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Title: History from below : a study of everyday life in Gozo through the documents of Notary Ferdinando Ciappara 1576-1577
Authors: Mifsud, Davinia
Keywords: Knights of Malta -- Malta -- History -- 16th century
Order of St John -- Malta -- History -- 16th century
Notaries -- Malta -- History -- 16th century
Immigrants -- Malta -- History -- 16th century
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is in understanding the daily lives of ordinary people and how they dealt with change, and if they were affected by it in the first place. The use of notarial documents as a primary source for this dissertation is what contributes in the findings about the everyday life of these people, they are a goldmine of information for the historian whose aim is that of putting parts of society together. They allow us to shape a better picture of the daily routines and exigencies of the common man who would have left no other trail if not through these documents. Secondary sources by various Maltese historians such as Dalli, Fiorini, Mallia Milanes and Wettinger helped in the shaping of society and supported information found in these acts. This study is divided into five chapters, the first introducing the notary, the value of his work, and introducing the Maltese islands as part of the Mediterranean. Secondly, the situation after the 1551 razzia, immigration to and from Gozo and the resettlement patterns instigated by the Order of St. John for Maltese to restart a new life on Gozo. The fortifications of the Order on Malta, the lesson learnt after the 1551 razzia and the build- up to the Siege of 1565 will also be given importance. An important element that surfaces from these documents is that life in Malta and Gozo although connected through this immigration process had not intertwined as much, and the structural developments taking place on the main island had hardly if any effect on Gozo. The higher social class with special reference to Gozo and their landowning benefits will be studied in detail, and the case study on the testament of Rainelius Machnuch, sheds light on land distribution and possession. The Church as an institution and the Apostolic Visit of Mons. Pietro Dusina will be dealt with, as The Church and its members were vast landowners and the new Tridentine law had set new rules opposing this. The fourth chapter focuses on the importance that agriculture and animals had on the economy, and that the possessions of the wealthy families all derived from their lease and sales. Lastly a general conclusion sums up and connects all the aspects that have been brought out in this study There are a number of points that need to be clarified before reading this dissertation. References from the notarial register will be carried out in this manner: the register number first and the volume number, followed by the folio reference and the date and year the act was drawn up on. To give an example, this is how a typical reference would look: R185/3, f. 12 (1.ix.1576). A list of abbreviations, grain measurements and currency that the reader may encounter has been included in first chapter; these are to be found in italics in the dissertation and so are other words in any other language than English. Place names, proper names and surnames of the clientele have been reported exactly as the notary has recorded them in his documents.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2012
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 2012

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