Discovering a Hospitaller Order in Frankish Greece: The Order of St James in the Principality of Achaia

In: Frankokratia
Guillaume Saint-Guillain University of Picardy Amiens France

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Chris Schabel University of Cyprus Nicosia Cyprus

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The Hospital of St James in Andravida, a mixed house of male and female religious in the capital of the Principality of Achaia, has long been known to historians of Frankish Greece, but recent publications allow us to identify the institution as the head of an entire hospitaller order, founded by Prince Geoffrey I of Villehardouin. This helps explain Geoffrey II’s desire to incorporate St James into the military-hospitaller Teutonic Order, initiating a long struggle within and over St James that involved the papacy and that, understandably, has not been examined closely until now. The saga ended under Prince William II with the incorporation of St James into the Templar Order instead, although with the dissolution of the latter St James came into the hands of the Hospitallers. This paper tells the history of this newly discovered Order of St James from 1209/1210 until its absorption into the Templars in 1246.

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