chapter  8
18 Pages

‘Martyrum collegio sociandus haberet’: Depictions of the Military Orders’ Martyrs in the Holy Land, 1187–1291

The military orders on the island were better placed as they could call on Western resources, but they needed time to rebuild and to develop a naval capacity for which there had previously been little need. Jonathan Riley-Smith believes that this is what the Hospitallers were trying to do in the 1290s, although the orders policy of restricting the size of the military establishment on the island did not look good to outsiders, and contrasts with the efforts of John of Villiers before 1291 to bring out fresh soldiers from the West. By this time, the third great military order, the Teutonic Knights, which had operated throughout much of the thirteenth century in a state of tension between commitment to the Holy Land and the needs of their expanding interests in Prussia and Livonia, had ceased to be a force of any importance in Eastern crusading.