Medieval Greece brings together twelve articles by historian Michael Heslop, showcasing his long-standing interest in the medieval castles of Greece.
Ten of the articles in this volume focus on the Dodecanese islands, mainly Rhodes, at the time of their rule by the Hospitallers during the period 1306–1522. Scholarly and popular interest in the military orders has grown substantially over the last twenty years, but comparatively little has been written about the Hospitaller Dodecanese. What distinguishes this work is the author’s use of hitherto unpublished documents from the Hospitaller archives in Malta and his assiduous field work on the island sites discussed. Heslop’s work on the Hospitallers on the island of Rhodes has also enabled him to put together an important gazetteer of place-names in the countryside of Rhodes, published here for the first time. The remaining two chapters of the collection summarize ground-breaking detective work to locate Villehardouin’s ‘lost’ castle of Grand Magne in the Mani, and present a wider study of Byzantine fortifications in medieval Greece.
This book will appeal to scholars and students of medieval history, and to all those interested in the history of the Hospitallers.
Table of Contents
1. The search for the defensive system of the Knights in Southern Rhodes
The Military Orders, Volume 4: On Land and Sea, ed. Judi Upton Ward (Ashgate, 2008), pp. 189–200
2. The search for the defensive system of the Knights in the Dodecanese (Part I: Chalki, Symi, Nisyros and Tilos)
On the Margins of Crusading: The Military Orders, the Papacy and the Christian World. Crusades Subsidia 4, ed. Helen Nicholson (Ashgate, 2011), pp. 139–165
3. The search for the defensive system of the Knights in the Dodecanese (Part II: Leros, Kalymnos, Kos and Bodrum)
Archaeology and Architecture of the Military Orders: New Studies, ed. Mathias Piana & Christer Carlsson (Ashgate, 2014), pp. 29–67
4. Hospitaller statecraft in the Aegean: island polity and mainland power?
The Military Orders, Volume 6.1: Culture and Conflict in the Mediterranean World, ed. Jochen Schenk and Mike Carr (Routledge, 2017), pp. 123–136
5. The countryside of Rhodes and its defences under the Hospitallers, 1306–1423. Evidence from unpublished documents and the late medieval texts and maps of Cristoforo Buondelmonti
Crusades, Volume 15 2016 (Routledge, 2017), pp. 177–197
6. Defending the frontier: the Hospitallers in Northern Rhodes
The Struggle for Supremacy: The Mediterranean World in 1453 and Beyond, ed. George Cassar, Dane Munro & Noel Buttigieg (Malta, Sacra Militia Foundation, 2018), pp. 31–38 (text), 73–79 (maps)
7. Rhodes 1306–1423: the landscape evidence and Latin-Greek cohabitation
Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Volume 41, No 1 (2019), pp. 83–104
8. A Florentine cleric on Rhodes: Bonsignore Bonsignori’s unpublished account of his 1498 visit
The Military Orders, Volume 7: Piety, Pugnacity and Property, ed. Nicholas Morton (Routledge, 2019), pp. 329–344
9. The defences of Middle Byzantium in Greece (seventh–twelfth centuries): the flight to safety in town, countryside and island
Nikos D. Kontogiannis and Michael Heslop, Byzantine Greece, Microcosm of Empire: Proceedings of the 46th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham, 23–25 March 2013 (Routledge, forthcoming)
10. Prelude to a Gazetteer of place-names in the countryside of Rhodes 1306–1423: evidence from unpublished documents
Crusades, Volume 18 (Routledge, 2020)
11. Villehardouin’s castle of Grand Magne (Megali Maini): a re-assessment of the evidence for its location
Crusading and Archaeology, Crusades Subsidia, Papers from the 9th Conference of the SSCLE, Odense, Denmark, 2017 (Routledge, 2020)
12. A Gazetteer of place-names in the countryside of Rhodes 1306–1423
Michael Heslop read history at Cambridge University, before following a career in the oil industry, leading to appointments as CEO of several oil companies. Although he still works as a director of an executive search firm, he has progressively spent increasing time pursuing his academic interests in medieval Greece. He was appointed an honorary research associate in Byzantine studies at Royal Holloway College, University of London, in 2003 and honorary fellow in 2019; he is also a FSA. He has served on the Steering Committee of the Friends of the Hellenic Institute at Royal Holloway since 2003. A member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies for fourteen years, he acted as chair of the Military Orders conferences held in London in 2013 and 2017. He co-edited Byzantium and Venice, 1204–1453: Collected Studies of Julian Chrysostomides (2011).
Tributes to the author’s work include the following:
Heslop’s article "is among the most engaging of all the contributions and he supplements his analysis with excellent maps."
"Heslop produces a very enjoyable paper…. He perfectly highlights the potential of archaeological and architectural studies in challenging and advancing our knowledge of the military orders."
"Michael Heslop’s impeccable research on the defensive works is second to none."
"he has done superb work" (according to the late Professor David Jacoby)