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Title: A study in local history since 1800 : Hal Ghaxaq
Authors: Bonnici, Danilo
Keywords: Social life and customs -- Għaxaq -- Malta
Ghaxaq (Malta) -- History -- 19th century
Ghaxaq (Malta) -- History -- 20th century
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Bonnici, D. (2018). A study in local history since 1800 : Ħal Għaxaq (Bachelor's dissertation)
Abstract: Għaxaq is a village situated in the Southern part of Malta. The village is located 6.4km to the south of Valletta in the area known as ‘ta’ Sidlum’, and currently has a population of 4,577 people. Għaxaq’s geographical neighbouring villages are Zejtun, Gudja, Santa Lucija, Marsaxlokk and Birzebbuga. Għaxaq’s coat of arms bears three horizontal green bands on a silver-white background and carries the motto ‘Laeta Sustineo,’ which literally means to ‘happily endure. ‘Traditionally, the people of Għaxaq are known as ‘l-Għaxqin’. The oldest known record of Għaxaq can be found in the Militia list of 1419/1420, whereby the village is listed as a settlement. This list mentions men from Għaxaq of 16 to 65 years of age charged to patrol and to safeguard the coasts of the island from any possible Muslim invasions.4 In 1626, Għaxaq broke away from the Parish Church of Zejtun and established its own independent Parish dedicated to the Assumption of Saint Mary. From this point onwards, the village of Għaxaq began to function as a separate and distinctive entity, in the history of Malta. Throughout its existence, the name of the village was written in many different ways.5 Important 15th century documents like notarial acts and church registers, refer to the village as ‘Haxac’ or ‘Hasciach’. The name changes again to ‘Axac’ and ‘Asciak’ during the 16th and 17th century and it was in the 19th century, that it was decided to be written as ‘Għaxaq’.6 When it comes to the origin of the name ‘Għaxaq’, there is more than one interpretation of how the village earned its name. Some argue that the name comes from the Arabic word ‘asheq’ which means happiness. Another reference is the Italian term ‘gioire’ which means happiness or peace. The Hebrew term ‘gazaq’, which means agricultural work, can be another significance behind the name of the village. However, many argue that the origin of the village’s name comes from the surname ‘Axac’, an important noble family which had feudal lands in the area where we can find the village today.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 2018

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