The Department of Maltese at the University of Malta will be launching its 29th issue of the Journal of Maltese Studies on 30 May. This monographic issue is dedicated to Giovanni Francesco Buonamico, the Maltese seventeenth-century intellectual mainly remembered as the author of the second oldest poem in Maltese, “Mejju ġie bil-ward u ż-żahar”. However, this solitary poem in Maltese by Buonamico can hardly be said to do justice to his remarkably broad range of interests. And yet, apart from a pioneering study in 1971 by Giovanni Mangion, very little has been written about this seventeenth-century polymath up to the present publication.
The aim of this publication is to shed further light on the multifaceted scholarly activity of this Maltese doctor, an undertaking that could not have been attempted without the generous offer of Judge Giovanni Bonello to put at the disposal of different scholars the substantial collection of unstudied Buonamico manuscripts, bound in one volume, in his possession. This issue of the Journal of Maltese Studies, therefore, also commemorates the first time that different scholars have gained access to rare Buonamico manuscripts, complementing previously known and accessed material by the same author.
The issue, edited by Giovanni Bonello, Arnold Cassola and Bernard Micallef, consists of ten academic studies hailing from different disciplines, such as Baroque poetry, philology, seventeenth-century travel, and botany (amongst other fields probed personally by Buonamico during his relatively short life). Of major interest to readers owning a copy of this issue of the Journal of Maltese Studies will be the digital version of the collection of Bounamico manuscripts itself, offered by Judge Bonello to form part of this publication. Buyers of this issue of the JMS will thus have free access to manuscripts that have to date been preserved as a private collection.
The launch will take place at the Faculty of Arts Library at 1800hrs.