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The Hospitaller Rule

 
Summary


Like all religious and military orders, the Hospitallers were governed by a rule which dictated the activities and coduct of those who belonged to the Order. Although there is some speculation about whether the Hospitallers initially followed the Benedictine rule, it is clear that by the mid-twelfth century, a new rule for the Hospitallers was created to reflect their new status as defenders of the Holy Land. The rule was first conceived as a Latin text, but the final version appears in French, in deference to the linguistic preferences of the Knights Hospitaller who were less proficient in Latin than the vernacular. The earliest written rule is known as the Rule of Raymond le Puy, because it appeared during the time when he served as grand master. It was approved by Pope Eugene III sometime before 1153. 

Several changes and additions were made to the Rule over the course of the Order's history, all of which appeared in French and at times were translated into other languages for the benefit of the Order's western chapters. There are therefore many forms of the Rule, published in editions that reflect the changes made to the Rule or variations that were made by local chapters. Some of these versions, which correspond to the re-location of the Order from Jerusalem to Acre to Cyprus, are listed below;

MSS

See description of each version below for corresponding manuscripts

Edition
Early Version- Rule of Raymond le Puy

Anglo-Norman Version

Statutes of Roger of Moulin (Acre)

Statutes from Cyprus

Statutes from Rhodes













Secondary Literature

Delavaux de la Roulx, “Les Statuts de l'Ordre de L'Hopital de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem,” Bibliothèque de l'Ecole de Chartes, 48 (1887), 341-356.

 

Rule Of Raymond le Puy


Summary: Also called the rule of "Raymond du Puy," after the Master of the Order from 1120-1160, the first version of the rule was produced in both Latin and Old French, and was amended to include new rules and statutes over the course of the order's history.

MSS: Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris, fr. 7909-03
Turin, Biblioteca dell"Universita, ms. G. II, 36
Malta, Archives of the Order, ms. no number

Editions:

Cartulaire Générale de l’ordre  des Hospitaliers de Saint Jean de Jérusalem (1100-1310). d. J. Delaville Le Roulx, 4. vols. Paris: 1894-1906.

English translation: E. J. King, The Rule, Statutes and Customs of the Hospitallers 1099-1310. London: Metheun, 1934. Reprint: 1981.

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Anglo-Norman Version


Summary: For an interesting example of an Anglo-Norman version of the Rule, composed in rhyming couplets in later 12th-century Britain, see:

Edition: K.V. Sinclair,The Hospitallers Riwle. London: Anglo Norman Text Society, 1984.

Manuscript:

Secondary Literature:
See Fordham's French of England site for background on works such as this.


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Statutes of Roger of Moulins


Summary:
Written in Acre between 1278 and 1283, these statutes are further additions to the Hospitaller Rule.

MS: Rome, Vatican Lat, 4852

Edition: S. Edgington, "Administrative Regulations for the Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem dating from the 1180s," Crusade 4 (2005), 21-37.

Secondary Literature:

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Statutes FROM cyprus

 
Summary:

MS:

Edition
: “Statutes and Regulations of the Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem, established during the Order’s stay on the Island of Cyprus,” in Mas Latrie, Louis de., Ed. Histoire de l’Isle de Chypre sous le règne des princes de la maison de Lusignan, vol. 2, pp. 89-91. Paris, Imprimerie Nationale,1852.



Secondary Literature:



Statutes FROM Rhodes



Summary:

MS:

Edition:
A copy of 17 enactments made in the Chapter General held in Rhodes on the 2nd of March, 1353.P. 91, Cataloge of the Records of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in the Royal Malta Library. Compiled by Zammit Gabarretta and Joseph Mizzi.Vol. 1, Archives 1-72, Malta University Press, Malta, 1964.

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