Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2010.

[p.23]

ON THE HISTORY OF THE OLDER CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF MALTA

Albert Mayr*
translated by Hanna Stöger**

[p.24] {p. 475} The Arab conquest of Malta in 870 AD not only led to a turning point in the political history of the island, but also profoundly influenced the population and culture of the Maltese islands. This essay will trace the development of the Christian church of Malta up to this specific point in time. Until now it has been an open question whether Christianity continued under Arab rule. In order to discuss this issue it will be necessary to examine the situation of the church in Malta during the period that immediately followed the Norman conquest of the islands.

The first approaches to the earlier, and also the later history of the Church of Malta, have been provided by Pirro.[1] His work not only contains numerous errors but also suffers from an uncritical processing of information rooted in the realms of legends. Nevertheless, what is found in the works of Maltese historians like Abela, Ciantar,[2] Bres[3] and Ferres,[4] has been largely based on Pirro’s writings.

[p.24] What we find in the entries of the Dizionario di erudizione storico ecclesiastica {p.476} by Moroni,[5] and by Capelletti,[6] are not much better. Moreover, many incorrect and legend-like references from Pirro and Abela have found their way into the article on Malta published in the 2nd edition of Wetzer und Welte’s Kirchenlexikon.[7] The list of names of the Maltese bishops from the first twelve centuries provided by Gams,[8] is also wrong to a large part.

During the time when Christianity began to develop, Malta and Gozo most probably formed an administrative unit within the Roman Empire, and were governed by a Roman procurator.[9] The only cities on the islands, Melite and Gaulos, had the rights and the constitution of Roman municipia; and had been inhabited by a largely hellenised population, amongst which the Roman language and culture quickly took hold. At the same time, the old Phoenician language survived within a section of the population. The times had long gone, when Malta had functioned as a stronghold for the Phoenician and Carthaginian naval powers and had played an important role for their sea traffic. Yet, the harbour of Malta still served as a port of call (station) for ships coming from Egypt to Italy. It also seems that Malta enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity during the first centuries of the Imperial Period, judging from the remains that have been found from Antiquity. On the whole, Melite and Gaulos were provincial towns with hardly any significance, only few inscriptions provide information.[10]

Malta was mentioned for the first time in the history of Christianity, when the Apostle Paul on his journey from Caesarea to Rome, probably in the autumn of the year 60 AD, was thrown onto the coast of this island by a tempest.[11] The question {p. 477} whether the ‘Melite’ mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles refers to Malta or to the Dalmatian Island Meleda, which was also called Μελύη in Antiquity, had already caused a heavy controversy in the 18th century. It also prompted a vast amount of publications on the sea-journeys of St. Paul, as well as on the claims which both islands laid on the stay of the apostle.[12] We do not [p.25] need to discuss this any further. From everything that was said in the Acts of the Apostles, concerning the directions of the journey, the location of the landing and the situation on the island, it emerges with utmost certainty that St. Paul suffered shipwreck on the island of Malta and not on Meleda, and this has been generally accepted by now. Paul landed on a peninsula,[13] as can be found in several places along the eastern and northern coast of Malta. An old tradition refers to the Cala di San Paolo, located in the north of the island, as the location where the apostle’s ship was stranded.[14] Numerous places in the area have been linked to legends spun around the stay of the apostle. The topographic characteristics of the bay do not contradict the indications given in the Acts of the Apostles; it is however impossible to identify the exact location. Those shipwrecked received a kind welcome by the local population, and at the beginning were kept at the estate of a man, who was called Publius in the narrative and who held the position of a πρότος τής υήσου.[15] They remained on the island during the entire winter.

It has often been claimed, especially from the side of local Maltese historians, that Paul converted a large portion of the population during his stay on Malta, {p. 478} and that he even founded a Christian community.[16] However, in the Acts of the Apostles there is not even mention that Paul had been preaching the gospel.[17] Although, as such it would not seem too unlikely that he won Christianity some new followers in Malta. The same {unfounded assumptions} apply to πρότος Publius becoming the first bishop of Malta.[18] This is also only a legend lacking any historical sources. The root of this is found in the {wrong} identification of Publius of Malta with the bishop of Athens of the same name, made by Dionysius of Corinth,[19] and Hieronymus.[20] Chronology alone would have rendered such identification impossible.[21] With hardly less authority, starting with Pirro, we also [p.26] find a bishop with the name of Aeacius in most lists of Maltese bishops,[22] who was supposed to have taken part in the council of Chalcedon in the year of 451. The bishops with this name, who have been truly listed as participants of this council, represent cities which have nothing to do with our Melite.[23] In addition, {p. 479} a certain Aeacius, who was listed in the documents of the council of Ephesus of the year 431, had been the bishop of the Cappadocian Melitene and not the bishop of the island of Melite.[24] This was most probably the reason for Pirro’s erroneous reference.

Hence we do not know of any bishop of Malta for the Roman imperial period. On the whole, we have no literary sources about the conditions in which Christianity developed in Malta during the centuries when the islands were part of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, the Paleao-Christian monuments of Malta do not provide us, at least until now, with conclusive insights. The majority of the Early Christian burial sites, as well as the most important ones, the catacombs of St. Paul, Sta Agatha, Sta Venera, St. Cataldo, Sta Maria della Grotta, Sta Maria tal Virtu, the Abbatia, are located in the vicinity of the old city; others, smaller ones, have been found in other parts of the island as well as on Gozo.[25] There is no nearly sufficient description of any of these cemeteries.[26] As far as we can learn from the notes of the Maltese historians, most of the catacombs, located around the Citta Vecchia, have a generous ante-chamber, quarried into the soft stone. These anti-chambers have been used for liturgical services in much later periods.[27] The cemeteries, which connect to these ante-chambers, are still to a large part unknown. They contain corridors (galleries) which seem labyrinthine, [p.27] or at times even built according to a regular plan.[28] {p. 480} In some cases separate halls have been carved out in between these (corridors)/galleries. The tombs are partly arcosolia, and partly simple loculi tombs, cut into the walls; they usually follow the course of the wall with their long side, while at times they face the visitor with their short end. From the existing descriptions only very few chronological indications are available that could hint at the period when these burial complexes developed. The monogram ‘chi rho’, which occurs in S. Paul’s catacombs as well as on objects coming from Maltese catacombs, points to the fourth century. Furthermore, the oil lamps with Christian symbols that have been found in the catacombs would not suggest earlier dates either,[29] nor would the Latin inscriptions; one of which had been found near the catacombs of Sta Venera,[30] and the other one above a tomb in the Abbatia.[31] Lamps with cross ornaments, which are also present, could even point to later periods. The abovementioned remains from Malta’s Christian antiquity, as they are known to us at this point, would not allow us to suggest earlier dates than the 4th century AD. Still, the large number of Palaeo-Christian cemeteries present on the island,[32] combined with their vast expansion, which is evidenced by several cemeteries, suggests that the development of the Christian community of Malta had its beginnings much earlier.

A specific indication, pointing in this direction, seems to come from a monument, discovered in 1874 on the hill of tal Jisuiti near the Grand Harbour, close to a Christian burial site. {p. 481} It is a stele with a simple drawing of a boat or ship at its top, and the inscription below: DM ELVIVS TITVTS. VIXIT ANNOS LV CIVES BENE MERENTI FECERVNT. The location of the find, as well as the symbol of the ship (although not completely alien to pagan tomb monuments), allow us, with great probability, to identify the inscription as Christian.[33] If this is the case, then, the rendering of the inscription, the placing of DM at the beginning, and the listing of two names of the deceased, suggest dates no later than the time of Constantine. The regularity of the lettering also supports  [p.28] this dating. If we accept that the inscription is Christian, we then, judging from the public character of the inscription, have to presume that already by the time of Constantine at the latest, the community who dedicated this inscription, would have been predominantly Christian.

Very little is known about the time when Christianity reached Malta; however even less is known about the origins from whence Christian teachings had come to Malta. During the 5th century the prevailing conviction at Rome was that the founding of the churches in the whole of Italy, Gaul, Spain, Africa, Sicily and the Mediterranean Islands had originated from Rome.[34] With regard to Malta, the conditions for such an assumption are not very favourable. Malta was located on a busy sea-route leading from Alexandria via Syracuse to Italy.[35] In the following spring after the shipwreck, Paul continued his journey to Puteoli on a ship from Alexandria, which had been wintering in Malta. Victor Schultze was able to convincingly argue that Christianity had reached eastern Sicily and Syracuse from the Orient,[36] basing his argument on Christian monuments and inscriptions. The same seems plausible for Malta; Christianity probably reached the island from Alexandria or Cyrene. {p. 482} Perhaps a thorough examination of the Palaeo- Christian monuments will give us answers to these questions.

Our knowledge of the development of Christianity in Malta during the Roman imperial period is limited, and based on little solid ground. We are also still very much in the dark concerning the period that followed, during which the island formed part of the African Vandal kingdom.

During the final period of the West-Roman Empire, the Maltese islands fell into the hands of the Vandals, who seemed to have held the islands until the year 533.[37] Once again, Pirro gives us also the name of an alleged Maltese bishop for this period; and all others followed suit.[38] According to him {Pirro} a certain bishop, whom he calls Constantinus Melitensis episcopus, participated in the fifth council which convened in Rome, under Pope Symmachus, in the year [p.29] 501. However, the acts of the synods which took place under Symmachus in Rome (published in Harduin and Mansi) refer to only one bishop Constantinus, called Melitenensis,[39] who appears in the ‘Vaterschriften’ of the seventh Roman synod (according to Hefele),[40] which most probably fell into the year 504. Owing to the form of the name Melitenensis, and the fact that his name was placed between two Cappadocian bishops, we have to identify him as a bishop from Melitene. Moreover, the protocols of this particular synod have been extremely badly transferred, and apparently some sections, amongst them the name of the bishops of Melitene, {p.483} have been simply taken over from the subscriptions of the council of Chalcedon.[41] A hint about the non-existence of a bishopric in Malta during the Vandal period comes from the Notitia provinciarum et civitatum Africae[42] from the year 481. This refers to bishops from almost all islands belonging to the Vandal Kingdom (Sardinia, Maiorica, Menorica, Ebusus, Girba), but not from Malta.

At the beginning of the war Belisarius had waged against the Vandal Kingdom, while crossing over to Africa, the Byzantine navy landed in Malta in the year 533.[43] From then onwards Malta remained almost 340 years under Byzantine rule. Within the Byzantine Empire the islands of Malta and Gozo formed an administrative district of the province of Sicily, which was governed by a Dux[44] (at least at the time of Heraclius). When Malta was under the Byzantines we hear for the first time of a bishop for this island. In the year 553, on the occasion of the so-called ‘Three Chapters dispute’ with Pope Vigilius, Bishop Julianus of Malta had been to Constantinople, where he signed the pope’s ‘constitutum’.[45] Hence, in the absence of any earlier evidence, we would not go wrong in assuming that only when Malta fell under Byzantine rule, a bishopric had been established there.

The letters of Gregory the Great allow us first insights into the situation of the church of Malta during the first years of Byzantine rule. Apparently the local community had got into trouble. A section of the clerics leased land belonging to the African Church, and did not pay up the agreed rent. In a letter sent by Pope Gregory, in July of the year 592,[46] the pope urged Bishop Lucillus of Malta to interfere. {p.484} The damages caused had already been quite severe, as can be  [p.30] inferred from charges pressed against the same bishop; the case also involved the bishop’s son Petrus, various of his presbyters and deacons, as well as many laymen. The letter by Gregory, addressed to the Defensor Romanus of Sicily,[47] makes it clear that the crime committed was large-scale fraud, involving church property. Bishop Lucillus was dismissed,[48] and as replacement abbot Traianus of Syracuse was elected (see note 47, M.p484_1), whose name appears later in one of the letters of Gregory.[49]

The letters written by Gregory concerning these matters give us also some insights regarding the position of the diocese of Malta within the Roman Church. In the same way as Malta and Gozo had been politically tied to Sicily, the diocese there also formed part of the Sicilian church province. Therefore, Pope Gregory ordered the Defensor of Sicily to sort out the affairs of the Maltese community (s. note 47, M.p484_1). A later epistle of the same pope lists the bishop of Malta among the Sicilian bishops (s. note 49, M.p484_3). Under these circumstances, it seems quite intriguing that Maltese clerics leased land belonging to the African church. At the same time this seems to indicate that the African church had land holdings in Malta. This could be explained quite nonchalantly from the many relationships Malta had entered with Africa during its political alliance with the Vandal Kingdom; it is also possible that Malta became really a part of the Church of Africa during this period. Whatever reasons there might be, once we definitely know about {the existence} of a diocese of Malta, then the latter appears firmly tied to the Church of Sicily.

Malta shared the same fate as the Sicilian church province for a very long time. Originally it was part of the Roman patriarchate. The Patrimonium Petri drew revenue from Sicily and Malta, which had its administration in Syracuse.[50] {p.485} The situation changed with the beginnings of the iconoclasm. Leo the Isaurian took away the land possessions from the Roman church in Southern Italy and Sicily, and cut off these dioceses from Rome, as well as the Illyrian and Greek {dioceses}, and added them to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Bres tries to prove that Sicily and Malta had continued to remain under the Roman church.[51]

[p.31]

The first page of Albert Mayr's paper published in Historisches Jahrbuch, vol. 17, in 1896.

[p.32] Also Langen[52] thinks that Leo the Isaurian had only placed East Illyria under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but not Calabria and Sicily. However the fact, that also the latter provinces had been separated from the Roman church has been established.[53] For even during the very last years before the total collapse of Byzantine rule over Sicily, the Roman popes had been unsuccessfully trying to claim back those lost provinces from the East-Roman emperor.

From these times onwards, Syracuse appears as the metropolitan city of Sicily, with all other Sicilian churches (with the exception of Katana) being her suffragans. The bishop of Melite is named amongst them. During the time of Gregory I, there was no metropolitan church in Sicily, as Bres[54] correctly assumes. He is however mistaken when he claims that this situation lasted until the subordination of Sicily under Arab rule.[55] There is secure evidence for Syracuse’s metropolitan position during the last centuries of Byzantine rule over Sicily, and the Byzantine Notitiae episcopatuum list Melite as one of the suffragan dioceses of Syracuse. A record of dioceses, which in its last redaction was dated to the beginning of the 9th century AD, lists all Sicilian bishops, placing the bishop from Syracuse at the top of the list, while the bishop of Malta was found on the last rank.[56]

{p. 486} Also in later Notitiae[57] we find the bishopric of Malta among the suffragan dioceses under the metropolitan see of Syracuse. Even though the redaction of these lists had only been completed long after the destruction of the Byzantine Church province of Sicily by the Saracens, still, the earlier order was reflected in contributions from sources apparently originating from older lists.[58]

When Malta was conquered by the Saracens {Arabs}, the Byzantine church was destroyed. In 869, a division of the Arab navy occupied Malta. In the following year, the Byzantines’ attempt to win back the island was prevented by the advance of the Arab relief forces.[59] It seems that on this occasion the Maltese bishop was taken prisoner by the Arabs. After Syracuse had been taken (21st May 878), the bishop of the city, as we are told by Theodosius Monachus,[60] had been [p.33] imprisoned and was brought to Palermo, where he met the bishop of Malta in the dungeons. Theodosius does not give us a name of the latter; he has however been identified as a certain bishop called Manas, whose name was apparently listed in the acts of the councils of the time. Pirro[61] writes the following: Manas episcopas Melitensis in act. 1 et 4. synodi 8. Constantinopolitanae an. sal. 868 coactae subscribitur. This note has been taken over by most authors who wrote about the earliest church of Malta. Once more it needs to be stated that the acts of the councils do not list any Maltese bishop of this name. This bishop is neither found in the lists of attendance nor in the subscriptions {acts} of the 8th ecumenical council of the year 869; and he is also not named in the Greek records of the church assembly with the same number {8}, which was held under Photius. I cannot identify any sources on which the reference provided by Pirro could have been based on.

{p.487} Malta remained for more than 200 years under Saracen {Arab} rule. Only when the last Arab strongholds in Sicily had fallen into the hands of the Normans, Count Roger I conducted his take-over of Malta. In July of the year 1091 the Norman ships landed in Malta. After a short resistance, as we are told by the historian Malaterra, the ‘non-belligerent’ {peaceful} inhabitants surrendered to Roger. They had to hand over the Christian prisoners whom they held in their hands, and their weapons as well as a large sum of money; they also had to promise an annual payment of tribute and had to swear an oath of allegiance, but remained still in possession of their city.[62]

There has been the stated conviction that Christianity continued even in the period when Malta was under Arab rule. However there is no bishop known from this period. Likewise, we can assume with great certainty that the diocese had been abandoned. Not even the old dioceses of Sicily survived under Arab rule. The Greek archbishop, whom the Normans found there when they captured Palermo, surely cannot be considered as the legitimate successor of one of the Sicilian bishops.[63] Still the question remains, whether a larger Christian community survived under Arab rule in Malta, as has been the case in Sicily. There, numerous Christian inhabitants were still present, especially in the northern part of the island, when the Normans took over Sicily.

From several sides the opinion has been expressed that the Norman conquerors encountered Christians in large numbers, when the former landed in Malta. Right away Abela’s opinion should be doubted.[64] Contrary to Malaterra, he {Abela} [p.34] claims that the Christian slaves, who walked towards the Norman liberators, carrying crucifixes and chanting Kyrie Eleison, were Maltese inhabitants. Whilst, according to Malaterra’s explicit statement, these slaves had their homes elsewhere outside of Malta and also not in Sicily. The Norman historiographer, while providing a detailed description of the take-over of Malta by Roger, does not even offer the slightest hint, which would allow us to conclude that there had been a native Christian population present during the time when Malta was captured. {p.488} None of the other reasons, given by Abela[65] and later Caruana[66] in their attempts to prove the continuity of a native Christian population in Malta, are tenable. Single place names, which seem to remind us of the former Greek population of Malta,[67] do not prove that the latter had remained there during the entire Arab period. Even if Abela had found some liturgical nomenclature in the Maltese language which come from the Greek language, these could have had their origins in later links with the East and with Sicily, where Byzantine language and culture remained active, even after the Norman Conquest. And finally, when Abela claimed that in certain Sicilian documents the distinction has been made between land holdings, which had been in the hands of the pagani and those which had been in the hands of Christians from ancient times onwards, he unfortunately misses out on providing the exact references.

A different reasoning put forward by Amari in his Storia dei Musulmanni di Sicilia,[68] carries more weight than Abela’s arguments. {Amari} does not doubt the presence of Christians on Malta at the time when Count Roger carried out his campaign, for Roger himself founded a diocese there, right away as soon as he had taken the island; and because the line of Maltese bishops remains uninterrupted from the beginning of the 12th century onwards. However, in the same way as there is no evidence for a re-foundation of the Maltese diocese by Count Roger I, there is also no proof for the existence of a line of Maltese bishops at the end of the 11th and the first half of the 12th century. Both assumptions have their origin in Pirro,[69] who was not only followed by Maltese historians, but also copied by more recent ones like Cappelletti, Gams, and Reher.[70] Both {assumptions} have been caused by Pirro’s wrong attribution of place-names to Malta, which actually refer to other cities. Therefore it needs to be stated that during the time of the Normans the island had been consistently called Malta or Μάλτη, {p.489} and from this was referred the Latin adjective Maltensis. These were the only forms that had been in use. It is not only that the writers of the time, like Gaufredus [p.35] Malaterra, Alexander Telefinus, Hugo Falcandus, Burkhard von Strassburg had applied them, but also the official documents made use of them.[71]

According to Pirro, the diocese of Malta had been founded immediately after the Norman Conquest, which he {Pirro} wrongly dated to the year 1089; and the first bishop appointed was Gualterius. Pirro says that he was not able to trace the dotation records for the Maltese church, while he had them available for all other Sicilian dioceses.[72] The only available evidence to support his claim is a donation certificate issued by the duchess Sichelgaita in favour of the archbishop Alcherius of Palermo; below their signatures one finds the following note: Gualterio Melvitano episcopo teste.[73] The name form Melvitanus itself, as it is found on the reproduced document in Pirro, renders a connection to Malta most doubtful; furthermore the dating of the document makes the link to Malta even impossible. The dating in Pirro’s text has been determined by the year 1089 and the indiction XIII. In any case, the document must have been issued before the 16th of April 1090, the date of Sichelgaita’s death. This alone will put a dating on the document earlier than the take-over of Malta by Roger.[74] {p.490} The successor of Gualterius in the office of the bishop of Malta, has been thought to be a certain bishop who had undersigned a document of Count Roger of Sicily,[75] dated to 1095 as: Biraldo Melitensi episcopo (teste). Capialbi put forward a very tempting suggestion: ‘this certain Biraldo was the very same person as the bishop Eberaldus of Mileto, documented in the year 1099’. As Goffredus, the predecessor of Eberaldus, only appears in documents until the year 1094, and since next to Militensis also Melitensis exists as a possible adjectival form, an [p.36] identification based on the similarity of the names seems plausible.[76] As far as another bishop is concerned, who appeared next to Italian bishops as Joannes Meliten. episcop., signing a Papal bull issued by Pope Paschalis II, at Benevento in the year 1113,[77] although he has been included among the {allegedly} listed Maltese bishops, there is no documentary evidence whatsoever. However, the circumstances make us rather think of Mileto: the Papal bull was issued in a location in southern Italy, and Mileto had enjoyed a prime position among the southern Italian cities, as it had served as the temporary seat of the counts Roger I and Roger II during the earlier phase of Norman rule. Maltese historiographers[78] identify a further bishop called Rainaldus, who was supposedly the leader of the Maltese church in 1122. His signature (Ego Rainaldus Militensis episcopus) has been found on a Papal bull issued by Pope Calistus II on the 28th of December 1121 at Catanzaro in Calabria, on the occasion of the inauguration of the church there.[79] It is very tempting to attribute this bishop to Malta. {p.491} The bishop of Mileto, who comes to mind first when considering the form Militensis, was called Gaufridus;[80] furthermore the signature of this bishop had been placed right behind the signatures of three Sicilian bishops (of Messina, Catania, and Girgenti). What could weaken this argument is the fact that all other Church leaders represented by their signatures (apart from the cardinals) had come from Southern Italy and, with only a few exceptions, specifically from Calabria; this Militensis episcopus is followed by the bishops from Nicastro, Squillace, and Martirano; considering the close proximity between Catanzaro and Mileto, surely it would have been noticed if the bishop of Mileto had not been part of the Pope’s retinue. Even more so since also the abbot of the cloister of St. Angelo in Mileto had placed his signature. We should assume that the name Rainaldus was incorrect in this document, rather than giving the word Militensis any other relationship apart from referring to Mileto. In no way can this doubtful signature alone allow us to conclude that a diocese existed on Malta during this time. It is however securely established that bishop Stephanus belongs to Mileto, who had been attributed to Malta by Pirro and all those who followed. Pirro had found his name among the signatures on a document issued on the occasion of the inauguration of the [p.37] Capella Palatina in Palermo in 1140, as well as on an act of donation issued by King William I {of Sicily} in the year 1157.[81] The latter presents this bishop’s signature placed behind the one of the archbishop of Reggio di Calabria; this seems to indicate that once more we are dealing with a bishop from Mileto, which has been also securely proven through other evidence assembled by Capialbi.[82]

We cannot identify any bishop that can be securely attributed to Malta, for the first 60 years that followed the Norman conquest of Malta by Count Roger I. {p.492} For the first time we learn about a bishop of Malta from a Papal bull of 1156; this document confers the dioceses of Girgenti, Mazzara and Malta to the archbishopric of Palermo.[83] The first bishop of Malta after the Norman conquest documented by name was Bishop Joannes, who lived under King William the Good (1166-89).[84] It cannot be securely established when the re-foundation of the Maltese diocese occurred; it is however very unlikely that this happened soon after the campaign of Roger I. According to the agreement which had been made between Roger and the resident Arabs, a great deal of independence was granted to the latter and they remained in possession of the island. It is more likely that the renewal of the Maltese diocese was indirectly prompted by another event: After the Arabs had raided the Sicilian coast in 1127, Count Roger II carried out an expedition to the islands located between Sicily and Africa and once more conquered the island of Malta in July of the same year.[85] Pagi tries to link the foundation of Malta’s diocese to this event. This assumption is not entirely impossible,[86] since from then onwards Malta entered a closer relationship with the Norman kingdom. Still, even after the second conquest of Malta by the Normans, some time must have passed until the islands became again the see of a bishop.

Thus also the rationale for a continuation of Christianity under Arab rule, which they {historiographers} had wanted to derive from the presumed immediate re-establishment of the diocese of Malta, proved unsound. On the contrary, several positive considerations point to a virtual absence of Christian cult during the Arab period, and to only a very slow process of Christian revival afterwards {p.493}. Clearer than anything else, the Maltese language demonstrates that Arab culture had a profound influence on Malta. Whereas in Sicily, where a large part [p.38] of the former population had remained during Arab rule, only a few traces of the Arab language survived. In contrast, even today, the Maltese dialect remains predominantly Arabic in its vocabulary as well as its grammar. A rather curious story is to be found in the cosmography of al-Qazwini.[87] Although it includes some admittedly fairytale-like passages, it still leads us to conclude that, at least during the later period of Arab rule, Malta was inhabited exclusively by a Muslim population. Most probably during the wars of Maniakes (1038-1040), when Byzantine forces threatened the island, as al-Qazwini tells us, the Muslim rulers promised their slaves (presumably the subjugated native population) freedom and a sharing of property, if they join forces with them in a concerted effort of defence. The slaves agreed, the Byzantine were defeated, and in the newly restructured society of Malta, the former masters and their slaves lived alongside with equal rights. “Their power grew”, added the Arab writer, “…and after this incident the Byzantines never again pressurized the island.” What appears to be the core of the story, namely the unification of the total population of Malta, the ruling and the ruled classes, against the Christian opponent, and the resulting social equality of both parts of society, seemed to require as a precondition that Malta’s entire population had already followed the Muslim creed. In this way it can be explained why Christianity made only very slow progress on the Maltese islands during the 11th and 12th centuries, and why Islam seemed to have remained as the predominant religion for a long time. Earlier on {in this article} it was mentioned that there was proof of a Maltese diocese only at a relatively late point in time. Burkhard of Strassburg,[88] Frederick Barbarossa’s ambassador to Saladin, who seemed to have visited Malta, reports that the island had been inhabited by Saracens in his days (the year 1175). Although this remark might need to be slightly qualified, {p.494} in any case we can infer from it that in Burkhard’s time the majority of the population consisted of Muslims. Since we know that Arab culture experienced a considerable flourishing during the 12th century in Malta, this can only serve to confirm the facts reported by Burkhard. Several Arab poets are known whose homeland was Malta; we hear about an Arabic mechanic from Malta who had constructed a much admired water-clock at the time of King Roger I;[89] the Arabic epitaph of Mymunah, which was found in Gozo,[90] falls almost in the same year of Burkhard of Strassburg’s journey. While the Muslims experienced considerable restrictions in Sicily during the 12th [p.39] century, in Malta they still constituted the majority of the population during the 13th century. The inhabitants of Malta and other islands seemed to have been involved in the large Muslim revolt of Sicily, which Emperor Frederick II had to counteract in 1222 and the following years. We learn that Frederick II led a campaign, or had a campaign launched against Malta and the islands near Sicily, which in most probability can be dated to the autumn of 1223. Ibn Kaldun tells us that Frederick sailed to Malta, drove out the Muslims present there, as he had done to their Sicilian fellows, and deported them to Lucera. This account is confirmed by Ryccardus of S. Germano, who reports that Frederick ordered the inhabitants of the destroyed Celano to settle in Malta in the year 1224. Apparently they were sent as colonists with the intention to strengthen the Christian element there. The ‘S?chsische Weltchronik’ which has only a very vague view on the campaigns of Frederick II, calls the islands around Sicily ‘heidenische elant’ {heathen island}.[91] This expression was fully justified as far as Malta was concerned. {p.495} Even twenty years after this event, to which the German chronicle had referred to, more than two thirds of the inhabitants of the Maltese islands were Muslims. There is an excerpt from an imperial document, which Abbot Gilbert received in response to his report, which he had submitted as the imperial administrator of Malta. According to this document,[92] which falls into the last decade of the reign of Frederick II, there were 47 Christian, 681 Muslim, and 25 Jewish families in Malta. In Gozo there were 203 Christian, 155 Muslim and 8 Jewish families. Although some other numerical figures listed in this document do not seem very reliable, nevertheless the given proportions between Christians and Muslims suggest a high degree of probability. These figures fit very well into the list of arguments stated above, which allows us to perceive the population of Malta as almost entirely Muslim until the time of Frederick II. Furthermore these pieces of information receive support from another passage of the same document: Abbot Gilbert reported to the emperor that the inhabitants of Malta had very different customs and constitutions (mores ac constitutiones) from the other inhabitants of the Kingdom of Sicily. This is contradicted by the chronicle of Ibn Kaldun, according to which the Muslims of Malta had been deported to Lucera by Frederick.

[p.40] Apart from the fact that Ibn Kaldun’s rendering of the events does not strike us as very correct, one could also argue that the deportation to Lucera concerned only a part of the Maltese Muslims. The Christian colonists from Celano, however, who had been forced to settle in Malta in 1224, received permission to return home already after three years.[93] The large numbers of Muslims still present in Malta during the last years of the reign of Frederick II, are even more impressive, since the document mentioned above falls into the same time when the last part of the Muslim population in Sicily mounted their last revolt against Christian rule,[94] {p.496} and after this revolt had been repressed, they disappeared altogether. According to Muslim and Christian sources, as far as they have been consulted, it appears as very probable that Christianity experienced a complete interruption in Malta caused by the Muslim invasion. The situation on the neighbouring island Gozo was not much different, although there seemed to be a higher number of Christians recorded during the time of Frederick II. The Maltese islands shared the same fate as all other islands around Sicily. Most of the smaller islands seemed not even inhabited any longer during the last period of Muslim rule. Lipari was only temporarily inhabited, as Idrisi reports, although there was a castle present.[95] Towards the end of the 13th century a cloister was founded there, attracting again the first Christian settlers.[96] Pantelleria was exclusively inhabited by Muslims during the 12th and 13th centuries.[97] On all islands the Christian population lacked the connection to a larger religious and ethnic community, as well as the support of a greater mass of people; therefore the population disappeared quickly, or it was incorporated into the Muslim one, as can be assumed for the Maltese population. The assessment presented here has led to negative results concerning a number of common assumptions. As far as we know until now, secure evidence for Christianity on the Maltese islands does not reach back earlier than the fourth century; although it is very likely that Christian teachings had reached the island considerably earlier. The diocese of Malta does not seem to have been founded much earlier than during the Byzantine rule; this is also the only period when we find the four bishops, for whom there is evidence before the year 1156. The occupation of the island by the Muslims led to a complete destruction of the Christian church of Malta. During the 12th and 13th centuries, Christianity, spreading from Sicily, grew again very slowly. From then onwards the Christian church on the islands was different to the one before the Arab conquest. It was no longer the Greek Church, but the Roman Church which had won these territories through the Normans.



* A short biography of Albert Mayr is on page 17, supra.

** Hanna Stöger studied as an undergraduate at the University of Malta from where, in 1999, she graduated BA (Hons) and presented a dissertation entitled Albert Mayr: A Legacy of Pioneer work in Maltese Archaeology. Hanna then pursued her post-graduate studies at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands where, in 2002, she graduated MA (cum laude) with a thesis entitled Monumental Entrance of Roman Ostia. She is presently in the process of presenting her PhD thesis, also at the University of Leiden. Ms St?ger presently holds a post-doctoral research position at the Faculty of Archaeology of the University of Leiden. Her specialisation is in Roman Urbanism and analytical approaches to past urban space. Her publications include: ‘Albert Mayr (1868-1924)’, Malta Archaeological Review, issue 4, Malta 2000; ‘Monumental Entrances of Roman Ostia: Architecture with Public Associations and Spatial Meaning’, BaBesch 8, 347-362; ‘Roman Ostia: Space Syntax and the Domestication of Space’, in Layers of Perception, Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications 2007, eds. A.Posluschny, K. Lambers and I. Herzog, Berlin 2008, 322-7; ‘Clubs and Lounges at Roman Ostia: The Spatial Organisation of a Boomtown Phenomenon (Space Syntax Applied to the Study of Second Century AD ‘Guild buildings’ at a Roman Port Town)’, in Proceedings of the 7th International Space Syntax Symposium, eds. D. Koch, L. Marcus and J. Steen, Stockholm KTh 2009, 108: 1-12; ‘Medieval and Post-Medieval Greece. The Corfù Papers’, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2023, eds. J. Bintliff and H. St?ger, Oxford 2009.

[1] (M.p.475_1) Sicilia sacra. Panormi 1638, lib. III. notit. VII (in the following the 3rd edition, published by Mongitore in 1733, will be quoted).

[2] (M.p.475_2) Abela, della descrittione di Malta. Malta 1647; reprinted and amended in Ciantar, Malta illustrata. Malta 1772 (in the following the edition of 1772 will be quoted).

[3] (M.p.475_3) Malta antica, Roma 1816, lib. VI.

[4] (M.p.475_4) Descrizione storica delle Chiese di Malta e Gozo, Malta, 1886.

[5] (M.p.476_1) Vol. XLII (1847), p. 81 ff.

[6] (M.p.476_2) Chiese d’Italia vol. XXI (1870), p. 647 ff.

[7] (M.p.476_3) VIII, 577 ff, the article on Malta was written by Neher.

[8] (M.p.476_4) Series episcoporum p. 947.

[9] (M.p.476_5) CIL X 7494; cf. the remarks by Mommsen on CIL 6785.

[10] (M.p.476_6) CIL X. 7494-511, 8318 add. and 8319 add., also CIG 5754 (Kaibel, inscr. Gr. Sic. 601) and 5755 belong to this period.

[11] (M.p.476_7) Acta apost. c. 27, 27 ff. If the view of Victor Schulte (Arch?ologische Studien p. 61 ff.) is correct, then the shipwreck of St. Paul on Malta had found its way into Palaeochristian art. Apparently there is a fresco in one of the so-called Sacrament-Chapels of the catacombs of St. Callisto.

[12] (M.p.477_1) Meleda was first found in Constatin. Porphyrogennet, de administr. imp. c. 36, as the location where the shipwreck took place. The older controversy on this issue is related in Bres {1816} lib. VI, c. 1, which he also discusses in detail c. 2-7, further literature on the landing of St. Paul in Malta is found in Realenzyclop?die f. prot. Theologie XI, 372; we should also mention Conybeare and Howson, Life and epistles of St. Paul, II, 308 ff.; Renan, St. Paul, p. 547 ff.; K. Th. Rückert, Nach Nordafrika (1884), p. 421 ff.

[13] (M.p.477_2) τόπος διθάλασσος (Act. Apost. c. 27, 41).

[14] (M.p.477_3) Quintinus was the first to mention this tradition as a very old one; Quintinus, descritio ins. Melitae (1533) col. 7 (in Thesaurus antiquit. Sicil. Vol XV).

[15] (M.p.477_4) We have no further information on the significance of this honourable position, which is also mentioned in a Greek and a Latin inscription from Malta (CIG III, 5754) and (CIL X, 7495).

[16] (M.p.478_1) This has been already found in Joann. Chrysost., in act. apostol. homil. 51 (Migne, patrol. gr. 60, 376); cf. Bres 1816 c. 9.

[17] (M.p.478_2) Cf. the remark by Renan, St. Paul, p. 558.

[18] (M.p.478_3) This reference was found first in Vetus Romanum Martyrologium, ed. H. Rosweyd, (1613), p. 3 listed under 21st January: Athenis, S. Publii Episcopi qui Melitenus a Paulo epicopus ordinatus; even the author of the article on Malta in Wetzer und Welte’s Kirchenlexikon (2nd edition) p. 579 considers Publius to be the first bishop of Malta.

[19] (M.p.478_4) see Eusebius, hist. eccl. IV, 23.

[20] (M.p.478_5) de vir. illust. p.19.

[21] (M.p.478_6) Already Tillemont, mémoires pour servir à l’histoire ecclés. 1, 573 ff, draws attention to fact that the death of the Athenian bishop Publius falls into the period of the emperor Marc Aurelius. This can be inferred from a letter by Dionysius of Corinth, in Euseb. h. e. IV, 23 paragraph 2. {In this letter} Publius is mentioned as immediate predecessor of bishop Onadratus of Athens, the latter being contemporaneous with Dionysius of Corinth (under Marc Aurelius and Commodus). If Hieronymus, de vir. ill. 19, pushes the dates for the bishop Onadratus into the time of Hadrian, which according to him {Hieronymus} also determines the period of Publius, then this occurs because of an arbitrary identification of bishop Onadratus with the Apologist Onadratus, living at the time of Hadrian (see Euseb. h. e. IV, 3); on this see Harnack, Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur bis Eusebius 1, 95 f.

[22] (M.p.478_7) Pirro, sicilia sacra II, 509; contra Ciantar, who already remarked in his notes on Abela lib. III, note 1 paragraph 3, that Aeacius should be deleted from the list of Maltese bishops.

[23] (M.p.478_8) These are the cities of Antioch (on-the-Orontes), Ariarathia, Anthiochia Lamatis, Sinna (Mansi, conc. coll. VI, 569 B, 1083 E, 1090 A, 1092 D; VII, 121 A, 122 B and C).

[24] (M.p.479_1) Mansi IV, 1213 A, 1309 B, 1363 D.

[25] (M.p.479_2) The Palaeo-Christian burial sites have been discussed in Abela, lib. 1 note IV, although not very thorough and not very reliable; afterwards Boldetti, osservazioni sopra i cimiteri de’ santi martiri, Roma 1720, pp. 631-33; Bres l. c. lib. VI c. 16; Badger, description of Malta and Gozo (1838) p. 255 ff; a short overview is provided by Caruana, report on the Phoenician and Roman antiquities of Malta (1882) p. 104; on similar sites on Gozo see Lupi, dissertazioni e lettere filologiche, Lett. XI, 63.

[26] (M.p.479_3) In 1893, Dr. Arnold Breymann investigated the catacombs of Malta, and, as he has informed me, will be shortly publishing the results of his work.

[27] (M.p.479_4) The wall paintings found there, rendered ‘alla maniera greca’, according to Abela, which mostly depict saints in the attire of bishops, have to be understood as paintings executed in Byzantine style, from a much later period. In addition, the reference to altars and carved crosses in these crypts rather point to their use in later periods. Even Medieval coats-of-arms have been encountered in one of the crypts near the Abbatia catacombs.

[28] (M.p.480_1) these are present in the part of the Abbatia catacombs, of which a plan has been published in Abela, tav. VIII.

[29] (M.p.480_2) see Caruana, report p. 120.

[30] (M.p.480_3) CIL X 7500.

[31] (M.p.480_4) 7498 {prob. CIL X}. Regarding Christian inscriptions of a later date, partly only from the Byzantine period, the following are known: CIL X 7499 and the Greek inscription CIG IV 9450 and 9451. The latter has been erroneously attributed to the island of Gozo by Kaibel, inscr. Graec. Sicil. 604; (Kirchhoff CIG IV 9451; Muratori, thes. vet. inscr. IV, 1858, 3); Ciantar, Malta illustrata lib. II note IV paragraph 32. There are strong reservations concerning the authenticity of one of the Latin epitaphs of Christian character mentioned by Caruana, p. 153, No. XXIX.

[32] (Mp.480_5) Caruana, p. 106 ff, counts 9 catacombs on Malta, not including the burial places of later periods, which yielded the inscriptions CIL X 7499, CIG 9450 and CIG 9451.

[33] (M.p.481_1) CIL X 8319 add.; according to the copy sent to me by Dr. Vassallo from Malta, the symbol can be identified as a boat or ship.

[34] (M.p.481_2) Innocent. I epist. XXV (Migne lat. XX, 532). praesertim cum sit manifestum in omnem Italiam, Gallias, Hispanias, Africam atque Siciliam et insulas interiacentes nullum instituisse ecclesias, nisi eos quos venerabilis apostolus Petrus aut eius successores constituerint sacerdotes...Oportet eos hoc sequi quod ecclesia Romana custodit a qua eos principium accepisse non dubium est; cf. Leo I op. XVI (Migne lat. LIV 696).

[35] (M.p.481_3) Cf. Friedl?nder, Sittengeschichte Roms II3, 133 f.

[36] (M.p.481_4) Arch?ologische Untersuchungen p. 143.

[37] (M.p.482_1) There is no specific reference for an occupation of Malta by the Vandals; however, it can be inferred from Victor Vitens, hist. persecut. Afric. provinc. (rec. Petschenig) 1, 13; post cuius (Valentiniani) mortem totius Africae ambitum obtinuit (Geiserieus) nec non et insulas maximas Sardiniam, Siciliam, Corsicam, Ebisum, Maioricam, Minoricam vel alias multas superbia sibi consueta defendit. It can be assumed that Malta remained even in the following time in the hands of the Vandals, as they have also always kept a part of Sicily. On this issue see Pallmann, Gesch. d. V?lkerwanderung II, 312 ff; F. Dahn, Urgeschichte der german. u. roman. V?lker I, 162 ff.

[38] (M.p.482_2) also Gams p. 917, and Neher in Wetzer and Weltes Kirchenlexikon.

[39] (M.p.482_3) Harduin II, 996 A, Mansi VIII, 316 A uses the version: Melitanensis.

[40] (M.p.482_4) Konziliengeschichte II2 646.

[41] (M.p.483_1) Cf. Mansi VI, 1082 C; already pointed out by Ciantar III, note 1 paragraph 4.

[42] (M.p.483_2) see Victor Vitensis in Petschenig’s edition p. 117 ff.

[43] (M.p.483_3) Procop. Vand. I, 14.

[44] (M.p.483_4) Melite and Gaulos appear as part of Sicily in the descriptions of the provinces by Georgius Cyprius (ed. by Gelzer p. 30, 592 and 593), there is mention of a dux of Gaudomelete in Nicephorus ιστ σύντομος (ed. de Boor p. 25, 24) the latter reference also points out that Malta had been used as a location for exile under the Byzantine emperors.

[45] (M.p.483_5) Mansi IX, 106 C.

[46] (M.p483_6) Gregor. Epist. (eds. Ewald and Hartmann) II, 43.

[47] (M.p484_1) Gregor. Epist. (eds. Ewald and Hartmann) X, 1.

[48] (M.p484_2) Gregor. Epist. (eds. Ewald and Hartmann) IX, 25.

[49] (M.p484_3) Gregor. Epist. (eds. Ewald and Hartmann) XIII, 22: Gregorius Gregorio, Leoni, Secundino, Johanni, Dono, Lucido, Traiano, episcopis Siciliae.

[50] (M.p484_4) Gregor. Epist. XIII, 22: the letter is addressed to various bishops of Sicily, among these is also bishop Trajanus of Malta (see note p. 484_3): latorem siquidem praesentium Adrianum, cartularium nostrum ad regendum ecclesiae nostrae patrimonium, Syracusanarum videlicet partium dirigentes fraternitati vestrae necessario duximus commendandum. See Bres, M. a. p. 425 on the Patrimonium Petri. Bres claims to trace the memory of the ancient landholdings of the Patrimonium Petri on Malta in the place names ta Romana and tal Papa (mentioned in Abela, lib. I, vol. VIII paragraph 52), which refer to land located between Zurrieq and Gudia.

[51] (M.p.485_1) Bres p. 431 ff.

[52] (M.p.485_2) Geschichte der r?mischen Kirche II (1885), p. 620 note 2.

[53] (M.p.485_3) See evidence for this in Gelzer; on the dating of the Greek Notitiae episcopatuum see Jahrbuch f. prot. Theologie XII (1886) p. 356-58.

[54] (M.p.485_4) Bres p. 427 ff; confer di Giovanni cod. diplom Sicil. I, 413 ff.

[55] (M.p.485_5) Bres p. 430 ff.

[56] (M.p.485_6) Hieroclis synecdemus et Notitiae Graeccae episcopatuum, ex rec. G. Parthey, p. 186 Notit. IX, 152 ff. Confer p. 170 N. VIII, 243 ff, see also Gelzer concerning the dating of the Greek Notitiae episcopatuum, p. 371 f.

[57] (M.p.486_1) Parthen p. 129 N. III, 720 and p. 207 N. X, 309.

[58] (M.p.486_2) Gelzer p. 529 ff. and especially p. 550. Neilos Doxopatros; Parthen p. 302, 312, also lists Gaudos among the suffragans of Syracuse; however the list he is referring to comes from the description of the provinces by Georgios Cyprios, s. above p. 483, note 4) which had been mistaken for an ecclesiastical list by Neilos.

[59] (M.p.486_3) Amari, storia dei Musulmanni di Sicilia I, 352 with note 3.

[60] (M.p.486_4) Epistola ad Leonem Diaconum de expugnatione Syracusarum; this part of the letter is only preserved in a Latin translation; s. Abela lib. III note 1 paragraph 7; Muratori, script. rer. Ital. t. I pars II p. 264 A.

[61] (M.p.486_5) Pirro II, 905.

[62] (M.p.487_1) Gaufredas Malaterra, historia Sicula lib. IV c. 16 (in Muratori, SS. rer. Ital.V, 594 f.), Amari, stor. dei Musulm. III, 177 ff.

[63] (M.P.487_2) Amari, II, 401 ff.

[64] (M.p.487_3) Abela L. II note X paragraphs 6 and 8. Also Bres p. 459 and Caruana’s report p. 51 follows this opinion.

[65] (M.p.488_1) Abela lib. II vo. X paragraph 8.

[66] (M.p.488_2) Caruana Report

[67] (M.p.488_3) e.g. Wied er-Rum and Guedet-er-Rum.

[68] (M.p.488_4) Amari III, 871 f; cf. p. 309 note 1.

[69] (M.p.488_5) Pirro II, 905.

[70] (M.p.488_6) See p. 476 f. above.

[71] (M.p.489_1) E.g. the Papal bull of the year 1156, see Pirro I, 94 (Gergentine et Mazariensi et Maltensi electis); see below p. 492 note I; and another {Papal bull} from the year 1192 in Pflugt-Harttung, acta pont. ined. III No. 448 (Maltensi et Mazariensi episcopis), as well as a Greek document from the year 1168 in Cusa, diplomi Greci ed Arabi I, 484 (ο επίσκοπος της Μάλτης); the register of the dioceses which had been compiled by Neikos Doxopatres upon the request of King Roger I, refers to Malta in the following words: Μελίτη νήσος η λεγομένη Μάλτα (Parthen p. 302, 313). Malaterra uses the ancient form of the name when he refers to the taking-over of Malta (IV, 16), while he uses the form Malta in other passages (II, 45).

[72] (M.p.489_2) Pirro remarks: harum concessionum diplomata...reperire haud potui. Martinus tamen rex in quodam suo privilegio dato anno 1399 indict. 8 apud R(egiam) Cancell(ariam) Sic. an. 1398 fol. 157 et. Capibr(ev) praelat. fol. 70 et 198 aliqua recenset. According to Pirro it seems very unlikely that this Privilegium contains a historical report on the foundation of the Maltese diocese (this document was not seen by the author).

[73] (M.p.489_3) The document has been reproduced in Pirro I, 75 (notit. eccl. Panormit); cf. Mortillaro, catalogo dei diplomi esistenti nel tabulario della Cattedrale di Palermo p. 5.

[74] (M.p.490_1) It is beyond the author’s intention to determine which one of the dioceses was referred to as Melvitanus; in Pirro II, 905 and Abela it has been wrongly called Melivitanus, respectively Melivetanus. One could think of a city in the duchy of Apulia, which had included Palermo in this period. Melsi can also be excluded since there is evidence for a bishop for this city (Balduinus; s. Ughelli, Ital. sacr., ed. 2, 1, 922 f.). Then again, the reference to a Maltese bishop with the name Diosphorus, found in Gams, is the result of an obvious error (see Capialbi, chiesa Miletese p. 4).

[75] (M.p.490_2) Printed in Pirro I, 76; cf. Martillaro p. 5 No. 4.

[76] (M.p.490_3) See Capialbi, chiesa Miletese p. 5-7.

[77] (M.p.490_4) In this document, reproduced in Bosio, istor. della S. Religione di S. Giovanni I (1676) p. 47 f., the pope takes the Hospital of St. John in Jerusalem under his protection; s. below p. 4924.

[78] (M.p.490_5) Ciantar, Malta ill. Lib. III note 1 paragraph 11; later Ferres p. 15 f; see also Moroni, dizionario XLII, 83.

[79] (M.p.490_6) U. Robert, bollaire du Pape Calixte II No. 267, Jassé-L?wenfeld Nr. 6940 (5073).

[80] (M.p.491_1) There is a Papal bull, issued on the 23rd December 1121, addressed to this bishop by the same pope {Calixtus II} (Robert Nr. 268, Jassé-L?wenfeld Nr. 6939 (5072); he appears again in the year 1123 (Pirro 11, 905, cf. 1, 386). A document of Calixtus II by Th. Aceti, prolegomena in G. Barrii de antiquitate et situ Calabriae libros quinque p. 155 f, supposedly refers to the period when this pope was in Calabria. The document shows signatures, one of which is the name of a bishop Petrus of Mileto (Petrus Militensis episcopus), however it is obviously not authentic.

[81] (M.p.491_2) See Pirro I, 97 f; cf. Mortillaro, catalogo dei diplomi p. 35.

[82] (M.p.491_3) Capialbi 13 ff.

[83] (M.p.492_1) Jassé-L?wenfeld No. 10197 (6942). Pirro I, 94.

[84] (M.p.492_2) Hugonis Falcandi Hist. de reb. gest. in Siciliae regno, in Muratori, scriptt. VII, 340, D.

[85] (M.p.492_3) Alexander Telesinus, de reb. gest. Rogerii regis lib. I e. 4 (see Maratori, script. V. 617), Ibn al Akir in Amari, biblioteca arabo-sicula; vers. ital. I, 450; later An Nuwayri in Amari II, 146.

[86] (M.p.492_4) Pagi on Baronius, annales ecclesiastici t. XVII (Lucae 1745) p. 628 No. XIII and XIV, cf. f. XVIII, p. 401 Nr. II; however Pagi is mistaken when he places the campaign of Roger II into the year 1122, he also errs when he considers bishop Johannes as the first bishop of the island (s. above p. 490); his name appears in a Papal bull of pope Paschalis II dated to the year 1113, but according to Pagi the year 1123.

[87] (M.p.493_1) Amari, biblioteca arabo-sicula (vers. ital.) I, 240 f.; cf. Amari, storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia II, 422 f.

[88] (M.p.493_2) See Arnold, chronica Slavorum, lib. VII (in: Mon. Germ. SS XXI, 236).

[89] (M.p.494_1) Amari, bibl, ar.-sic. vers. Ital. I , 241; II, 433, 446 f; cf. Amari stor. dei Mus. III, 684 f. 751 f, 762 f.  

[90] (M.p.494_2) Amari epigrafi arabiche di Sicilia. Parte II, N. XXXII, 102 quoted in Amari, bibl. ar.-sic II, 446 note 1).

[91] (M.p.494_3) See Amari, bibl. II, 212 f. on Ibn Kaldun’s reports on the campaign of Frederick II against Malta; Amari {or Ibn Kaldun errs - not clear from the text} however errs when he places these campaigns owards the end of the reign of this emperor; cf. Amari, stor. dei Mus. III 598; S?chsische Weltchronik (Mon. Germ. Deutsche Chroniken II, 243, 363): De keiser vor do to Palle, do he gewiet was, unde gewan Sycilie unde Kalabre unde de heidenische lant, de darbinnen lagen unde alle de heidenische elant, de unbe en e legen. The expedition to Malta and the other islands around Sicily took place concurrently with the campaigns against the island of Djerba, in the autumn of 1223, and not in 1221 as Amari, stor. 111, 605, assumes (Annales Siculi in Mon. Germ. XIX, 496; on the period of the campaign against Djerba see Ed. Winkelmann, Kaiser Friedrich II Vol. I, p. 207, note 1). On the transfer of the inhabitants of Celano to Malta see Ryccardus de S. German. in Mon. Germ. XIX, 344, note 1224.

[92] (M.p.495_1) Ed. Winkelmann, acta imperii inedita 1, 713 ff, No. 938.

[93] (M.p.495_2) Ryccard. de S. Germano in Mon. Germ., p. 348.

[94] (M.p.495_3) This revolt lasted from 1343 to 1346; see Amari, stor. III, 618 ff.

[95] (M.p.496_1) Amari, stor. III, 775, on Lipari see Edrisi in Amari, bibl. I, 51.

[96] (M.p.496_2) Pirro, II, 952.

[97] (M.p.496_3) See Amari stor. III, 871, and the sources listed in note 2.