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Table of Contents

Introduction * The occident, the chivalric Orders, and their spiritual roots * The Hospitallers - from a brotherhood to an Order * The Hospitallers become a Chivalric Order * Internal changes and the international background * The `aristocratization' of an institution * The Hospitallers in Rhodes * Hospitallers, Templars, and the rulers of the occident - an uneasy partnership * Rhodes - the new headquarters * New orientations * Under Ottoman pressure * On the road to Malta * The Order and its rule - Power, statutes, and organization * From Rhodes to Malta - Aspects of a continuation * The decision for Malta and its global implications * The Hospitallers in Malta - A difficult beginning * Malta and Sicily - The legal and social background * Sieges and heroes * The corso - Backbone of a society and state * Upheavals and changes * The global picture and the Mediterranean environment * Malta and the impact of the rule of the Hospitallers * Social and demographic changes * New economic perspectives * Behind the scene * New cultural horizons * Creating identities - Religion and politics * The eighteenth century - Last splendour and dark clouds * New horizons and a dangerous road * End of an epoch * New arrangements and a complicated resurrection * Grand Masters of the Order of St John ruling over the Maltese islands * The Order's structure * SITES * Valletta * The Grand Harbour conurbation * The minor palaces and fortifications

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