Today in European history: the Great Siege of Malta ends (1565)

The two most famous military orders to emerge from the Crusades were the Knights Templar, which was named for its first headquarters on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the Knights Hospitaller, which ran a hospital in Crusader Jerusalem before it diversified into the fighting business. The Templars are easily the more famous of the two, since they’ve seeped well into popular literature and film (The Da Vinci Code, for example). But whereas the Templars were hunted down and disbanded in the early 1300s, the Hospitallers have survived to the present day—though now they’re called the “Sovereign Military Order of Malta,” partly because of the siege we’re about to revisit.

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