Page 1346

1346 UNIVERSAL HISTORY.-THE MODERN WORLD.

comon cause. In the great battle of Gaza,

A. D. 1244, the losses of both Hospitallers

and Templars were so -great that the two

Orders came nigh suffering a common extinction. Finally, when, in 1291, the city of

Acre was taken by the Moslems, the knights

retired to Cyprus, where they made a stand

and recruited their wasted ranks from the overflowing commanderies of the West. It was

at this time that the Order of Saint John

became a maritime power, having its own

fleets and winning its own victories in the

eastern Mediterranean. Early in the fourteenth century they seized the island of

Rhodes, where they established their power,

and defied the Turks for more than two hundred years. In 1522 they were driven from

their stronghold, and obliged to seek a new