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Title: The Arab period to independence
Authors: McPartlin, J.
Keywords: Malta -- History -- Arab rule, 870-1090
Malta -- History -- 870-1530
Malta -- History -- 16th century
Malta -- History -- 17th century
Malta -- History -- 18th century
Malta -- History -- 19th century
Malta -- History -- 20th century
Malta -- History -- Independence, 1964
Issue Date: 1975
Publisher: De La SaIle Brothers Publications
Citation: McPartlin, J. (1975). The Arab period to independence. In: B. Hilary (ed.),┬áThe Malta Year Book 1975. Malta: De La SaIle Brothers Publications, pp. 443-450.
Abstract: 1. THE MUSLIM PERIOD of Maltese history (870 - 1091 AD.), being virtually undocumented, has become the subject of numerous quaint legends, all assuming some sharp contrast between Christian Maltese and Muslim invader or overlord. Since, however, the Maltese language is itself Arabic, any such opposition must be regarded as wholly unproven: as, for instance, Maltese uses an Arabic term for 'plough', but not the standard Arabic fellah for 'peasant'. There is little scope for guessing at the social structure of Muslim Malta from present-day word-meanings alone. The small number of religious terms not derived from Latin (e.g. Alla 'God', Randan 'Lent', sawm 'fasting') are notably concentrated in areas of close analogy between Christianity and Islam, or refer to Christian institutions and practices well known to Muslims: qassis 'priest', was also, by extension in Mediaeval Arabic the commercial name for a fine-quality linen (such as Christian priests wore); Gliid il-Hamiem 'Epiphany' (since Maltese does not retain the Arabic hammam 'bathing', sometimes mistranslated into a reference to 'pigeons'), is the Coptic 'Feast of (Christ's) Baptism', celebrated with great public festivities in early mediaeval Egypt by Chistians and Muslims alike. [excerpt]
Appears in Collections:Malta Yearbook : 1975

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