Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2010.


A National Centre of Power-Politics, Sociability, and Solidarity on Early Modern Malta

Victor Mallia-Milanes[*]

The last years of the eleventh century saw the emergence in Jerusalem of what came to be known as the Order of the Hospital. A small and humble hospice dedicated to John the Baptist, it was inspired by a genuine love for the sick, the poor, and the needy, both men and women, young and old. Its raison d’être was to care for them, to provide them with shelter and food, with clothing and decent burial. This innovative philosophy exalted these humble folk, transforming them into Lords, with the entire fraternity lying at their service. This selfless adulation was soon extended to include the protection of the routes followed by the devout Latin travellers and pilgrims visiting the Holy Places. It was a gradual process of adaptation – the servants of the poor were responding to the military needs of the Crusader States – until charity and military activity became the two sides of the Hospitaller equation. These original values were retained essentially unchanged for seven hundred years.

The steady progress registered by the Seljuk Turks and the consolidation and westward advance of the Ottoman Empire dictated not only the physical transfer of the Hospitaller Convent[1] from one place to another, but also determined the institution’s response to changing realities. Begun in Jerusalem in the 1080s, they were forced to abandon Latin Syria and move to Acre, which fell in 1291, from thence to Cyprus and in c.1306 to Rhodes, where they stayed till 1522. For the next eight years, they kept migrating from one city to another, sojourning at Viterbo and then at Nice and Villefranche. From 1530 to 1798, central Mediterranean Malta [p.164] was their permanent home. Wherever they settled, they continued to perform their charitable and military obligations. Like all living organisms, they evolved to respond to new pressures, to meet new demands. After their loss of Acre, their mission no longer focused on Jerusalem and the Holy Places. Henceforth their professed task was to safeguard ‘the shores of the Mediterranean’, east and west, north and south, to protect Christian trade and commerce, and to contain further Ottoman expansion westward.

The Hospital depended on the support it received from the landed estates it owned in Europe. These had originally been gifts to the fraternity from the faithful in recognition of its wide charitable activities. For efficient administrative purposes, these estates were grouped into provinces or priories, each of which sent a third of its produce, in cash or kind, as responsiones to the conventual treasury every year. The brethren were exempt from episcopal and secular jurisdiction. They had their own residential structures, they built their own places of worship, they had their own cemeteries. By the time the Hospitallers were about to settle at Rhodes, their provinces had already been grouped into larger national divisions called langues. Though these could have probably been already in existence before 1291, it was after the loss of Acre that the term began to gain currency in the statutes, denoting the seven administrative divisions of the Hospital – Provence, Auvergne, France, Aragon (out of which, in later half of the fifteenth century, emerged the eighth langue, that of Castille and Leon), Italy, England, and Germany – each according to the language they spoke. It was at Rhodes that these ‘minor corporations’ gradually began to develop ‘their own organizations, responsibilities, or buildings’, to have their own ‘privileges, incomes, chapels, and servants’. These divisions were necessary. Offices, powers, and responsibilities began to be shared according to Western provinces and, therefore, served ‘to settle conflicts’ among the national groups or groupings. At Acre and, apparently at Limassol on Cyprus, there had already been a conventual structure or edifice for common use by the ‘military brethren’. Anthony Luttrell refers to it as a palais, which he later defines as one ‘grand auberge’.[2] It is at Rhodes, however, that the auberge is seen to evolve and gradually develop from a hospice to the structure that begins to assume the form and purpose that it enjoyed in early modern Malta. Each langue would eventually have its own auberge, where the brethren of that nationality lived.

It is this institution, the Hospitaller auberge, that forms the subject of the present paper. What is being proposed here is that, by the time the Order had settled on Malta, the Hospitaller auberge had long been allowed to evolve into an important national centre of sociability and solidarity, where important social and military issues pertaining particularly to the langue or to the Convent in general were carefully analysed and discussed. Sociability in this context is taken to mean companionship, conviviality and, indeed, hospitality; while solidarity signifies unity of interests and [p.165] sympathies, mutual dependence, comradeship, and esprit de corps. The institution of the auberge appears to have promoted such qualities within the fraternity.

The auberge was an inn of residence. The Statutes of the Order defined the term as signifying a hospice, a community house where all the brethren of the same langue – knights, serving brothers, professed or novices – shared a communal life. They assembled in it, they dined together at least four times a week[3] ‘in the great hall’ in solid silver dishes, ‘by fours off a single platter’,[4] and lived as a national community.[5] As early as 1230, the term denoted ‘the conventual lodging’. It was distinct from the hospital and physically separated from it. At this compound, one found ‘the dormitory and the cells where, as conventuals, the brethren were at the command of the Marshal.’[6] A statute drawn up at the chapter-general of 1262, during the magistracy of the great reformer Hugh Revel, refers to ‘the brethren in the Auberges’.[7] The head of the auberge was the pilier, a conventual bailiff, senior to all the other brethren in the langue to which the auberge belonged. There were eight such bailiffs in the Order. Together they constituted a Council to assist and advise the Master.[8]

It was normal practice for new recruits into the Order, having generally professed at their respective priory in Europe, to travel to Malta and spend a statutory five-year residence in Convent with their compatriots.[9] Only then would they qualify for a European commandery, a self-supporting estate. ‘Seniority played an important role in the process of promotion within the Order; but in practice merit was weightier.’[10] The pilier received an annual Treasury allowance in cash or its equivalent in grain, amounting to sixty scudi per knight,[11] to provide for the members of his inn. Any other expenses were paid from his own pocket, ‘for which he was indemnified by the first vacant dignity’ in his langue. The commanders (those brethren to whom was assigned the administration of a commandery in one of the European priories) seldom lived in the auberge. Indeed [p.166] those whose annual income surpassed one hundred livres were not entitled to a free table.[12] They could only claim ‘temporary hospitality’.[13]

At Malta, the auberge assumed the form of a palatial structure – bleak, monastic, and severe from the outside, barrack-like it has been called.[14] Its external architectural features betrayed an ascetic and rigorous appearance which was in perfect stylistic harmony with the military character of the new macro-fortress of Valletta. Outside the auberge, the Hospitallers, wearing their black cloak which bore the white eight-pointed cross on the shoulder, were, for all intents and purposes, ‘soldiers in uniform’.[15] Seward calls them ‘the first properly disciplined and officered troops in the West since Roman times’.[16] On the contrary, the inside offered a sharp contrast. Although life inside the monastic compound remained by and large conventual, simple, and militarily austere,[17] by the eighteenth century, the modest Hospitaller inn of later Syrian days had been allowed to evolve into a form much closer to an exclusive aristocratic club than to a micro military base, providing spacious accommodation, reassuring and secure. There was noble comfort there, and nobler taste – both reflecting ‘the close ties the Hospitallers kept with their native lands’. Roderick Cavaliero has drawn a picture of parts of the grand magistral palace and the other auberges.[18]

‘The inner cortile of the Magistral Palace was a shaded grove, containing plantains and arbutus, an arboreal grotto to which was removed after the Knights had gone a bronze statue of the Order’s profane tutelary genius Neptune, attributed to Gianbologna. The walls of the council-chamber were lined with magenta and canary brocades; the other Inns had huge blank walls which it was necessary to fill. The taste for rugs and arrases … could be freely indulged, while the walls and ceiling of the Inn of Provence were panelled and painted with arabesques and flowers, green, crimson, beige and blue, like a massive brocade. The innumerable gifts from various sovereigns in the shape of massive portraits of themselves had to be hung somewhere; paintings by Mattia Preti, Spagnoleto and Spada stood side by side with portraits of Piliers and Captains-General and Admirals. Cut-glass chandeliers from Murano, arrases from Gobelins, rugs from Damascus and Sidon, panelled oak from Sicily, carved sideboards from Amsterdam, closets from Lisbon, armoires from Nurnberg, china from Dresden and Capodimonte, side chairs from Hamburg – the European-wide connections of the Knights could be perceived in every room.’


Two lithographs by C. de Brocktorff showing the auberges of Castille (above) and Provence (below). The superimposed insets display the respective coats-of-arms. (Courtesy: National Library of Malta)

[p.168] Years earlier, Elizabeth Schermerhorn described in some detail the assembly hall of the auberge of Provence.[19] Its charm, she wrote, belied

‘the moribund monastic traditions of the Middle Ages, with its ivory panelled walls spread with delicate arabesques of flowers, fruits, vines and birds, its graceful Musicians’ gallery, and its generous balcony from which the idle Religiosi might contemplate the Oriental pageant in the street below. But this is Provence; it is the military stronghold that dominates most of these ponderous auberges, their huge stone staircases, with heavy Baroque carvings and garlandings, their vast corridors enclosing courts where rude stone well-curbs lurk among the orange trees, their low, barrelvaulted entrances on the ground floor.’

The auberge was a self-sufficient ‘fraternity house’. It had an adjoining chapel for the brethren’s spiritual retreat and religious obligations.[20] Here they worshipped God and prayed; here they kept the canonical hours and recited the Holy Office.[21] But it also had all the material facilities, which were generally accommodated on the ground floor. These included offices and store-rooms, a bakery and a mill to grind corn, a cow-house, a slaughter-house, wine-cellars and detention cells, and indeed the bagni for their slaves.[22] In Valletta, each auberge was sited according to which part of the fortification of the city the respective langue had to look after and defend. A work published in 1750 claimed that the auberges were ‘stiled more commonly courts or palaces, from their subsequent magnificence, designed for the seven nations.’ ‘Each of them,’ it continued, ‘had their great halls, where they hold their national councils, before they meet in the great one [at the grand master’s palace], in which everything relating to the order is deliberated, the grand masters chosen, peace and war resolved, ambassadors received, and the like.’[23]

On Hospitaller Malta, as on Hospitaller Rhodes, the auberge ‘was still the focus of the communal life of the langue,’ although very little is known, claims Gregory O’Malley, on ‘the quality’ of this life.[24] Indeed, during the last forty years or so, the


The Auberge de France at Valletta that was destroyed through enemy action during World War II.
Inset: The auberge's coat-of-arms

amount of scholarly work that has been published on the history of the military orders and the crusading movement has been enormous, but hardly anything has been written on the auberges, except perhaps for the history of their architecture.[25] There are still serious gaps in this field, so many questions left unanswered. To what extent were conditions, for example, regulating the brethren’s everyday life in the auberge adhered to? What were the brethren’s intellectual pursuits? What type of relationship existed among the brethren of the same group and between one auberge and another? The light cast by the statutes and other ordinances passed by the chapters-general and the Venerable Council, insightful though it may well be for the historian, is, not surprisingly, of a general nature. Such legislation, regulating the smooth running of the auberges, provided for the general maintenance of law and order. As in all other monasteries, certain Hospitaller ordinances related to the food served at meals, such as those regulating the type of fish and meat, the quantity of bread and wine the brethren were entitled to. Other rules related to the kitchen and the utensils used. Others still governed the disciplined behaviour of the brethren and their servants. Misbehaviour at meals and [p.170] disorderly behaviour in general at the auberge had been punishable from very early days.[26] One statute is being cited here by way of example.[27]

‘If a brother be guilty of any insolence or indecency in the Inn where he eats; if he breaks the door, benches, tables, or anything of the like nature, or fling them away carelessly, he shall be punished by the Master and Council, in proportion to the fault he has committed, so far as to be deprived of his standing [i.e. seniority] inclusively. Whoever shall strike the piliers, pages, servants or slaves, though he draws no blood, shall be punished with the quarantaine[28] for the first offence, with six months imprisonment for the second, and with the loss of two years of his standing for the third. If blood be drawn, but the hurt slight, he shall lie six months in prison for the first time; but if it be considerable, he shall lose his standing.’

Any complaints against the bread, wine, or meat served at table were to be addressed to the pilier, not to the master of the hall, the cook, or the caterer. With regards to crimes (delitti) committed by the brethren in the auberge, the pilier would submit a detailed report to the Council to take whatever action it deemed fit. His word was sufficient evidence; no corroborative explanation was required.[29]

The Auberge d'Italie at Valletta and its coat-of-arms in the inset.

The auberge was a national centre of Hospitaller sociability in the concept’s widest connotation. Individual patrons invested in it, offering to make benefactions to render it more ‘commodious and elegant’, indeed more worthy as a place where dignitaries could be entertained when they visited the Convent.[30] Theatrical performances were held there. In 1286, when the term auberge might not have had the same meaning as it carried later when the Order was divided into seven distinct langues, ‘the young King Henry of Cyprus landed at Acre and received the surrender of the citadel.’ Then, on 15 August, according to Jonathan Riley-Smith, he was crowned in Tyre, returned to Acre, ‘and there followed the last splendid festival of Latin Syria, with Arthurian pageants and Trojan romances performed before the young king in the auberge of the Hospital in Acre,’ including the story of the Round Table.[31] ‘In 1678,’ writes Cavaliero, ‘a French writer was amazed at the cheer he found at one Inn, fruit and vegetables of wonderful freshness, excellent bread, meat and game of the greatest variety and no shortage of ice, brought by [p.171] a special merchant from the summit of Mount Etna.’[32]

What had begun in Latin Syria lived on uninterruptedly through the long history of the Order. The auberges continued to live up to their historical reputation as national centres of entertainment. The early dawn of the eighteenth century saw Hospitaller Malta celebrate on a grand scale and in a grand style Philip of Anjou’s accession to the Spanish throne. There were fine firework displays. There was ‘extensive junketing’. As on so many other occasions, the magistral palace ‘was festooned with portraits of Louis XIV and of his grandson and with banners alluding to their glory.’ And so were the auberges. The three French auberges, and those of Castile and Aragon, ‘erected fountains which ran wine for three days and nights.’[33] Again the French auberges expressed their great joy and exultation with ‘fireworks, illuminations, banquets and theatricals’ to celebrate the election of Emmanuel De Rohan to the magistracy.[34] During carnival, when the rule of law was temporarily ‘suspended’ and ‘licence reigned,’ the auberges are [p.172] said to have kept ‘open house’.[35] It was in the auberge that Hospitallers, young and old, were entertained when they came to Malta from abroad – either in answer to a general citation or to participate in a chapter-general. It was in the great hall of their respective auberge that the brethren held formal meetings or assemblies to discuss the affairs of their langue, the state of their commanderies in Europe, and the general business of the Convent. It was precisely in one such assembly of the Langue of Italy that it was resolved to impose a tax for a period of two years equivalent to ten per cent of the value of the annual ordinary and extraordinary responsiones paid to the Common Treasury on all Hospitaller estates constituting the Italian priories – bailiwicks, commanderies, members, pensions – in order to help them build and furnish their auberge in the new city of Valletta. Their own funds were not enough. Earlier attempts, like their resort to free donations, the sale of precious objects, and the contribution of two-and-half per cent of the Italian Knights’ personal income had all proved insufficient.[36] This was not an isolated example. Other langues had had to take similar measures.[37] Such resolutions had then to be approved by the Venerable Council.[38] The first Italian auberge stood on Strada San Giorgio, close to the original site occupied by the magistral palace. With the latter’s expansion, the auberge had to move to another site, one near the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria.

The prosperous seventeenth century, with its Baroque splendour, spectacle, and drama, appears to have closed a long chapter in the history of the Order. The austere days of military vigilance and alertness of De l’Isle Adam and De Valette, the conventual and monastic rigidity of De Cassière – all reminiscent not only of the fighting spirit of Jerusalem, but also of fifteenth-century Rhodes – had gone. And if expectations from papal, episcopal, or inquisitorial quarters remained unchanged, it was because they remained rooted and fixed in times past, not allowing any sacred space for change. Life is a powerful dynamic force which only death can grind to a permanent halt. In no way can change be intrinsically interpreted as decadence or decline. Life on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Malta, especially in the midst of the cosmopolitan culture and sophisticated society of Valletta, offered more enticing charms and more appealing pursuits to occupy the mind of the Hospitallers than the likely loss of the Morea or the potential fall of Crete into enemy hands. All this notwithstanding, the island remained the strategic base of Hospitaller operations throughout the Mediterranean, on land and at sea. The Knights were deeply involved in Mediterranean power-politics, integrated into the life and development of the middle sea. From as early as the [p.173] very first few years of the Order’s stay, the Hospitallers and their new island-state began to participate actively in campaigns against the Ottomans in the Morea and, alongside the mighty Spanish armada, in Tunis, La Goletta, Mahdiya, Algiers, and Djerba on the North African coast; later, in collaboration with other forces at Lepanto in 1571, on Venice’s side in defence of Cyprus and, between 1645 and 1669, on besieged Crete. The Knights had succeeded in transforming the island into a frontier fortress ‘separating one civilization from another’.[39]

Did the institution of the Hospitaller auberge bequeath any lasting legacy to the Order? Viewed through the long-term perspective of history, the role the auberge played for so many years had its negative and positive aspects, with the latter, in the present writer’s opinion, far outweighing the former. The Hospitaller auberge helped in no small way in the gradual process of ‘segregation’ of the langues in distinct and detached inns of residence. The practice must have probably ‘fostered jealousies and assumptions of superiority,’ we are told,[40] and underscored ‘national differences’. Anthony Luttrell calls this phenomenon ‘a source of endless friction’,[41] as indeed it was. But should it not be attributed to the division of the Order of the Hospital into separate langues rather than to the auberges? The auberge was unthinkable without the langue. On the other hand, there can be no doubt either that it ‘encouraged healthy competition’, promoted ‘the pride each nation took in the maintenance of its special prerogatives, in the defence of its post, in the solidarity of its members, in its contribution to the glory of the Order’. All these latter features were positive and ‘essential’ forces in stimulating ‘a keen military spirit as organization into companies and regiments is in our armies’ today.[42] ‘Eagerness to add to the reputation of one’s langue by a magnificent act of personal bravery was an asset indispensable to the methods of warfare’ practised by the Order of the Hospital, ‘where individual valour and initiative were given full scope.’[43] This national centre of Hospitaller sociability and solidarity was for long years ‘the training-school of the sportsman in warfare, the athletic club, where the military spirit was nourished on criticism or example.’ It was in the Hospitaller auberge, claims Schermerhorn,[44] that ‘the proofs of the new knights were examined, the appointments for the caravans were made, and [p.174] the general business of the langue transacted.’[45] Along with the periodic chaptergeneral, and what Luttrell calls the ‘multinational conventual oligarchy of senior officers’, the institution of the auberge as a political force contributed too, in part, towards the effective limitation or moderation of the Grand Master’s ever increasing authority within the Order.[46]

Coats-of-arms of the Auberges of: Auvergne England Aragon Germany

[*]Victor Mallia-Milanes is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Malta, where he has served for several years as Head of the History Department and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. His special research interest is Venice, the Order of St John and Malta in the early modern period, on which he has published extensively. His most recent works include In the Service of the Venetian Republic: Massimiliano Buzzaccarini Gonzaga’s Letters to Venice’s Magistracy of Trade 1754-1776, PEG, Malta 2007; The Military Orders, Volume 3: History and Heritage, Ashgate, Aldershot 2008; ‘A Man with a Mission: A Venetian Hospitaller on Eighteenth-Century Malta’, in The Military Orders, Volume 4: On Land and by Sea, ed. J. Upton-Ward, Ashgate, Aldershot 2008, 251-66; and entry on ‘Malte’, in Prier et Combattre: Dictionnaire européen des orders militaires au Moyen Age, ed. N. Béeriou and Ph. Josserand, Fayard, Paris 2009. 

[1] The term Convent denoted the place, or headquarters, where the Master, the Conventual Church, the Holy Infirmary, and the Auberges were found.

[2] For the above remarks on the langue, see A. Luttrell, The Town of Rhodes 1306-1356, Rhodes 2003, 72-74, 115-16. See also idem, ‘The Military and Naval Organization of the Hospitallers at Rhodes, 1310-1444’, in A. Luttrell, The Hospitallers of Rhodes and their Mediterranean World, Variorum Collected Studies Series, Ashgate 1999, paper XIX.

[3] HJA Sire, The Knights of Malta, Yale University Press, New Haven/London 1994, 83.

[4] R. Cavaliero, The Last of the Crusaders: The Knights of St John and Malta in the Eighteenth Century, Hollis & Carter, London 1960, 16.

[5] Cf. A. Hoppen, The Fortification of Malta by the Order of St John 1530-1798, 1st edn, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh 1979, 6.

[6] J. Riley-Smith, The Knights of St John in Jerusalem and Cyprus c.1050-1310, Macmillan, London 1967, 248, 249-50.

[7] Cf. E.J. King, The Rule Statutes and Customs of the Hospitallers 1099-1310, Metheun, London, 1934, 54. King quotes the definition of the term Auberge as provided by later Statutes: ‘the usual name of the houses where the brethren eat together according to their Tongues, and assemble.’ Ibid., n.3.

[8] Each councillor occupied an important dignity – the Grand Commander [Provence], responsible overall for Finance; the Marshal [Auvergne]: the armed forces; the Grand Hospitaller [France]: the Holy Infirmary and other related medical services; the Grand Conservator [Aragon]: the clothing and material supply of the Order; the Admiral [Italy]: administrative charge of the navy; the Turcopolier [England]: the coastal watchtowers; the Grand Chancellor [Castile]: chancery and foreign affairs; and the Grand Bailiff [Germany]: fortifications.

[9] King.

[10] Sire, 83.

[11] Cavaliero, 16.

[12] L. de Boisgelin, Ancient and Modern Malta, London 1804, i, 221.

[13] E.W. Schermerhorn, Malta of the Knights, Heinemann, Kingswood – Surrey 1929, 69.

[14] Cavaliero, 9.

[15] D.Seward, The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders, Penguin, London 1972, 17.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid; also Schermerhorn (1929), 76, and Sire, 83.

[18] Cavaliero, 57.

[19] Schermerhorn (1929), 73-74.

[20] For example, the church of St Barbara (Provence), the church of Our Lady of Pilar (Aragon), the church of St James (Castile), the church of Our Lady of Liesse (France), and the church of St Catherine of Alexandria (Italy). See ibid., 78-80.

[21] Seward, 17.

[22] Surviving evidence, from as early as the mid-fourteenth century, indicates that slaves could be allowed to live in the auberge. See A.T. Luttrell, ‘Slavery at Rhodes, 1306-1440’, Latin Greece, the Hospitallers and the Crusades 1291-1440, London 1982, paper VI, 86-87.

[23] Modern History: Being a Continuation of the Universal History. Book XVIII, Chapter VII, Section 1: The History of the Island, and of the Order of the Knights, of Malta, London 1750, 7.

[24] G. O’Malley, The Knights Hospitaller of the English Langue 1460-1565, University Press, Oxford 2005, 281-84.

[25] 25 See, for example, the following articles by G. Darmanin Demajo: ‘L’albergia della Lingua d’Alemagna’, Archivio Storico di Malta, iv, 2-4, 1934, 65-96; ‘L’albergia della Lingua d’Alvergna e la cappella d’Alvergna in S. Giovanni’, Archivio Storico di Malta, ii, 4, 1931, 201-209; ‘Le albergie delle Lingue Iberiche e le loro chiese nazionali’, Archivio Storico di Malta, iii, 1-4, 1932, 70-114; ‘L’albergia di Francia e la chiesa della Madonna di Liesse’, Archivio Storico di Malta, ii, 2-3, 1931, 57-75; ‘Memorie storiche delle albergie dei cavalieri francesi dell’Ordine Militare di San Giovanni’, Archivum Melitense, viii, 2, 1930, 51-65; ‘Storia dell’albergia della Lingua d’Italia’, Archivio Storico di Malta, I, 4, 1930, 261-306. Cf. also R. de Giorgio, A City by an Order, Progress Press, Malta 1985, passim.

[26] Riley-Smith, 267; also King, passim.

[27] R.A. de Vertot, History of the Knights of Malta, Facsimile edn.: Malta 1989, ii, ‘The Old and New Statutes of the Order of St John of Jerusalem’, 107.

[28] This ‘entailed a beating and enforced fasting for forty days. The septaine entailed a beating and enforced fasting for a week.’ Riley-Smith, 267 sqq.; also King, 24 n.1.

[29] Ordinance 15, Auberges.

[30] See E.W. Schermerhorn, On the Trail of the Eight-Pointed Cross: A Study of the Heritage of the Knights Hospitallers in Feudal Europe, Putnam, New York 1940, 213.

[31] Riley-Smith, 99, 191.

[32] Cavaliero, 16. For the French visitor: Nouvelle Relation d’un Voyage et Description Exacte de l’Ile de Malte, Paris 1679.

[33] Cavaliero, 107-108. National Library of Malta, Archives of the Order (AOM), Cod. 265, 17, 25 April 1701.

[34] Schermerhorn (1929), 290.

[35] Ibid., 200.

[36] See L. Schiavone, ‘Il primo Albergo d’Italia a Valletta e i primi contribute per la sua costruzione’, Melita Historica, x, 1, 1988, 89-108: 94.

[37] Ibid., 95.

[38] Ibid., 94; Schermerhorn (1929), 69; F.W. Ryan, The House of the Temple: A Study of Malta and its Knights in the French Revolution, Burns Oates & Washbourne, London 1930, 10.

[39] F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, trans. S. Reynolds, London 1972-73, 845. See also V. Mallia-Milanes, ‘L’Ordine dell’Ospedale e le spedizioni antislamiche della Spagna nel Mediterraneo. Dal Primo Assedio di Rodi (1480) all’Assedio di Malta (1565)’, in Sardegna, Spagna e Mediterraneo: Dai Re Cattolici al Secolo d’Oro, ed. Bruno Anatra and Giovanni Murgia, Rome 2004, 111-24.

[40] Schermerhorn (1929), 73.

[41] A. Luttrell, ‘The Military Orders, 1312-1798’, in The Oxford History of the Crusades, ed. J. Riley-Smith, Oxford University Press, New York 2002, 334.

[42] Schermerhorn (1929), 73.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] The caravan was a tour-of-duty, which could entail such tasks as ‘serving aboard the galleys or performing garrison duty. Once such caravans were completed, the Knight would await eventual promotion to a commandery’ in Europe. Hoppen, 6. In the Syriac and Arabic languages, the term caravan denoted ‘a company of men that form a society for trafficking together. In Hospitaller language, it referred to the brethren specifically ‘picked and distributed … into garrisons, and on board the galleys, or to send them in companies to other places’. The caravans of the galleys were meant in part to serve as training, in part to provide for the manning of the galleys. When served on galleys, caravans provided the young knight with ‘some experience of practical naval matters’. Cavaliero,16. By the time of Grand Master Martino Garzes, Knights and servants-at-arms were ‘obliged to make four caravans in person on board the galleys of the Order, before they shall be capable of enjoying any commanderies whatever, and that nobody shall be admitted to make his caravans till he is full twenty years old.’ Vertot, ii, ‘Old and New Statutes’, 166.

[46] See Luttrell (2002), 334.