A Benedictine’s Notes on Seventeenth-Century Malta



Alfonso sive Anselmo Pajoli was born in Ferrara sometime around 1630. At about the age of thirty he entered the Benedictine Order. He studied the sciences and was nominated teacher of philosophy, theology and mathematics. He was also popular as an orator.

With the intention of acquiring knowledge of rarer disciplines in foreign lands, Pajoli travelled in the main regions of Europe, the Spanish peninsula, and especially in Gaul (France) learning to speak French and Spanish fluently.

In 1694 Pajoli copied a short description of troglodytic life in Għar il-Kbir (i.e. Great Cave), Malta, from German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher’s voluminous Mundus Subterraneus. To these he added other notes: a long account of Malta in Italian, and three shorter descriptions in French. In them, Pajoli brought to light some very interesting facts about seventeenth-century Malta, including probably the earliest reference to the wearing of sunglasses in Malta.

Pajoli died at the venerable age of 81, on 19 September 1711.

Additional information

Weight 380 g
Dimensions 23.3 × 16.3 cm
Language English, French, Spanish
Year of publication
Pages 236

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