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Unlike their sometime rivals the Templars, the Order of St John of the Hospital of Jerusalem (or the Hospitallers as they are better known) was not created as a result of the First Crusade in 1099: rather, it was probably established by a group of Italian merchants from Amalfi in the mid-11th century. However, as a consequence of the crusading movement, the Hospitallers became recognised experts in the military capabilities of opposing Islamic armies. This book, the first of two to examine the lifestyle, experiences and military role of the Hospitaller knight, covers the period from the foundation of the order to the invasion of Rhodes in 1306.
David Nicolle was born in 1944 and worked for the BBC before returning to university in Edinburgh, where he obtained his PhD. He subsequently taught at Yarmouk University in Jordan. He is a specialist in medieval arms and armour, and has written many books as well as numerous articles for specialist journals. He has also presented papers at many international conferences.
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