As a result of it’s geographical position on the cross-roads of the Mediterranean, the Island of Malta has had a role to share in the history of the Middle Sea throughout the millennia.
Malta of the knights became a bulwark against the Ottomans and particularly in 1565 the island withstood an epic siege by Soleyman’s elite troops, the Janissaries. This siege and the ensuing victory brought Malta to the forefront of Europe. Voltaire wrote: “Nothing is better known than the siege of Malta.”
The Siege of Malta has been immortalised by the frescoes of Matteo Perez D’Aleccio which embellish the Supreme Council Hall of the former Grand Master’s Palace. In June 1798, on his way to Egypt, Napoleon Boneparte conquered the Island; he thereby ousted the Knights from Malta after 268 years of prosperity and wealth. The French intermezzo which lasted two years was very unfortunate because of the high-handed administrations by the French Commission of Government.
The Maltese meanwhile sought of their own accord the protection of the British Crown. A new era for the next 160 years had been ushered in. The island achieved its political independence in 1964. Malta’s economy is now based essentially on industry and tourism.
Topics covered in this book include the following.
- The Order of St. John
- Raymond du Puy
- The Eight-Pointed Cross
- The Fall of St. Elmo
- Jean Parisot de la Valette
- Soleyman the Magnificent
- The Siege on Fort St. Michael
- The Grand Masters in Malta