The Shield and the Sword
The order of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem is the most long-lived military orders of knighthood. Founded in a hospice on the road to Jerusalem, it never numbered more than an active few thousand. In the order's frequent clashes with the expanding power of Islam, we see a microcosm of the conflict between east and west that lasted for centuries. The author describes the order from its first beginnings in the holy land, the increase in its wealth, power and territory, its expulsions from Cyprus and Rhodes culimating in the great siege of Malta in which the knights heroically stemmed the tide of Suleiman the Magnificent's expansion. The knights of St John were master mariners, navigators and builders of their time, and today their work continues in the sending of doctors and medical supplies to troublespots, and the maintenance of hospitals throughout the world.
- Paperback | 256 pages
- 109.22 x 177.8 x 22.86mm | 204.12g
- 01 Nov 2002
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
- New edition
- New edition
- 14 b&w illustrations, 4 maps, bibliography, index
Table of contents
Crusaders; the order of St. John; crusaders in the east; eternal warfare; the armoured men; an end and a beginning; crusaders in exile; an island home; Rhodian spring; death to dragons; the wind and the sea and the ships; from fire comes fire; siege; peace and power; by order of the Sultan; the end of a dream; "two fine, large harbours"; knights and corsairs; opponents; attack; the territory of the knights; aftermath and city; Lepanto and Malta; 17th century; more medical than military; decline...; ...and fall; a phoenix from the ashes. Appendices: The order since the loss of Malta; list of the grand masters of the order; a military glossary.
About Ernle Bradford
Ernle Bradford is a former Royal Navy officer and the the author of The Great Siege, The Mediterranean published in Classic Penguin History and Cleopatra published in Classic Penguin Biography.