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Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam was a prominent member of the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes and later Malta. Having risen to the position of Prior of the Langue of Auvergne, he was elected Grand Master of the Order in 1521. He commanded the Order during Sultan Suleiman's long and bloody Siege of Rhodes in 1522, when 600 knights and 4500 soldiers resisted an invading force of about 200,000 men for six months, but eventually negotiated the capitulation and the departure of the knights on New Year's Day 1523 to Crete. He then led the Order during several years without a permanent domicile—first Kandi on Crete, then successively Messina, Viterbo and finally Nice (1527-1529). In 1530 de L'Isle-Adam obtained the islands of Malta and Gozo and the North African port city of Tripoli as fief for the Order from Emperor Charles V and established the Order, henceforth known as the Maltese Knights, in their new base.

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Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam was a prominent member of the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes and later Malta. Having risen to the position of Prior of the Langue of Auvergne, he was elected Grand Master of the Order in 1521. He commanded the Order during Sultan Suleiman's long and bloody Siege of Rhodes in 1522, when 600 knights and 4500 soldiers resisted an invading force of about 200,000 men for six months, but eventually negotiated the capitulation and the departure of the knights on New Year's Day 1523 to Crete. He then led the Order during several years without a permanent domicile—first Kandi on Crete, then successively Messina, Viterbo and finally Nice (1527-1529). In 1530 de L'Isle-Adam obtained the islands of Malta and Gozo and the North African port city of Tripoli as fief for the Order from Emperor Charles V and established the Order, henceforth known as the Maltese Knights, in their new base. More...

 
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