The Hospitallers were the first of the Secular Crusading Orders to be created, though they were only 'militarized' after the establishment of the Templers. The Hospitallers played a major role in the military struggle between Christendom and the Islamic World throughout the medieval and early modern periods. The Hospitallers recruited from a wide section of society, but their structure and attitudes reflected the aristocratic based society of their day. They primarily campaigned on land during the first phase of their existence, and primarily at sea during their second phase. This book offers a full exploration of the significant role played by the Hospitallers in the cultural, political and economic development of the Christian Empire.