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The Last of the Crusaders: The Knights of St John and Malta in the Eighteenth Century

The Last of the Crusaders: The Knights of St John and Malta in the Eighteenth Century (Paperback)

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The Knights Hospitaller of St John and Malta was a militant order of monk-soldiers who alone outlasted the bloody centuries of the Crusades. Founded in Jerusalem in 1080 they became, together with the Knights Templar, one of the most feared and powerful of all the crusading orders. Their last hundred years were spent as sovereigns of Malta, fighting Barbary pirates and policing the Mediterranean. Under their protection, Malta flourished to produce some of the finest sailors - and corsairs - in the Mediterranean, but the Knights themselves were softened by the years of relative stability and indolent living. When Napoleon invaded in 1798, the island fell easily and the Knights fled, powerless and deplated, to Russia. In riveting and colourful detail, "The Last of the Crusaders" tells the story of the decline of this once mighty order and of the island that was their final sanctuary.

Roderick Cavaliero is a writer and historian, author of Italia Romantica: English Romantics and Italian Freedom, Admiral Satan: The Life and Campaigns of the Bailli de Suffren, Independence of Brazil and Strangers in the Land: The Rise and Decline of the British Indian Empire (all I.B. Tauris).

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