Knights Hospitaller


The Knights Hospitaller was a medieval Catholic military order founded in 1113 CE with the full name of 'Knights of the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem'. After their base was relocated to Rhodes in the early 14th century CE, the order's members were often called the Knights of Rhodes and when they moved again in 1530 CE, this time to Malta, they were subsequently known as the Knights of Malta. The original purpose of the order was to provide aid and medical care to Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, but it soon became a military order which acquired extensive territories in Europe and whose knights made significant contributions to the Crusades in Iberia and the Middle East. The Knights Hospitaller, identified by their distinctive white eight-pointed cross on a black background, participated in many other campaigns besides, notably those involving the Byzantine Empire. The order still exists today in several modified forms in many countries worldwide, ranging from the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Saint John to the volunteer Saint John's Ambulance Brigade.

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