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Title: The great siege of 1565 : untold stories of daily life
Other Titles: Besieged : Malta 1565, volume II
Authors: Abela, Joan
Keywords: Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Siege, 1565
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Malta Libraries and Heritage Malta
Citation: Abela, J. (2015). The great siege of 1565: untold stories of daily life. In M. Camilleri (Ed.), Besieged : Malta 1565, volume II (pp. 97-115). Valletta : Malta Libraries and Heritage Malta.
Abstract: This essay attempts to recount a somewhat neglected aspect of the Great Siege of 1565. Departing from the traditional military account which most of the literature concerning this event narrates, this paper aims to delve into more intimate stories which shed light on everyday life in the besieged towns of Birgu and Mdina. Instead of going into the physical and moral state of preparedness of these cities as a community, this paper intends to look into the personal testimonies left by those who lived through the three and a half month siege. This will be done by consulting notarial deeds which, till today, remain a largely untapped primary source for historical investigation. Although these legal documents present various difficulties, including palaeography, they are particularly important since they shed light on civil life as opposed to military activities. Civil life pertained to both combatants, of whatever rank, as well as to the rest of the population, including the common folk, making notarial acts an invaluable mine of information which project history from a different perspective. One must also state that this paper is a prolegomena, taking only a sample of available documentation and focusing mostly on the acts of Notary Giuseppe Deguevara. It is therefore hoped that this exposition serves as a springboard for further analysis.
ISBN: 978-99932-57-32-5
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCWHMlt

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