Ottoman Conquest of Rhodes, 1522

A.) Prehistory

The Order of the Knights Hospitaller (Order oif St. John, Maltese Knights) had participated in the crusades and in 1309 established itself on the island of Rhodes, which it turned into a bulwark of christianity in the continued conflict with Islam (from the mid-14th century onward, the Ottoman Empire). Rhodes had withstood Ottoman sieges in 1460 and 1480.

B.) The Siege of 1522

Sultan Mehmet II. regarded Rhodes a pirate's nest, in 1522 Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent dispatched a force reportedly 140,000 men strong, which landed July 28th. The fortress of Rhodes held out for several months; the island, however, proved untenable. Starved, Grand Master Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle Adam surrendered Dec. 21st 1522. On January 1st 1523 the Knights Hospitaller withdrew.

C.) The Legacy

In 1530 Emperor Charles V. transferred the island of Malta to the Knights Hospitaller.

Timeline Knights Hospitallers, from Crusades Information Page
Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, from Catholic Encyclopedia
History of Rhodes, from Island of Rhodes
Article Rhodos 1522, from Historiske Slag, in Danish
The Knights of Rhodes, from SMOM
DOCUMENTS Images : Siege of Rhodes 1480, Siege of Rhodes, XV. Century, Map City of Rhodes, 15th C. from Mappe di Citta' ed altre mappe antiche diverse, comment in Italian

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 3rd 2003, last revised November 17th 2004

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