Sunday, 29 May 2016
CRUSADERS AND CASTLES IN BODRUM
The present city of Bodrum was called Halicarnassus in ancient times, and according to legend was founded by Anthes, one of the sons of Poseidon. The Greek city was subsequently part of the Roman and then Byzantine Empires, then was ruled by Central Asian Tartars known as the Seljuk Turks, who are considered the ancestors of the present Turkish people. As a result of the Crusades, the Knights Hospitaliers or Knights of St. John arrived in 1402. Originally commissioned by Pope Gregory in 623 to build hospitals in the Holy Land for the care of Christian pilgrims, the Knights of St. John became one of the most powerful Catholic military orders of the Middle Ages. They fortified the city of with the Castle of St. Peter, which eventually gave the city a new name and became the site of one of the world’s most interesting archeological museums. Greek influence persisted in what became the city of Bodrum because it was settled by a large population of Greek-speaking Muslims from Crete who moved there after the former Ottoman island became part of Greece after the First World War.