Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/22353
Title: Education in Hospitaller Malta
Other Titles: Yesterday’s schools : reading in Maltese educational history
Authors: Cassar, Carmel
Keywords: Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Education -- Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd.
Citation: Cassar, C. (2001). Education in Hospitaller Malta. In R. G. Sultana (Ed.) Yesterday’s schools : reading in Maltese educational history (pp.15-29). San Gwann: Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd.
Abstract: The educational achievements of early modern Malta must be set against a background of the widespread illiteracy in Europe at the time. It is probable that half the men and a much higher percentage of women were illiterate, even in the more advanced states of Europe. Nonetheless, there is evidence that literacy was far more widespread than is often thought, especially if one takes into account the number of persons accused of owning or perusing prohibited books in various parts of Catholic Europe. By the middle of the 16th century, the printed book had been produced in sufficient quantities that made it accessible to anyone who could read. Why could such a situation develop? It was perhaps thanks to the better opportunities for instruction that had, by the 16th century, become more extensive than before. Yet popular education hardly ever included Latin-the language of instruction par excellence-which was usually taught at grammar schools and universities for specialised learning. It seems though that non-Latinists made some progress in their studies through private reading in the vernacular. This may point out to a greater accessibility of elementary education to a larger number of people than had been possible in the late Middle Ages. Such teaching mainly consisted of reading, writing, simple arithmetic and the learning of catechism. It was at that time that Latin began to lose ground in Europe. The reading public was becoming increasingly a lay public comprising women, tradesmen, and others with hardly any knowledge of the language. This was the main reason why the leaders of the Reformation had chosen to write in the vernacular, while Latin survived only because it continued to serve as the official language of the Catholic Church. This process also took place in Hospitaller Malta.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar//handle/123456789/22353
ISBN: 9990903026
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEMATou

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