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August 2016 Lecture

Monday, 22 August 2016

Lola’s Story

 

by

Susan Pierotti

On Tuesday 16th August 2016, Susan Pierotti spoke to us at the MHA.  Last year, she edited and brought to publication City Kid, the memoirs of Lola Russell.  Lola's story begins with the arrival in 1838 of her great-grandfather, Antonio Azzopardi, Melbourne's first Maltese settler. 

 

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July 2016 Event

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Malta a Panorama

by

Mario Bonnici

 

Last month a number of members again braved the winter weather and attended our July activity. This was a PowerPoint presentation with various photographs of Malta and Gozo. Since many of our friends or family members are currently holidaying in Malta, we thought we will join them for a couple of hours, at least visually.

 

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June 2016 Event

By Charles Gatt Friday, 08 July 2016

MHA JUNE EVENT

Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Malta

by Joseph Borg

Summary: Charles Gatt

 

Joseph Borg introduced his talk with an introduction to Plate Tectonic Theory.  The solid earth we know is just a thin crust, floating on molten rock, called magma.  The crust is cracked like a broken egg shell and the pieces, called plates, move around in different directions, driven by convection currents, warm magma rising and cool magma sinking.  These slow but powerful forces cause volcanoes and earthquakes, especially at the edges of the plates.

 

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May 2016 Event

By Charles Gatt Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Melbourne Book Launch of Dr Claudia Sagona’s latest book,

The Archaeology of Malta from the Neolithic through the Roman Period.

On Tuesday 17th May 2016 the MHA and MCCV hosted the Melbourne book launch of Professor Claudia Sagona’s latest book, The Archaeology of Malta from the Neolithic through the Roman Period. About 55 people attended an excellent lecture and social gathering afterwards.

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Audience at Dr Sagona’s talk         Photo:  Lewis Zammit                                        Dr Sagona speaking at the MHA      Photo:  Lewis Zammit

 

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April 2016 Event

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2016 By Charles Gatt Thursday, 21 April 2016

George Portelli: Grandmaster Hompesch:  Villian or Victim?

Summary: Charles Gatt

 

In his lecture on 19 April, George Portelli spoke on the topic: Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch: Villain or Victim?  He began by giving the background to Ferdinand von Hompesch born in 1744 into an ancient noble family from Germany.  In Malta, the Hompesch Gate and a monument that bears his name can be found in Zabbar (Città Hompesch). 

Siġġiewi (Città Ferdinando) recalls his name, and Żejtun (Città Beland) was named after his mother, who was a Bylandt.

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March 2016 Event

By Charles Gatt Sunday, 17 April 2016

Professor Maurice Cauchi:  As Others See Us:  

(What visitors to Malta over the ages had to say about Malta)

Summary:  Charles Gatt

   

Malta and Gozo were mentioned by early Greek writers and poets during 

img 8702the Greek and Phoenicians expansion into the western Mediterranean.  Around 300 BC, Callimachus identified the island of 'Gaudos' with the island of Calypso. 

 

 

The first Latin reference to Malta is by the Roman poet and historian Naevius (270 – c. 201 BC).  In his epic poem, Bellum Punicum, he described how the island was plundered and laid waste by fire around 256 BC, during the first Punic War.  Livy wrote that in 218 BC, during the second Punic War, Hamilcar, not the one who was Hannibal’s father but the commander of a Carthaginian garrison of 2000 soldiers, surrendered the island to the Romans and Malta became part of the Roman province of Sicily. 

 Professor Cauchi speaking to the MHA     Photo: Lewis Zammit

 

 

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February 2016 Event

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2016 Saturday, 12 March 2016

 

Women in Malta in the Eighteenth Century

 by

 Professor Yosanne Vella

 Summary:  Charles Gatt   Photos: Lewis Zammit.

 

At our February lecture Professor Yosanne Vella gave some insight into the lives of Maltese
women in the eighteenth century, pieced together from notary archives, inquisitor records and court cases.  Malta thrived under the Knights.  By the end of the eighteenth century, the population had risen from about 10,000 to 100,000.  Most worked in agriculture, followed by corsairing, and Malta was starting to become a commercial centre. 

Women worked unpaid at home and on family farms but a register of paid labourers on the Order’s farms showed about a quarter were female. Textile production employed females as cotton spinners and weavers, and some ran businesses.  Licences were awarded to women for a variety of shops, and as innkeepers and hawkers. Prostitution seemed to be an acceptable occupation.

Women were both victims and perpetrators of crime.  Many filed accusations of theft.  Violence against women was rampant and many injuries were serious.  Women were charged with non payment of debts, illegal gambling in their taverns, abuse and blasphemy, drunkenness and fighting.  Petty theft was common and servants stole valuables.  Punishments included warnings, fines, imprisonment or even exile to Gozo! 

There is very little evidence of women’s education in the 18th Century. Most people were illiterate, women probably even more so.  Schools are mentioned but little is known about them.  De Soldanis, the official librarian of the Order, lamented that, unlike overseas, Maltese girls were not sent to school in Rome or elsewhere.  He noted many girls roamed the countryside, unemployed and begging.  He believed women were ambitious and willing to succeed, and envisaged girls’ boarding schools to teach ‘womanly virtues’ but it is unknown whether any eventuated.

A woman could achieve social status as a nun or as a bizocca.  The latter did not take religious vows but lived a saintly, celibate life.  De Soldanis credited them with miraculous powers.  However, many other women were brought before the Inquisition accused of dabbling in the occult, placing curses or practising medicine illegally. 

Maltese women suffered many restrictions and limitations in legal and social rights.  They were not directly involved in any great events in the 18th century but their contribution to the growth and development of their society should not be overlooked or undervalued. 

To read the full article please see the March 2016 Newsletter (pages 2 - 3)

Click here to listen to Prof Yosanne Vella's talk (1:05:32)

 

 

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September 2015 Eventlecture

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2016 By Charles Gatt Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Great Siege of Malta, 1565: Lecture 3 of 3

THE GREAT SIEGE OF MALTA: The Final Stages & Aftermath

Robert Blythe


A number of people, including some younger ones, attended Robert Blythe’s lecture on 15 September.  He introduced his talk with a summary of the main events of the siege.  The Turkish Armada set sail from Constantinople on 22 March 1565, arrived at Marsaxlokk on 18 May then transported their
supplies and munitions to Marsa.  The assault on Fort St Elmo resulted in its fall on 23 June 1565, shortly after Dragut’s death on 18 June.

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June 2015 Lecture

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2016 By Administrator Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Great Siege of Malta, 1565: Lecture 2 of 3

Lecture by Joseph Borg

Mr Borg started off with a short review of the first lecture. He then read an extract from the book, The Siege of Malta 1565, by Francisco Balbi di Correggio, relating to the events that happened on the 16th June 1565, exactly 450 years earlier.  This reading described many of the topics that Mr Borg wanted to talk about later in the evening.

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May 2015 Lecture

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2016 By Administrator Saturday, 13 June 2015

 

The Events that led to the Great Siege of Malta 1565

Summary of May Lecture by Joseph Borg

The reasons for the Great Siege of Malta of 1565 have their roots going back to the rise of Islam in 630.  With the expansion of Islam, the Holy lands fell under their influence.  This affected the Eastern Roman Empire as well.  Later, the spread of the Mongolian hordes impacted on the eastern end of this empire.

 

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