The Mediterranean island of Rhodes formed the base for the Knights of St John from 1306 until the capture of the island by the Ottoman Turks in 1522. The armour they left behind on Rhodes was discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century, and was recognised as an exceedingly important find for the study of medieval armour. Over the ensuing decades it was brought back to Europe, and since that time individual pieces and groups of the armour have been scattered among public and private collections in Europe and America. The authors of this study have tracked down almost all of the pieces from the find, and presented them in a catalogue form so that the total contents of the find can be assessed for the first time since their dispersal. The catalogue also describes the relationships that exist between the Rhodes pieces and other surviving elements of medieval armour, as well as armour depicted in medieval art, and provides an essential source of reference on the whole field of European armour of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.
Winner of the inaugural Justus Lipsius Award 2002 for outstanding contributions to arms, armour and military studies