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  • The Hospitallers, the Mediterranean and Europe. Festschrift for Anthony Luttrell
  • Jochen G. Schenk
The Hospitallers, the Mediterranean and Europe. Festschrift for Anthony Luttrell. Edited by Karl Borchardt, Nikolas Jaspert, and Helen J. Nicholson. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2007. Pp. xiv, 321. $114.95. ISBN 978-0-754-66275-4.)

To do justice to Tony Luttrell's scholarly influence and interests in a single Festschrift is surely a daunting task, and therefore the editors of the present volume were well advised to put as few restrictions as possible on the thematic focus of the papers they hoped to collect and let the wide spectrum of topics that made it into the collection speak for itself. The result is a kaleidoscope of twenty-two generally highly informative articles spanning chronologically from the eleventh to the sixteenth century (and in the case of Jonathan Riley-Smith's thoughts on the history of the military orders even beyond) and geographically from Ireland to Jerusalem, from the Iberian Peninsula to Hungary, and from Rhodes to the Baltic. The articles are put into rudimentary thematic order under the headings "The Crusader Period," "Rhodes and the Latin East," and "The Military-Religious Orders in the West." All but one (Elizabeth A. Zachariadou, "Historical Memory in an Aegean Monastery: St. John of Patmos and the Emirate of Menteshe") deal with the military orders. Among these the Order of Saint John naturally takes center stage, but the Order of the Temple and the Teutonic Knights also receive some coverage.

The papers collected in the Festschrift contain more than one highlight. Bernard Hamilton and Peter Edbury, in their respective articles, demonstrate how a well-known event such as the murder of the Assassins' envoy to King Amalric by a group of Templars in 1178 can still yield new results and insights if it is examined from a new perspective and with new questions in mind. In the case of Edbury's essay, which examines the manuscript tradition of the French translation of William of Tyre, our main source for the event, the insight involves examination of the increasingly hostile description of the Templars in the popular translation of an already critical chronicle—a development that, according to the author, "could well have had a part, directly or indirectly, in hounding the Order out of existence" (p. 35). Hamilton, for his part, argues that besides being politically motivated, the actions of the Templars may also reflect their institutional code of conduct and identity. Judith Bronstein's interpretation of the extremely odd but obvious need of thirteenth-century Hospitallers for crusade indulgences underscores the longlasting and traumatic impact the militarization of the Order in the twelfth century still had on the spiritual identity of many of its members almost a century later. Themes that are frequently discussed by other contributors include [End Page 770]the lines of friction in the religious and political landscape that developed whenever and wherever military orders appropriated and exercised seigneurial and religious rights and roles, the social and political entanglements that could inform order politics on the ground and determine the careers of individual brethren, and the ways and methods by which discipline in individual orders could be maintained and sanctions applied. Focusing on the evidence for Marseilles, David Jacoby's essay illustrates how reliant the Order of St. John was on the fleets of the French and Italian merchant cities until 1291. A similar trend to outsource some of the activities that were always vital for the functioning of the Order is also discernible from Michael Gervers and Nicole Hamonic`s statistical analysis of English Hospitaller charters. As Gervers and Hamonic can demonstrate, the business of drafting charters in the Hospital was largely in the hands of nonprofessed (hired) notaries and scribes who often resorted to formularies. The Festschrift's final paper, by Riley–Smith, provides a useful definition of the military orders as specific religious institutions distinguished by their history, functions, and ethos, but also discusses why some orders adapted to new circumstances while others failed (in the case of the Order of the Temple in dramatic fashion) to survive. A helpful bibliography of Luttrell`s numerous monographs and articles (many of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 770-771
Launched on MUSE
2009-10-10
Open Access
No
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