Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Maltese History in Context: An Overview

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will give students a coherent overview of the continuities and changes that characterize the history of Malta and the Mediterranean over the centuries. No prior knowledge is required, just a willingness and enthusiasm to learn. This study-unit is a self-contained one, but at the same time it will serve as a 'road-map' for students of the Diploma ‘Maltese History in Context’ as it will provide the bearings necessary to meander through a rich, complex and evocative past. Following an introductory lecture, students will be taken on a voyage from prehistory to contemporary times, with each session being presented by an expert in that particular field. The lectures are organized in a chronological sequence, but there is a strong thematic element running throughout.

This is the proposed structure of the study-unit:
• Introduction
• The earliest Neolithic settlers
• A unique prehistoric cultural achievement: The megalithic Temples of Malta
• The later prehistory of Malta
• Phoenician and Punic Malta
• Roman Malta
• Maritime Archaeology of the Maltese archipelago
• Medieval Malta I
• Medieval Malta II
• Early modern Malta I
• Early modern Malta II
• The British colonial experience I
• The British colonial experience II

Study-Unit Aims:

• To offer students insights into the study of Maltese history with an emphasis on a Mediterranean dimension;
• To highlight developments over time in Malta and across the Mediterranean region;
• To make students aware of debates within particular historiographical themes in Maltese history;
• To underscore the interaction between the past and the present in the dynamics of the study of history.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• better appreciate and understand various phases in Maltese and Mediterranean history;
• proceed with greater ease to the study of specific areas in Maltese history that will be explored in detail in specific study-units within the Diploma;
• recall what some of the key sources are for the study of particular time periods and themes;
• recognise the intricacies of historical research and historiography.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• engage in more meaningful conversation and discussion on various aspects of Maltese and Mediterranean history;
• transmit a better understanding of Maltese / Mediterranean history to others, including visitors to the islands;
• engage critically with works on Maltese / Mediterranean history;
• show an awareness that there are divergent points-of-view about history as a discipline and the past as a category of analysis.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

• B. Blouet, The story of Malta, (several editions, latest 2004).
• A. Bonanno, Malta. Phoenician, Punic, and Roman, (Malta, 2005).
• T. Gambin and E. Azzopardi, Archaeology and the Sea in the Maltese islands, (Malta, 2012).
• D.H. Trump, Malta: Prehistory and Temples, (Malta, 2002).
• C. Dalli, Malta: The Medieval Millenium, (Malta, 2006).
• E. Buttigieg, Nobility, Faith and Masculinity. The Hospitaller Knights of Malta, c.1580-c.1700, (London and New York, 2011).
• V. Mallia-Milanes, (ed.), Hospitaller Malta: studies on early modern Malta and the Order of St John of Jerusalem, (Malta, 1993).
• D. Fenech, Responsibility and Power in Inter-war Malta. Book One: Endemic Democracy, (Malta 2005).
• H. Frendo, The Origins of Maltese Statehood, (Malta, 2000).
• H. Frendo, Storja ta’ Malta: Zmien l-Inglizi s-Seklu Dsatax, (Malta, 2004).
• V. Mallia-Milanes, (ed.), The British Colonial Experience, 1800-1964, (Malta, 1988).
• J.M. Pirotta, Fortress Colony, Final Act, (Malta 1987-2017).

Supplementary Readings:

• A. Bonanno, ‘The lure of the islands: Malta’s first Neolithic colonizers’, in N. Phoca-Cosmetatou (ed.), The First Mediterranean Islanders: initial occupation and survival strategies, (Oxford, 2001), pp. 145-156.
• B. Bruno, Roman and Byzantine Malta: trade and economy (trans. G. Cutajar, with P.J. Hudson), (Malta, 2009).
• A.J. Frendo, (ed.), ‘Malta and the Phoenician World’ (multiple articles there), Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 3, 1993, pp. 169-290.
• G. Markoe, Phoenicians, (London, 2002).
• C. Cassar, Society, culture and identity in early modern Malta, (Malta, 2000).
• F. Ciappara, Society and the Inquisition in early modern Malta, (Malta, 2001).
• J. Chircop, (ed.), Revisiting Labour History, (Malta, 2012).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Simone Azzopardi
Anthony Bonanno
Emanuel Buttigieg (Co-ord.)
Charles Dalli
Timothy Gambin
Nicholas Vella
Abigail Zammit

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.