March 2015 Event


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Malta through its Monuments

by

Professor Maurice Cauchi

There are many ways at which to look at Maltese history, whether through its political involvement, through its social history, the arts, etc.  In the past talks to the MHA have included topics relating to history through stamps, coins, buses etc

In this talk, the history of Malta was approached from a look at its monuments, which highlight the various epochs of life in Malta.

To start with, the speaker emphasized that monuments consist not only of bronze statues, but any artefact that serve to highlight some aspect of Maltese history.  From this point of view, even the prehistoric temples constitute important monuments to a way of life that has long disappeared.

This was followed by a fallow period, with a dearth of artefacts which lasted until the Phoenician and later on the Roman period. Some outstanding examples of these were illustrated in this talk.

Again this was followed by a period where monuments are not very common. In particular, the Arab period is represented by very few artefacts which remind us of this period. However, it was stressed that perhaps the greatest 'monument' bequeathed to us from this period is the Maltese language itself. It is arguable whether our unique language would have persisted but for the presence of the Arab domination.

When we come to the period of the Knights of Malta, there is such a plethora of riches that it is difficult to summarise in a few words. This period has been covered already, and will be covered in talks to come.

The talk itself dealt with various other aspects of history. Firstly, recent political history, starting with the British domination. Monuments about this period can be found all over the island. Then the history of Malta's first step to self-government and future independence.

Other aspects of the talk dealt with the history of literature and the arts in Malta, an area which is often neglected when we talk about Maltese history. Important also is the history of migration, which was such a hallmark of Maltese history. Several monuments now remind us of this history.

Finally, it was emphasized that the history of the nation is not the history of wars or even politicians, but that of the people, including the social aspects of those factors which mould such a history.  Among these were included several philanthropists who have been a boon to the people of Malta.

Malta through its Monuments

by

Professor Maurice Cauchi

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