights Hospitaller, were in fact on the periphery of European institutions and spirituality. Investigations into the Hospitaller administrative practices and spiritual life, however, often reveal an association very much involved in the world 'beyond the cloister,' and one seeking significant links with the secular world, in both administrative and spiritual spheres. This very centrality, along with other factors, contributed to the stability of the Hospitallers at an otherwise unstable juncture of their history; the fourteenth century is the story of the Hospitaller attempt to relocate itself away from Palestine and its original functions as a military religious order, and to deal the problems associated with that relocation. Many of the solutions meant not simply the creation and maintenance of an espirit de corps within the Order, but also the establishment and maintenance of ties to the secular world. The Hospital survived the fourteenth century very much in tact; it would in fact survive as an Order until the end of the eighteenth century. This dissertation investigates those methods, their success, and the general tenor of Hospitaller administrative and spiritual institutions in the fourteenth century.
Dupuy, Mark S., "Ships, Souls, and the Administration of the Knights of St. John in the Fourteenth Century." (2000). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 7193.