Friday, February 15, 2013

Chivalry in the Modern World

The Knights of Malta today.
In 1113 Pope Paschal II formally recognised the independence of the Knights with a Papal bull, the original of which is still held in Malta's National Archives. The Knights have had a long history of displacement around the Mediterranean. After being evicted from Jerusalem by Saladin towards the end of the 12th Century, they set up a new headquarters in Cyprus, and subsequently on the island of Rhodes where they created an independent state. During the Middle Ages they were more warriors than hospitallers. For two centuries they were the masters of Malta but they were again evicted, this time by Napoleon who occupied the island on his way to Egypt. They finally settled in Rome in 1834, where they continue to enjoy many of the privileges of statehood, such as the power to appoint and receive ambassadors, print stamps, and issue passports, without actually having a real state to govern. (Read entire article.)


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