the Hospital's Character and Evolution (1)
|Gerusalemme nel codice
di Federico di Montefeltro (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Urb. Lat. 277, fol. 132 v.). Al centro l'ospedale dell'Ordine
di San Giovanni.
The origins of the Order of St. John remain somewhat obscure,
and the homelands of the founder Girardus, perhaps an Italian,
and of the first Master Fr. Raymond de Podio, possibly French
or Provençal, are unknown. The emergence of the Hospital
was an aspect of the profound religious revival in the West
which generated a reformed papacy, monastic renewal based
on Cluny, lay movements for the support of charity and hospitals,
and the first crusade. Probably in about 1070 various merchants
from Amalfi, and perhaps from elsewhere in Southern Italy,
founded a hospice for Latin pilgrims in Jerusalem which was
attached to the Benedictine house of Sancta Maria Latina;
subsequently a second house was established for women. These
hospices were for pilgrims and especially for the poor rather
than for the medically sick. Their staff may have been lay
brethren under some vow of obedience. The hospices seem not
to have had their own incomes or endowments, their resources
coming from the Amalfitans and the Benedictines and perhaps
also from pilgrims and other visitors (2
brief study seeks merely to outline certain approaches developed
elsewhere. The best overall history is H. Sire, The Knights of Malta
(New Haven, 1994), though it is not always reliable on points of
detail. For the early periods, J. Riley-Smith, The Knights of St.
John in Jerusalem and Cyprus: ca. 1050-1310 (London, 1967), and
J. Delaville le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers à Rhodes jusqu'à
la mort de Philibert de Naillac: 1310-1421 (Paris, 1913); for the
post-1421 period, G. Bosio, Dell'Istoria della Sacra Religione et
Illustrissima Militia di San Giovanni Gerosolimitano, ii (2nd ed:
Rome, 1629) [the first edition should not be used].
 R. Hiestand, "Die Anfänge
der Johanniter", in Die geistlichen Ritterorden Europas, ed.
J. Fleckenstein - M. Hellmann (Sigmaringen, 1980); A. Beltjens,
Aux Origines de l'Ordre de Malte: de la Fondation de l'Hôpital
de Jérusalem à sa Transformation en Ordre militaire
(Brussels, 1995); A. Luttrell, "The Earliest Hospitallers"
in Montjoie: Studies in Crusading History in Honour of Hans Eberhard
Mayer, ed. B. Kedar et al. (Aldershot, 1997).