Copyright The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica. [Malta Historical Society]. 7(1977)2(193)

[p.193] VICTOR MALLIA-MILANES, "Some Aspects of Veneto-Maltese Trade Relations in the XVIIIth Century", Studi Veneziani, XVI, 1974, pp. 503-553. "Malta and Venice in the Eighteenth Century: A Study in Consular Relations", Studi Veneziani, XVII-XVIII, 1975-76, pp. 265-320.

The questions discussed in "Some Aspects..." relate to Veneto-Maltese "interdependence in matters of trade and other related services" soon after the establishment of three intimately related institutions in the course of the eighteenth century the Maltese consulate in Venice, the Venetian consulate in Malta and a Venetian Ministry in Malta in the person of Massimiliano Buzzaccarini Gonzaga. These include such aspects as Malta's trade potentiality as viewed by Buzzaccarini Gonzaga, attempts to conclude a bilateral trade agreement, the Order's principle of neutrality, Grandmaster Pinto's design for the setting up of Venetian factories in Malta, the delicate grain and timber trade, Venetian merchant shipping in Malta and Malta's strategic significance to Venice in the Republic's relations with Barbary Regencies. Together these questions constitute what Mallia-Milanes calls "a study of the gradual process of mutual exploitation of the good relations" prevailing between Venice and Malta.

In his second study ("Malta and Venice..."), the author examines the system behind Maltese consular establishments overseas and foreign consulates in Malta in "its eighteenth century stage of development in an attempt to arrive at a comprehensive view of Veneto-Maltese consular relations". The paper is in two parts: "The Maltese Consulate in Venice" and "The Venetian Consulate in Malta". The former is a revised and enlarged version of a paper which the author had published in 1971 in Melita Historica (V, 4, pp. 321-337). "The Venetian Consulate in Malta" is a threefold comparative study of the Order's "unconventional practice and highly peculiar attitude" towards the foreign consul in Rhodes and in Malta, of the Venetian consulate in Malta in relation to other consulates on the Island, and of the vaguely termed Venetian consul in Malta before 1755 and the truly Venetian consul in Malta after that date. The theme is scientifically approached within the broad framework of central Mediterranean history in general and as an integral part of the Venetian Republic's "rehabilitation policy" in particular.

The two papers, both scrupulously documented, are an important contribution, indeed an essential one, not only to the commercial and economic history of Malta but also to key aspects of Venetian history and Venetian historiography.

Louis J. Scerri