Lines of Defence

The International Institute for Baroque Studies at UM and Malta Libraries are pleased to announce the launch of a new publication entitled Lines of Defence - Fortification Drawings of the Baroque Age at the National Library of Malta

This large-format, full-colour publication brings together in one beautifully produced volume the collection of fortifications plans of the Knights of the Order of St John housed in the National Library of Malta in Valletta. The text of this unique publication is by Professor Denis De Lucca, the Director of the International Institute for Baroque Institute, Dr Stephen Spiteri and Mr Hermann Bonnici. The book has an introduction by Professor Juanito Camilleri, Rector of the University, and forewords by Mr Oliver Mamo and Ms Maroma Camilleri of Malta Libraries.

This unique collection of drawings is the largest and most important collection of architectural plans of Hospitaller fortifications in the Maltese islands to have come down to us from this period of the Island's history. The importance of these plans also emanates from the fact that the fortifications of the Knights of St John in the Maltese Islands rank amongst some of the most important works of military architecture built to the conventions of the bastioned trace anywhere in the world. 

The book's special large-scale format [49cm (w)  x 42 cm (h)] was designed to capture the wealth of graphic information embodied within the various plans and designs – architectural details which are invaluable to the students and historians of military architecture and the art and science of fortification. Each plan is also accompanied by explanatory commentaries that serve to make this book an important resource of architectural and historical information. This special edition is limited to only 200 copies.

Although frequently consulted by scholars and students over the years, these plans have never been brought together in one extensive compendium in the manner that they deserve as a prime source of original information on eighteenth-century Hospitaller military architecture.

The International Institute for Baroque Studies of the University of Malta, together with Malta Libraries, has long been convinced of the significance and importance of this collection and has striven hard over the past years to publish these plans in a prestigious publication that does justice to the subject matter. This new book is the product of a direct collaborative effort between the Institute and the National Library of Malta. 

Lines of Defence was launched at the National Library of Malta by the Hon. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment on Tuesday 10 May 2016.

Book details
ISBN: 978-99957-856-1-1
398 pages full colour
hardbound, 490 mm (w) x 420 mm (h), full-colour with slipcase

Contact us to order the publication.