A Case Study in International Cross-Currents

Proceedings of the First International Colloquium
on the history of the Central Mediterranean
held at the University of Malta, 13-17 December 1989.

Edited by
Stanley Fiorini
Victor Mallia-Milanes

Malta University Publications
Malta Historical Society
Foundation for International Studies, University of Malta


The papers collected in the present volume are the revised texts of most of the lectures delivered during an international colloquium held at the University of Malta between Wednesday 13 and Sunday 17 December 1989. It was the first in what the Department of History of the University of Malta hopes to be a series of such colloquia on the history of the Central Mediterranean, to be eventually held at regular intervals. The term 'history' is here taken in its widest interdisciplinary sense with a view to bringing together scholars from different disciplines to promote the study of the cultural, political, social, and economic interrelationship of the people of the Central Mediterranean down the ages.

The theme chosen for the first colloquium, which was organized jointly by the Department of History of the University of Malta and the Malta Historical Society, was Malta: A Case Study in International Cross-Currents. Although the whole spectrum of the inquiry was much wider at the colloquium than it appears in the book - as some of the papers read have unfortunately had, for various reasons, to be left out - the contributions lay no collective claim to a comprehensive picture of the history of Mediterranean Malta from prehistory to the present day. Nor, on the other hand, are they confined to tracing its outline. The ultimate objective of each contributor has been deliberately to attempt to focus on one particular issue, aspect, or problem either of the historical development of the Maltese Islands or of its broader Mediterranean context.

The holding of the colloquium together with the publication of its proceedings would not have been possible without the substantial help - financial, secretarial, or otherwise - generously offered by the University of Malta, the Malta Historical Society, the Foundation for International Studies, and UNESCO. To all these institutions the editors, on behalf of the organizers, wish to extend their sincere appreciation.

Especial thanks, too, should go to the Hon. Minister of Education, Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, the Rector of the University, Professor Edwin Borg Costanzi, and the Director of the Foundation for International Studies, Professor Salvino Busuttil, for having kindly accepted the Organizing Committee's invitation to address the colloquium. To each of them we owe a deep debt of gratitude.

We are also grateful to Mr Salv Mallia who took time from his own work to help in one of the most tedious tasks of any publication, that of proof-reading. This he did generously and most conscientiously.

S.F., V.M-M. 2.ii.1991


   ACA    Arxiu de la Corona de Arag˛    
   AIM   Archives of the Inquisition, Cathedral Museum, Malta   
   AOM   Archives of the Order of St John in Malta, National Library, Malta   
   ARSJ   Archivum Romanum Societatis Jesu   
   ASD   Archivio Storico Diplomatico, Farnesina, Rome   
   ASM   Archivio Storico di Malta   
   ASN   Archivio di Stato, Naples   
   ASP   Archivio di Stato, Palermo   
   ASPisa   Archivio di Stato, Pisa   
   AST   Archivio di Stato, Trapani   
   ASV   Archivio Segreto Vaticano   
   BCH   Bulletin de Correspondance Hellenique   
   BEFAR   Bibliotheque des ecoles Francaises d'Athenes et de Rome   
   Bib. Fard.   Biblioteca Fardelliana   
   BL   Bodleian Library, Oxford   
   CA   Cathedral Archives, Cathedral Museum (Mdina), Malta   
   Canc.   Cancelleria   
   Cat.   Catalogue   
   Cat. Brev.   Catalogus Brevis   
   Cat. Trien.   Catalogus Triennalis   
   CIG   Corpus Inscnptionum Graecarunz   
   CIL   Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum   
   CMM   Cathedral Museum (Mdina), Malta   
   CR   Cancelleria Regia   
   Epist. Gen.   Epistolae Generalis   
   f./ff.   folio/folios   
   Filangieri   I registri della cancelleria angioina ricostruiti con la collaborazione degli archivisti napoletani, ed. R. Filangieri. Vols. 1- (Naples, 1950-)   
   FO   Foreign Office   
   IG   Inscriptiones Graecae   
   Lib.   Library Manuscripts Collection    
   LVR   Lettere Viceregie   
   M   Mandati   
   MH   Melita Historica   
   MHSJ   Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu   
   Misc.   Miscellanea   
   MM   Medieval Malta: Studies on Malta before the Knights, ed. A. T. Luttrell (London, 1975)   
   NAV   Notarial Archives, Valletta, Malta   
   ND   Notai defunti   
   n.f./n.p.   no foliation/no pagination   
   NLM   National Library, Malta   
   PRO   Public Record Office, London   
   Prot.   Protonotaro del Regno   
   Sic.   Provincia Sicula [Societatis Jesu]   
   TRP   Tribunale del Real Patrimonio   
   Univ.   University Manuscripts Collection