Giovanni Paolo Lascaris

Last updated
Giovanni Paolo Lascaris
Giovanni Paolo Lascaris di Ventimiglia e Castellar.jpg
Grand Master of the Order of Saint John
In office
16 June 1636 14 August 1657
Monarch King Philip III
Preceded by Antoine de Paule
Succeeded by Martin de Redin
Personal details
Born28 June 1560
Died14 August 1657 (1657-08-15) (aged 97)
Malta
Resting place St. John's Co-Cathedral
ProfessionGrandmaster of the Knights of St. John
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the Order of St. John (various).svg Order of Saint John

Giovanni Paolo Lascaris di Ventimiglia e Castellar (28 June 1560 14 August 1657) was an Italian nobleman and Grand Master of the Knights of Malta.

Contents

Early life

Lascaris was born on 28 June 1560, the second son of Giannetto Lascaris and his wife Franceschetta di Agostino Lascaris of the ancient family of the Counts of Ventimiglia, related to the Lascaris who were emperors of the Byzantine Nicaean Empire.

Palais Palazzo Lascaris de Vintimille a Castellar Palazzo Palais Lascaris de Vintimille a Castellar.jpg
Palais Palazzo Lascaris de Vintimille à Castellar

In 1584, he entered the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. As a member of the order he lived for over thirty years in a priory and was responsible for a range of monastic functions. He was put in charge of the order's grain supplies and later, in 1615, the order's furnaces across the island. He comported himself well and was promoted to master of the "St Anthony" prison.

In 1632 he was sent as ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain.

On the death of Grand Master Antoine de Paule, there were three candidates for election as Grand Master; Lascaris, Signorino Gattinara (about whom little is known) and Martin de Redin. Inquisitor Fabio Chigi (later Pope Alexander VII) attended as representative of Pope Urban VIII. Failing to secure enough votes for his own election, de Redin encouraged his supporters to instead side with Lascaris. On 16 June 1636, Lascaris was elected Grand Master of the Order of Malta, a position he held until his death.

As Grand Master

Lascaris towers

Lippija Tower, the first of the Lascaris towers Malta - Mgarr - Ta' Lippija Tower 02 ies.jpg
Lippija Tower, the first of the Lascaris towers

The following year, Lascaris commissioned a series of towers as fortifications around the island of Malta, [1] now known as the Lascaris towers . The towers were designed and built by papal military architect, Vincenzo Maculani. [2] Lascaris Battery was named in his honor.

Martin de Redin, who succeeded Lascaris as Grand Master of the Order, commissioned further towers and the combined collection of fortifications is often referred to as the De Redin towers .

Lascaris' ban

In 1639, Lascaris implemented a ban on women wearing masks or attending masked balls during carnivale . The ban was unpopular and locals blamed Lascaris' Jesuit confessor, Father Cassia. They took to the streets to poke fun at the Jesuits and Lascaris had one of the instigators arrested. A Jesuit college was ransacked as retaliation and those responsible demanded that Lascaris banish the Jesuit order from Malta, which he did for a short time while tensions abated. The incident is still remembered today as Lascaris' ban . [3]

Wars of Castro

Giuseppe Caloriti's View of Valletta and the Three Cities with the galleon "Lascara" (named in honour of Lascaris) entering the harbour of Malta's capital, Valletta. Caloriti - View of Valletta and the Three Cities.jpg
Giuseppe Caloriti's View of Valletta and the Three Cities with the galleon "Lascara" (named in honour of Lascaris) entering the harbour of Malta's capital, Valletta.

Also in 1639, Pope Urban VIII asked Lascaris to intervene in the First War of Castro by sending naval forces owned by the order to assist papal troops against the Dukes of Parma; specifically galleons and other warships. But the Dukes of Parma, as well as the Duchy of Venice, the Duchy of Florence and Duchy of Modena (who were allied with them), appealed to Lascaris not to provide the pope with support. [4]

Lascaris played a dangerous double game; he sent warships to aid the pope while assuring the Dukes they were there only as a show of force and would not participate in the conflict. Sure enough, conflict was limited to on-land skirmishes and Lascaris' troops never fired a single shot.

Caribbean colonies

In 1651, the Knights, with Lascaris's approval, bought the island of Saint-Christophe, along with the dependent islands of Saint Croix, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin, from the failing Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique. [5] The Knights' ambassador to the French court, Jacques de Souvré, signed the agreement. [6] The Order's proprietary rights were confirmed in a treaty with France two years later: while the king would remain sovereign, the Knights would have complete temporal and spiritual jurisdiction on their islands. The only limits to their rule were that they could only send French knights to govern the islands, and upon the accession of each new King of France they were to provide a gold crown worth 1,000 écus. [7] In 1665, after Lascaris's death, the Knights sold their islands back to France, ending their brief colonial project.

The Gozo monastery

In October 1652 Pope Innocent X closed a number of monasteries including one on Gozo. However, it was opened again after just four months thanks to intervention from Lascaris who was close to the monks of the order. A portrait of Lascaris still hangs in the monastery today.

See also

Related Research Articles

1591 Calendar year

1591 (MDXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. As of the start of 1591, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar.

Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy (1584–1660) was a French nobleman and Bailiff Grand Cross of the Knights of Malta. He governed the island of Saint Christopher from 1639 to his death in 1660, first under the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique and later under the Knights of Malta themselves. Poincy was the key figure in the Hospitaller colonization of the Americas.

Holy League (1571) alliance of European countries from 1571

The Holy League of 1571 was arranged by Pope Pius V and included the major Catholic maritime states in the Mediterranean except France. It was intended to break the Ottoman Empire’s control of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and was formally concluded on 25 May 1571. Its members were:

Suppression of the Society of Jesus Eighteenth century action in European Catholic countries

The suppression of the Jesuits was a politically instigated removal of all members of the Society of Jesus from most of the countries of Western Europe and their colonies, beginning in 1759, and ultimately approved by The Holy See in 1773. In 1814, Pope Pius VII restored the Society to its previous provinces and Jesuits began resuming their work in those countries.

Manuel Pinto da Fonseca 68th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Saint John

Manuel Pinto da Fonseca was a Portuguese nobleman, the 68th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John, from 1741 until his death.

Martin de Redin Spanish general

Fra' Martin de Redin was a Spanish military and politician, and the 58th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta. He became Grand Prior of the Order of Malta of Navarra in 1641, and Viceroy of Sicily in 1656.

Knights Hospitaller Medieval and early modern Catholic military order

The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller, the Knights of Malta, or the Order of Saint John, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem until 1291, on the island of Rhodes from 1310 until 1522, in Malta from 1530 until 1798 and at Saint Petersburg from 1799 until 1801. Today several organizations continue the Hospitaller tradition, most importantly the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George chivalric order

The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, also historically referred to as the Imperial Constantinian Order of Saint George and the Order of the Constantinian Angelic Knights of Saint George, is a dynastic order of knighthood of the Catholic Church. Currently, the grand magistry of the order is disputed among the two claimants to the headship of the former reigning House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies as heirs of the House of Farnese, namely Prince Pedro and Prince Carlo. The order was confirmed as a religious-military order in a 1718 papal bull owing to a notable success in liberating Christians in the Peloponnese. Alongside the Sovereign Military Order of Malta it is the sole international Catholic Order which still has this status today. Although it is not an order of chivalry under patronage of the Holy See, membership is restricted to practising Catholics.

Maltese Carnival

Carnival has had an important place on the Maltese cultural calendar for just under five centuries, having been celebrated since at least the mid-15th century. Carnival has been a prominent celebration in the Islands since the rule of Grand Master Piero de Ponte in 1535.

Ġnejna Bay bay in Mġarr, Malta

Ġnejna Bay is a popular tourist destination located about 1 kilometer from the village of Mġarr on the western coast of Malta. The beach surrounding the bay is mostly sandy. A secluded strip of shore under the steep cliff on the northern side of the bay is a popular nudist beach, although the practice is technically illegal in Malta and frowned upon by the conservative Catholic population.

De Redin towers

The De Redin Towers are a series of small coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1658 and 1659. Thirteen towers were built around the coast of mainland Malta, eight of which still survive.

The Lascaris Towers are a series of mostly small coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1637 and 1652. The first seven towers were built around the coast of mainland Malta between 1637 and 1638. Between 1647 and 1652, a large tower was also built on mainland Malta, and two smaller ones were built on Gozo.

The Wignacourt towers are a series of large coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1610 and 1620. A total of six towers of this type were constructed, four of which survive.

Vincenzo Maculani Catholic cardinal

Vincenzo Maculani was an Italian Catholic Cardinal, inquisitor and military architect. He was known as a severe man, harsh and without compassion, who preferred the black cappa of his order to the brighter purple he was later entitled to wear as a cardinal.

History of Malta under the Order of Saint John History of the island of Malta uner the rule of the Knights Hospitalier.

Malta was ruled by the Order of Saint John as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1530 to 1798. The islands of Malta and Gozo, as well as the city of Tripoli in modern Libya, were granted to the Order by Spanish Emperor Charles V in 1530, following the loss of Rhodes. The Ottoman Empire managed to capture Tripoli from the Order in 1551, but an attempt to take Malta in 1565 failed.

Hospitaller colonization of the Americas 17th-century Knights Hospitaller of Malta possession of four Caribbean islands

The Hospitaller colonization of the Americas occurred during a 14-year period in the 17th century in which the Knights Hospitaller of Malta, led by Italian Grand Master Giovanni Paolo Lascaris, possessed four Caribbean islands: Saint Christopher, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Croix.

Fortifications of Malta

The fortifications of Malta consist of a number of walled cities, citadels, forts, towers, batteries, redoubts, entrenchments and pillboxes. The fortifications were built over thousands of years, from around 1450 BC to the mid-20th century, and they are a result of the Maltese islands' strategic position and natural harbours, which have made them very desirable for various powers.

Navy of the Order of Saint John

The navy of the Order of Saint John, also known as the Maltese Navy after 1530, was the first navy of a chivalric order. It was established in the Middle Ages, around the late 12th century. The navy reached its peak in the 1680s, during the reign of Grand Master Gregorio Carafa. It was disbanded following the French invasion of Malta in 1798, and its ships were taken over by the French Navy.

Italy and the colonization of the Americas Roles of Italians in the colonization of the Americas.

Italy and the colonization of the Americas was related to: 1) Italian explorers and colonizers serving for other European nations; 2) The role played by the Roman Pontiff in Christianizing the New World and resolving disputes between competing colonial powers; 3) Limited attempts to create a colony in the Americas, by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the early 1600s and by an Italian Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller of Malta.

References

  1. Gneja Tower Christian Formosa, "A Military History of Malta", University of Malta, Faculty of Education – Retrieved on 26 July 2007
  2. History of the popes; their church and state (Volume III) by Leopold von Ranke (2009, Wellesley College Library)
  3. Cassar Pullicino, Joseph. "The Order of St. John in Maltese Folk-Memory" Archived 2016-04-17 at the Wayback Machine . Melitensia. p. 173.
  4. Biographical Dictionary of Italy: Lascaris, Giovanni Paolo (Volume 63, 2004)
  5. Dubé, Jean-Claude (2005). The Chevalier de Montmagny: First Governor of New France . Translated by Elizabeth Rapley. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. pp.  263–287. ISBN   0-7766-0559-3 . Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  6. Mifsud, A. (1914). Knights Hospitallers of the Venerable Tongue of England in Malta. Valletta, Malta. p. 246. ISBN   0-404-17009-9 . Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  7. Allen, David F. (1990). Web page by Malta Historical Society. "The Social and Religious World of a Knight of Malta in the Caribbean, c. 1632-1660". Libraries and Culture. 25 (2): 147–157. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
Preceded by
Antoine de Paule
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
16351657
Succeeded by
Martin de Redin