Since the Order’s founding 900 years ago, many names have been used to identify it. Its history has been one of movement from one country to another, which has added to the proliferation of its names.
At first, the knights were called the Knights Hospitaller (or Hospitallers), which described their mission. But they were also called the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, because of their presence in the Holy Land. After conquering the island of Rhodes in 1310, they became the Knights of Rhodes. In 1530 Emperor Charles V ceded the island of Malta to the Knights. And from that time, the members of the Order took the name that is still the most used today: Knights of Malta.