The treatment of patients
The Hospitaller of the Order was by tradition the head of the Langue de France. He appointed, for a period of two years, one of the Knights as the ‘Infirmarer’, whose job it was to supervise the doctors, surgeons, apothecaries and nurses of the Infirmary. Patients did not pay for treatment, but they were obliged to abide by the rules of the hospital which hung on a chain in the main hall. These enforced tranquility and quiet, and obliged every patient to be confessed on admission and to draw up a will, to abstain from gambling and to read only material of a religious nature. As elsewhere in the Mediaeval world, physicians (superior in status) and surgeons (considered more as artesans) worked independently. When amputation was necessary, the hospital would provide a certificate attesting that the intervention was as the result of in jury and not a punishment for crimes. Patients were allowed a personal servant; they were allotted an individual bed and cubicle, and ate from silver plate for what were considered reasons of hygiene. They were visited twice daily by the physicians on duty, as well as by the Infirmarer in person.
The entrance to the Knights Hospital faces the narrow opening of the Arnaldo Gate, due east across the attractive Museum Square. The entrance to the gate on the in side is flanked by two buildings: to the south is the Inn of the Tongue of England, originally erected in 1482, almost destroyed during the 19th century, and rebuilt on the original plan by Col. Sir Vivian Gabriel and repaired by the British in 1949. The north wall bears a large panel of restored coats of arms of England (only the left hand corner is original), set in an extravagant ogival frame with oak-leaf motif. Opposite to the north is the open portico of the House of Guy de Melay, similarly restored ‘in style’ by Armando Bernabiti in 1930.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.