Religion: Chastened Knights

The Knights of Malta are historically men of privilege and resiliency. After their emergence during the 12th century as a crusading order of warrior-clerics, they built up strong dynasties in Palestine, Rhodes and Malta successively; it took Napoleon's army to end their temporal dominion in 1798. For the last century and a half, they have devoted themselves to works of charity. Although most of them are now laymen, the highest degree of the Knights, as always, has been bound by religious vows, and membership in the order, for all except the lowest category, has been restricted to men of noble blood....

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