Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Aspects of the Hospitaller Commandery 1631-1798
Authors: Mercieca, Simon
Keywords: Knights of Malta -- History -- 17th century
Order of St John -- History -- 17th century
Knights of Malta -- History -- 18th century
Order of St John -- History -- 18th century
Issue Date: 1993
Citation: Mercieca, S. (1993). Aspects of the Hospitaller Commandery 1631-1798 (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The present study of the commandery of the Order of St John of Jerusalem is intended to be a continuation of my B.A (Hons.) dissertation on The Office of the Receiver. It will concentrate on the period 1631-1789, a period during which the commandery would receive its definitive form and name. The economic crisis of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Europe led to several changes in the legal concept of land ownership. bringing with it the refeudalization of the land. Within the structure of the Order, the medieval mansions and preceptories were in the similar process of being transformed into complex patterns of land structures, referred to as commanderies. This change would combine with the new norms demanded by the Council of Trent and the exigencies of the late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Baroque world, to turn the commandery into a new exhibition of social etiquette. The present study would seek to understand both the structure of the commandery in medieval times as well as the new realities created after 1787, which ushered in a rapid sequence of suppressions from both foes and friends of the Hospitaller institution. It will conclude with the Order's reaction to these structural changes in the 1830s by putting old wine in new bottles, in an abortive attempt to resuscitate a feudal land ownership in a European world which was already in the stream of a full industrial transformation. This study, therefore, intends to throw more light on the still missing framework behind the whole structure of the Hospitaller commandery. Although extensive works have been undertaken on particular commanderies, a fresh approach on the administrative structure is felt to be still wanting. This work aims in the first place to survey how the commandery should have functioned in theory, and secondly how this worked out in practice. The works written by Fra' Gio. Maria Caravita, the Order's think-tank, will provide, as they did in my previous dissertation, the framework for this study. Other works, mostly in manuscript form, have been consulted on the Order's statutes. Most of the research has been carried out in Malta and Rome. In Malta I delved mostly in the rich archives of the Order of St John at the National Library in Valletta. A scholarship from the Italian Government enabled me to spend nine months in Rome, consulting manuscripts in both public and private archives. In Rome, most of my research was carried out at the Angelica, Valliceriana, Casatanense, and the Accademia dei Lincee, the Biblioteca Nazionale, the Biblioteca della Camera, and that of the University 'La Sapienza', the Alessandrina, the Biblioteca V aticana and the Archivio Secreto Vaticano. I also had the opportunity to consult the Library of the Sovereign Hospitaller Order in Via Condotti. This frantic search in libraries and archives proved quite fruitful as it brought to my knowledge not only inedited manuscript information, but more importantly an indispensable amount of secondary source material, ranging from papers, articles and books on the Order in general to studies on the commanderies in particular.
Description: M.A.HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 1964-1995
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 1967-2010

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
11.45 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.