Malta knows us well; it was a British colony for a century and a half until 1964 – but what do we know of Malta and its 7000 year history?
Mediterranean islands were isolated worlds, but those with strategic value became cosmopolitan centres. For two thousand years Malta has been a destination for occupiers with fleets. Phoenician traders brought boats and cart ruts; the Romans brought olives, irrigation, villas and roads; the Arabs brought their decorative genius and left their language, of which modern Maltese is a dialect; the Spaniards and the Knights of the Order of St John brought Christianity and the Inquisition. Napoleon regarded it as ‘worth any price’ and the British agreed, taking it from him in 1800 to create a vital Mediterranean naval headquarters and way-station during the Crimea and two World Wars.
Join us for an evening with James Holland, Roger Crowley and Emma Mattei, to trace the serial lives of this island which is now the EU’s smallest state and its southern border. The Historian Roger Crowley will survey the history of Malta from megalithic holy place to the start of the twentieth century; James Holland will talk about the years 1940-1943, when Malta resisted blockades and siege by German and Italian aircraft, to become the most bombed place on earth; and Emma Mattei will discuss her book Uncommon Malta, an experimental guide to the social and cultural aspects of life today on this bustling and diverse archipelago.