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Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam

Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam (1464 – 1534) was a prominent member of the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes and later Malta. Having risen to the position of Prior of the Langue of Auvergne, he was elected Grand Master of the Order in 1521.

He commanded the Order during Sultan Suleiman's long and bloody Siege of Rhodes in 1522, when 600 knights and 4500 soldiers resisted an invading force of about 200,000 men for six months, but eventually negotiated the capitulation and the departure of the knights on New Year's Day 1523 to Crete.

He then led the Order during several years without a permanent domicile—first Kandi on Crete, then successively Messina, Viterbo and finally Nice (1527-1529). In 1530 de L'Isle-Adam obtained the islands of Malta and Gozo and the North African port city of Tripoli as fief for the Order from Emperor Charles V and established the Order, henceforth known as the Maltese Knights, in their new base.

Villiers de L'Isle-Adam died in Malta on 21 August 1534.

Preceded by
Fabrizio del Carretto
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
Succeeded by
Piero de Ponte


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