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History of Malta

Malta has been inhabited from around 5200 BC, since the arrival of the Sicani tribe from the Italian island of Sicily.[1] Later came the arrival of the Phoenicians and the Greeks who named the island Μελίτη (Melite) meaning "honey sweet".

Contents

Abbreviated Timeline

Further information: Timeline of Maltese history

Geology

Malta stands on an underwater ridge that extends from North Africa to Sicily. At some time in the distant past Malta was submerged, as shown by marine fossils embedded in rock in the highest points of Malta. As the ridge was pushed up and the straits of Gibraltar closed through tectonic activity, the sea level was lower, and Malta was on a bridge of dry land that extended between the two continents, surrounded by large lakes. Some caverns in Malta have revealed bones of elephants, hippopotami, and other large animals now found in Africa, while others have revealed animals native to Europe.

Prehistory

Further information: Ġgantija
One of the so-called "fat ladies" of ancient Malta, unearthed at Tarxien. The Neolithic temple of Mnajdra

Man first arrived in Malta around 5200 BC. These first Neolithic people probably arrived from Sicily (about 100 kilometres/60 miles north), and were mainly farming and fishing communities, with some evidence of hunting activities. They apparently lived in caves and open dwellings. During the centuries that followed there is evidence of further contacts with other cultures, which left their influence on the local communities, evidenced by their pottery designs and colours.

One of the most notable periods of Malta's history is the temple period, starting around 3600 BC. The Ggantia Prehistoric Temple in Gozo are the oldest free-standing buildings in the world (photo). Many of the temples are in the form of five semicircular rooms connected at the centre. It has been suggested that these might have represented the head, arms and legs of a deity, since one of the commonest kinds of statue found in these temples is a fat woman — a symbol of fertility. The Temple period lasted until about 2500 BC, at which point the civilization that raised these huge monoliths seems to have disappeared. There is much speculation about what might have happened and whether they were completely wiped out or assimilated.

After the Temple period came the Bronze Age. From this period there remains of a number of settlements and villages, as well as dolmens — altar-like structures made out of very large slabs of stone. One surviving menhir, which was used to build temples, still stands at Kirkop; it is one of the few still in good condition. Among the most interesting and mysterious remnants of this era are the so-called cart ruts as they can be seen at a place on Malta called Clapham Junction. These are pairs of parallel channels cut into the surface of the rock, and extending for considerable distances, often in an exactly straight line. Their exact use is unknown. One suggestion is that beasts of burden used to pull carts along, and these channels would guide the carts and prevent the animals from straying.

Phoenicians and Greeks

The society that built these structures eventually died out or at any rate disappeared. Phoenicians from Tyre colonized the islands around 1000 BC, using them as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean.

In the late 8th century BC, a Greek colony called Melite (from the Doric Greek word for "honeybee") was founded on the main island.

Carthage and Rome

The islands later came under the control of Carthage (400 BC) and then of Rome (218 BC). The islands prospered under Roman rule, during which time they were considered a Municipium and a Foederata Civitas. Many Roman antiquities still exist, testifying to the close link between the Maltese inhabitants and the people of Rome. In AD 60, the islands were visited by Saint Paul, who is said to have been shipwrecked on the shores of the aptly-named "Saint Paul's Bay". Studies of the currents and prevalent winds at the time however, render it more likely that the shipwreck occurred in or around St. Thomas Bay in Marsaskala.

In 440 the island was captured by the Vandals, which had recently occupied the Roman province of Africa. It was recovered by the east Roman general Belisarius in 533, along with the other Vandal possessions, and remained a part of the east Roman province of Sicily for the next 340 years.

Arabization and the Maltese language

Malta was occupied by Sicilian Arabs in AD 870. The following 220 years of Arab rule was influential on the existing civilization. The Arabs introduced many new techniques in irrigation, some of which are still used, unchanged. Many placenames in Malta also date to this period. The city of Mdina, extensively modified in this period, also bears slight resemblance to towns found in the North of Africa.

The Norman takeover of Malta isolated the Maltese dialect of Arabic from Islamic contact and mainstream Arabic, and Maltese evolved quickly into a distinct language. It is a Semitic language, derived from Arabic and later much influenced by Italian (Sicilian and Standard Italian), and to some degree also by English. For many centuries, the Maltese language was only used in spoken form, and Italian was used for writing. Today the Maltese language, written in the Latin alphabet, is used as the standard language of Malta, alongside English, which remains an official language.

Middle ages

In 1091, count Roger I of Sicily, made an initial attempt to establish Norman rule of Malta. In 1127, his son Roger II of Sicily succeeded. This marked the gradual change from an Arab cultural influence to a European one. In 1191, Tancred of Sicily appointed Margaritus of Brindisi the first Count of Malta.

Until the 13th century, however, there remained a strong Muslim segment of society. Malta was an appendage of Sicily for 440 years. During this period, Malta was sold and resold to various feudal lords and barons and was dominated successively by the rulers of Swabia, Angevin, Aragon, Castile, and Spain. Eventually Aragon, who then ruled Malta, joined with Castile in 1479, and Malta became part of the Spanish Empire.

Malta's administration thus fell in the hands of the local nobility, mostly of Sicilian and Spanish origins, who formed a governing body called the Università.

Re-enactment of 16th century military drills conducted by the Knights of St. John. Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta, Malta, May 8, 2005.

Knights of St. John

Main article: Knights Hospitaller

In the early 16th century, the Ottoman Empire started spreading over the region, reaching South-East Europe. The Spanish king Charles V feared that if Rome fell to the Turks, it would be the end of Christian Europe. In 1522, Suleiman II drove the Knight Hospitallers of St. John out of Rhodes. They dispersed to their commanderies in Europe. Wanting to protect Rome from invasion from the South, in 1530, Charles V handed over the island to these Knights.

For the next 275 years, these famous "Knights of Malta" made the island their domain. They built towns, palaces, churches, gardens, and fortifications and embellished the island with numerous works of art and enhanced cultural heritage.

The order of the Knights of St. John was originally established to set up outposts along the route to the Holy Land, to assist pilgrims going in either direction. Owing to the many confrontations that took place, one of their main tasks was to provide medical assistance, and even today the eight-pointed cross is still in wide use in ambulances and first aid organisations. In return for the many lives they saved, the Order received many newly conquered territories that had to be defended. Together with the need to defend the pilgrims in their care, this gave rise to the strong military wing of the Knights. Over time, the Order became strong and rich. From hospitallers first and military second, these priorities reversed. Since much of the territory they covered was around the Mediterranean region, they became notable seamen.

The Great Siege

Main article: Siege of Malta (1565)

After several retreats and defeats, including the loss of their last stronghold in Rhodes (at Turkey's doorstep) the Order was offered the island of Malta. From here they resumed their seaborne attacks of Ottoman shipping, and before long the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent ordered a final attack on the Order. By this time the Knights had occupied the city of Birgu, which had excellent harbours to house their fleet. Also Birgu was one of the two major urban places at that time, the other most urban place being Mdina the old capital city of Malta. The defences around Birgu were enhanced and new fortifications built on the other point where now there is Senglea. Also a small fort was built at the tip of the peninsula where now stands the city of Valletta and was named Fort St. Elmo.

On May 18, 1565, Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to Malta. By the time the Ottoman fleet arrived the Knights were as ready as they could be. First the Ottomans attacked the newly built fort of St. Elmo and after a whole month of fighting the fort was in rubble and the soldiers kept fighting till the Turks ended their lives. After this they started attacking Birgu and the fortifications at Senglea but to no gain.

After a protracted siege ended on September 8 of the same year, which became known in history as "the Great Siege", the Ottoman Empire conceded defeat as the approaching winter storms threatened to prevent them from leaving. The Ottoman empire had expected an easy victory within weeks. They had 40,000 men arrayed against the Knights' nine thousand, most of them Maltese soldiers and simple citizens bearing arms. Their loss of thousands of men was very demoralising. The Ottomans made no further significant military advances in Europe and the Sultan died a few years later.

After the siege

The year after, the Order started work on a new city with fortifications like no other, on a peninsula called Gholja Sciberras which the Ottomans had used as a base during the siege. It was named Valletta after Jean Parisot de Valette, the Grand Master who had seen the Order through its victory. Since the Ottoman Empire never attacked again, the fortifications were never put to the test, and today remain one of the best-preserved fortifications of this period.

Unlike other rulers of the island, the Order of St. John did not have a "home country" outside the island. The island became their home, so they invested in it more heavily than any other power. Besides, its members came from noble families, and had amassed considerable fortune due to their services in the route to the Holy Land. The architectural and artistic remains of this period remain among the greatest of Malta's history, especially in their "prize jewel" — the city of Valletta.

However, as their main raison d'être had ceased to exist, the Order's glory days were over.

French conquest

Over the years, the power of the Knights declined; their reign ended when Napoleon Bonaparte's fleet arrived in 1798, en route to his expedition of Egypt. Napoleon asked for safe harbor to resupply his ships, and when they refused to supply him with water, Napoleon Bonaparte sent a division to scale the hills of Valletta. Grand Master Hompesch capitulated, and Napoleon stayed in Malta for a few days during which he systematically looted the moveable assets of the Order and established an administration controlled by his nominees; however, Napoleon also established a liberal law system based on that of the French Revolution in place of the archaic and feudal system in place, and freed 2000 Muslim slaves kept on the island.[1] He then sailed for Egypt leaving a substantial garrison in Malta. Since the Order had also been growing unpopular with the local Maltese, the latter initially viewed the French with optimism. This illusion did not last long. Within months the French were closing convents and seizing church treasures. The Maltese people rebelled, and the French garrison of General Claude-Henri Belgrand de Vaubois retreated into Valletta. After several failed attempts by the locals to retake Valletta, they asked the British for assistance. Rear Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson decided on a total blockade, and in 1800 the French garrison surrendered.

British rule

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In 1800, Malta voluntarily became part of the British Empire. Under the terms of the 1802 Treaty of Amiens, Britain was supposed to evacuate the island, but failed to keep this obligation - one of several mutual cases of non-adherence to the treaty, which eventually led to its collapse and the resumption of war between Britain and France.[citation needed]

Although initially the island was not given much importance,[citation needed] its excellent harbours became a prized asset for the British especially after the opening of the Suez canal. The island became a military and naval fortress, the headquarters of the British Mediterranean fleet. Home rule was refused to the Maltese until 1921 although a partly elected legislative council was created as early as 1849, and the locals sometimes suffered considerable poverty.{Attard P.76}

This was due to the island being overpopulated and largely dependent on British military expenditure which varied with the demands of war. Throughout the 19th century, the British administration instituted several liberal constitutional reforms{Luke ChVIII} which were generally resisted by the Church and the Maltese elite who preferred to cling to their feudal privileges.{Attard P.64:Luke P.107}

In 1919, there were riots over the excessive price of bread. These would lead to greater autonomy for the locals.[citation needed] Malta obtained a bicameral parliament with a Senate (abolished in 1949) and an elected Legislative Assembly. The Constitution was often suspended, however, in order that good governance could continue despite interference in politics by the Church{Attard P.128:Luke.P197} and the reluctance of the Italian-speaking elite to allow the Maltese speaking majority to freely use their own language.{LukeP.111}

Language issue

Before the arrival of the British, the language of the educated elite had been Italian, but this was increasingly downgraded by the increased use of English. In 1934, English and Maltese were declared the sole official languages.

The British associated Italian with the Mussolini regime in Italy, which had made territorial claims on the islands,[citation needed] although the use of Italian by nationalists was more out of cultural affinities with Italy than any sympathy with Italian Fascism.[citation needed]

In 1934, only about 15% of the population could speak Italian.{Luke P.113} This meant that out of 58,000 males qualified by age to be jurors, only 767 could qualify by language, as only Italian had till then been used in the courts.{Luke P.113} This injustice carried more weight than concerns over Fascism.[citation needed]

World War II

See also: Siege of Malta (1940)

Before World War II, Valletta was the location of the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet's headquarters. However, despite Winston Churchill's objections,[citation needed] the command was moved to Alexandria, Egypt, early in the war.[Elliot] At the time of the Italian declaration of war (June 10, 1940), Malta had a garrison of less than four thousand soldiers and about five weeks' of food supplies for the population of about three hundred thousand. In addition, Malta's air defences consisted of about forty-two anti-aircraft guns (thirty-four "heavy" and eight "light") and four Gloster Gladiators, for which three pilots were available.

Being a British colony, situated close to Sicily and the Axis shipping lanes, Malta was bombarded by the Italian and German air forces. Malta was used by the British to launch attacks on the Italian navy and had a submarine base. It was also used as a listening post, reading German radio messages including Enigma traffic.[citation needed]

The first air raids against Malta occurred on 11 June 1940; there were six attacks that day. The island's biplanes were unable to defend due to the Luqa Airfield being unfinished; however, the airfield was ready by the seventh attack. Initially, the Italians would fly at about 5,500 m, then they dropped down to three thousand metres (in order to improve the accuracy of their bombs). Major Paine stated, "[After they dropped down], we bagged one or two every other day, so they started coming in at [six thousand metres]. Their bombing was never very accurate. As they flew higher it became quite indiscriminate."[citation needed] Mabel Strickland would state, "The Italians decided they didn't like [the Gladiators and AA guns], so they dropped their bombs [thirty kilometres] off Malta and went back."[citation needed]

By the end of August, the Gladiators were reinforced by twelve Hawker Hurricanes which had arrived via HMS Argus. During the first five months of combat, the island's aircraft destroyed or damaged about thirty-seven Italian aircraft. Italian fighter pilot Francisco Cavalera observed, "Malta was really a big problem for us—very well-defended." On Malta, 330 people had been killed and 297 were seriously wounded. In January 1941, the German Fliegerkorps X arrived in Sicily as the Afrika Korps arrived in Libya.

On 15 April 1942, King George VI awarded the George Cross (the highest civilian award for gallantry) "to the island fortress of Malta — its people and defenders." President Franklin Roosevelt, describing the wartime period, called Malta "one tiny bright flame in the darkness."

Attempted integration with the United Kingdom

After the war, the islands were given self-rule, with the Maltese Labour Party (MLP) of Dom Mintoff favouring closer integration with the United Kingdom, and the Nationalist Party (PN) of Dr. George Borg Olivier favouring further independence.

In December 1955, a Round Table Conference was held in London, on the future of Malta, attended by Mintoff, Borg Olivier and other Maltese politicians, along with the British Colonial Secretary, Alan Lennox-Boyd. The British government agreed to offer the islands their own representation in the British House of Commons, with the Home Office taking over responsibility for Maltese affairs from the Colonial Office.

Under the proposals, the Maltese Parliament would retain responsibility over all affairs except defence, foreign policy, and taxation. The Maltese were also to have social and economic parity with the UK, to be guaranteed by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), the islands' main source of employment. This received large support in a referendum on 14 February 1956, although a boycott by the PN and the Roman Catholic Church meant that the result was inconclusive. Further disagreement with the MLP over finance led to the talks breaking down in 1958, with direct rule being imposed by London.

While France had implemented a similar policy in its colonies, some of which became overseas departments, the status offered to Malta from Britain constituted a unique exception. Malta was the only British colony where integration with the UK was seriously considered, and subsequent British governments have ruled out integration for remaining overseas territories, such as Gibraltar.

v • d • eBritish Empireand Commonwealth of Nations

Legend
Current territory  ·   Former territory
* now a Commonwealth Realm  ·   now a member of the Commonwealth of Nations

Europe 

18th century
1708-1757  Minorca
since 1713  Gibraltar
1782-1802  Minorca

19th century
1800-1964  Malta
1807-1890  Heligoland
1809-1864  Ionian Islands
1878-1960  Cyprus

20th century
since 1960  Akrotiri and Dhekelia

North America 

16th century
1583-1907  Newfoundland

17th century
1607-1776  Thirteen Colonies
since 1619  Bermuda
1670-1870  Rupert's Land

18th century
Canada (British Imperial)
   1763-1791  Quebec
   1791-1841  Lower Canada
   1791-1841  Upper Canada

19th century
Canada (British Imperial)
   1841-1867  Province of Canada
   1849-1866  Vancouver Island
   1858-1871  British Columbia
   1859-1870  North-Western Territory
   1862-1863  Stikine Territory
*Canada (post-Confederation)
   1867-1931  Dominion of Canada1

20th century
*Canada (post-Confederation)
   1907-1934  Dominion of Newfoundland2

1 In 1931, Canada and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. 'Dominion' remains Canada's legal title; see Canada's name.
2 Remained a de jure dominion until 1949 (when it became a Canadian province); from 1934 to 1949, Newfoundland was governed by the Commission of Government.

Latin America and the Caribbean 

17th century
1605-1979  *Saint Lucia
1623-1883  Saint Kitts (*Saint Kitts & Nevis)
1624-1966  *Barbados
1625-1650  Saint Croix
1627-1979  *St. Vincent and the Grenadines
1628-1883  Nevis (*Saint Kitts & Nevis)
1629-1641  St. Andrew and Providence Islands3
since 1632  Montserrat
1632-1860  Antigua(*Antigua & Barbuda)
1643-1860  Bay Islands
since 1650  Anguilla
1651-1667  Willoughbyland (Suriname)
1655-1850  Mosquito Coast (protectorate)
1655-1962  *Jamaica
since 1666  British Virgin Islands
since 1670  Cayman Islands
1670-1973  *Bahamas
1670-1688  St. Andrew and Providence Islands3
1671-1816  Leeward Islands

18th century
1762-1974  *Grenada
1763-1978  Dominica
since 1799  Turks and Caicos Islands

19th century
1831-1966  British Guiana (Guyana)
1833-1960  Windward Islands
1833-1960  Leeward Islands
1860-1981  *Antigua and Barbuda
1871-1964  British Honduras (*Belize)
1882-1983  *St. Kitts and Nevis
1889-1962  Trinidad and Tobago

20th century
1958-1962  West Indies Federation

3 Now the San Andrés y Providencia Department of Colombia.

Africa 

18th century
1792-1961  Sierra Leone
1795-1803  Cape Colony

19th century
1806-1910  Cape Colony
1816-1965  Gambia
1856-1910  Natal
1868-1966  Basutoland (Lesotho)
1874-1957  Gold Coast (Ghana)
1882-1922  Egypt
1884-1966  Bechuanaland (Botswana)
1884-1960  British Somaliland
1887-1897  Zululand
1888-1894  Matabeleland
1890-1980  Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
1890-1962  Uganda
1890-1963  Zanzibar (Tanzania)
1891-1964  Nyasaland (Malawi)
1891-1907  British Central Africa
1893-1968  Swaziland
1895-1920  British East Africa
1899-1956  Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

20th century
1900-1914  Northern Nigeria
1900-1914  Southern Nigeria
1900-1910  Orange River Colony
1900-1910  Transvaal Colony
1906-1954  Nigeria Colony
1910-1931  South Africa
1911-1964  Northern Rhodesia (Zambia)
1914-1954  Nigeria Protectorate
1915-1931  South West Africa (Namibia)
1919-1960  Cameroons (Cameroon) 4
1920-1963  Kenya
1922-1961  Tanganyika (Tanzania) 4
1954-1960  Nigeria

4 League of Nations mandate.

Asia 

18th century
1757-1947  Bengal (West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh)
1762-1764  Philippines
1795-1948  Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
1796-1965  Maldives

19th century
1819-1826  British Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore)
1826-1946  Straits Settlements
1839-1967  Colony of Aden
1841-1997  Hong Kong
1841-1941  Kingdom of Sarawak (Malaysia)
1858-1947  British India (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Burma)
1882-1963  British North Borneo (Malaysia)
1885-1946  Unfederated Malay States
1891-1971  Muscat and Oman protectorate
1892-1971  Trucial States protectorate
1895-1946  Federated Malay States
1898-1930  Weihai Garrison

20th century
1918-1961  Kuwait protectorate
1920-1932  Iraq4
1921-1946  Transjordan4
1923-1948  Palestine4
1946-1948  Malayan Union
1946-1963  Sarawak (Malaysia)
1948-1957  Federation of Malaya (Malaysia) since 1965  British Indian Ocean Territory

4 League of Nations mandate.

Oceania 

18th century
1788-1901  New South Wales

19th century
1803-1901  Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania
1807-1863  Auckland Islands6
1824-1980  New Hebrides (Vanuatu)
1824-1901  Queensland
1829-1901  Swan River Colony/Western Australia
1836-1901  South Australia
since 1838  Pitcairn Islands
1840-1907  *Colony of New Zealand
1850-1901  Victoria (Australia)
1874-1970  Fiji5
1877-1976  British Western Pacific Territories
1884-1949  Territory of Papua
1888-1965  Cook Islands6
1888-1984  Sultanate of Brunei
1889-1948  Union Islands (Tokelau)6
1892-1979  Gilbert and Ellice Islands7
1893-1978  British Solomon Islands8

20th century
1900-1970  Tonga (protected state)
1900-1974  Niue6
1901-1942  *Commonwealth of Australia
1907-1953  *Dominion of New Zealand
1919-1949  Territory of New Guinea
1949-1975  Territory of Papua and New Guinea9

5 Suspended member.
6 Now part of the *Realm of New Zealand.
7 Now Kiribati and *Tuvalu.
8 Now the *Solomon Islands.
9 Now *Papua New Guinea.

Antarctica and South Atlantic 

17th century
since 1659  St. Helena (On African Continent)

19th century
since 1815  Ascension Island9
(On African Continent)

since 1816  Tristan da Cunha9
(On African Continent)

since 1833  Falkland Islands11
(South America)

20th century
since 1908  British Antarctic Territory10
since 1908  South Georgia and
                    the South Sandwich Islands
10, 11

9 Dependencies of St. Helena since 1922 (Ascension Island) and 1938 (Tristan da Cunha).
10 Both claimed in 1908; territories formed in 1962 (British Antarctic Territory) and 1985 (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).
11 Occupied by Argentina during the Falklands War of April-June 1982.

Independence

It was soon clear that the locals now favoured independence, and on 21 September 1964, Malta became an independent state. This is celebrated as Independence Day or Jum l-Indipendenza in Maltese. Malta remained in the Commonwealth and recognised the Queen as head of state. The Maltese pound - renamed the Maltese lira (LM) - ended its link with the pound sterling. Dom Mintoff became Prime Minister again in 1971 and moved towards loosening ties with the United Kingdom and pursuing a non-aligned foreign policy, establishing close ties with Libya. Malta became a republic on December 13, 1974, with the last Governor-General, Sir Anthony Mamo, as its first President. In 1979 the last British forces left the island.

The controversial 1981 general election saw the PN gain an absolute majority vote, yet also the MLP win a majority of Parliamentary seats. Mintoff remained Prime Minister, and the PN , led by Eddie Fenech Adami, went through a tough campaign for a change in constitution to reflect democratic majority. Mintoff resigned from Prime Minister in 1984, when Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici took over the seat. Once again, the PN achieved majority for the 1987 general election, and due to constitutional changes effected in order to ensure the 1981 situation would not repeat itself, the PN took Government. The PN sought to improve Malta's ties with Western Europe and the United States.

EU membership

The PN, fronted by its leader Fenech Adami, together with vice-leader Guido deMarco, advocated Malta's membership in the European Union (EU).

This became a divisive issue, with Labour being opposed. Labour won the 1996 general election, and Labour's Alfred Sant, now Prime Minister, froze Malta's application for EU membership. However, in 1998 the Labour Government was forced to call early elections, after an internal land-lease controversy with former Labour PM and leader, Dom Mintoff. The PN won the 1998 election, and reactivated the application for EU membership. A referendum on EU membership in 2003 saw a majority of over 19,000 votes in favour of membership from 91% of those who had right to vote.

Labour stated that it would not be bound by the result were it returned to power in the forthcoming general election that year. However, the PN won absolute majority again, and Malta joined the EU in May 2004.

EuroZone

On 16 May 2007, the European Commission backed by the European Central Bank gave its green light for the introduction in January 2008.The EU finance ministers gave the green light on 10 July 2007. On 1st January 2008 Malta adopted the Euro as the national currency together with the Maltese Lira. On 1st February 2008, the Maltese Lira lost its legal tender.

Trivia

Trivia sections are discouragedunder Wikipedia guidelines.
The article could be improved by integratingrelevant items and removing inappropriateones.
  • The Maltese Falcon: When Charles V handed the island over to the Knights, one of the conditions attached to the handover was that the Order would send the King a live falcon as an annual tribute. The jewel-encrusted golden falcon of Dashiell Hammett's novel The Maltese Falcon (adapted by John Huston into a famous 1941 film) is entirely fictitious.
  • The Maltese Cross: Technically, this is the cross of the Order of St John, but the name "Maltese Cross" stuck. It was not used by the order from its inception. Initially a Greek cross with V-shaped ends, the traditional shape with four arrowheads touching at their tips first appears when the Knights were in Malta.

See also

External links


References

  1. ^ a b "Gozo", IslandofGozo.org, 7 October 2007. 
  2. ^ Debattista, Martin; Timeline of Malta History; retrieved on [2008-05-14]
  • Stephenson, Charles. The Fortifications of Malta 1530-1945. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2004.
  • Attard, Joseph. Britain and Malta. Malta: PEG Ltd.1988.
  • Luke, Sir Harry. Malta - An Account and an Appreciation. Great Britain: Harrap, 1949.
  • Elliot, Peter. The Cross and the Ensign. Great Britain. Patrick Stephens. 1980.
v • d • eHistory of EuropeSovereign
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Italics indicates an unrecognised or partially recognised country. 1 Entirely in Southwest Asia.  2 Partially or entirely in Asia, depending on the border definitions.  3 / 4 / 5 / 6 Has part of its territory in Asia / North America / South America / Africa.  7 / 8 Entirely on the North American Plate/ African Plate. Categories: History of Malta | National historiesHidden categories: NPOV disputes from December 2007 | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since August 2007 | Articles with trivia sections from June 2007

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