The present book combines the efforts of fifteen researchers whose areas of expertise bring forth various aspects of the history of the Order of St John and the times during which the Hospitallers were prominently active. This publication deals with the Hospitaller Knights as much as it does with the societies and the powers that crossed paths with them at some time or other. These dynamic vectors converge because of the vigorous competition between Christianity and Islam- a struggle among the main powers surrounding the Mediterranean basin. Consequently, the central focus of this publication followed one of Fernand Braudel’s favourite expressions of exploring the main area of research within its general context. The basic concept of continuity and change is best explored as a consequence of the Order’s environment. To write about the ebb and flow of the Knights’ history outside of the political, economic and socio-cultural developments within the Mediterranean Region and the territories that constitute it, would simply be a futile exercise.