The Knights of Malta were founded by Amalfitan merchants and monks as a hospital about A.D. 1000, to treat pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land, but military necessity soon forced on them a warring as well as a benevolent medical role. They grew into one of the two wealthiest and extremely disciplined and powerful brotherhoods of the Middle Ages and a pillar of defense for the Holy Land in the Crusades. Master builders, they built the most fortified and inaccessible castles which became the model for European castles for the next two centuries.
The knights seemingly disappeared from sight, reemerging in the twentieth century as a powerful sovereign state supported by the Vatican. They are dedicated today to international relief operations.
In this video we trace their incredible history with major attention given to their key role in the Crusades.
Order of the Knights of Malta (53 min)
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