Maltese History in Brief

Maltese History in Brief

Maltese History in Brief

Although small, Malta has a vast and rich history, with evidence of habitation going back to the Neolithic era (4th Millenium B.C.). Its strategic location and good harbours in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea have attracted Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Crusaders, the French and finally the British, with the colonial period lasting until 1964.

5000 BC           
First settlers arrive in Malta from Sicily. Ghar Dalam phase.

3600 - 2500 BC
Construction of Megalithic temples.

800 - 480 BC     
Phoenician rule.

218 BC             
Roman rule begins during Second Punic War.

60 AD               
Saint Paul the apostle shipwrecked off Malta.

395 - 870           
Byzantine Rule.

870 - 1090         
Arab Rule.

1090 - 1194       
Norman Rule.

1194 - 1530       
Swabian, Angevian and Aragonese Rule

1530                 
The Knights of St. John take possession of the islands

1565                 
The Great Siege. Ottoman besiege Malta in an overwhelming force but are defeated by a small army of Knights and Maltese.

1566                 
Founding of Valletta, the new capital city, named after Grand Master La Vallette, hero of the Siege.

1798                 
The French army under Napoleon Bonaparte invades the islands on the way to Egypt. Knights of St. John expelled after 268 years in Malta. Inquisition abolished.

1800                 
Maltese revolt against the French who are expelled. British rule begins.

1964                 
Malta granted Independence, becoming a sovreign nation within the Commonwealth.

1974                 
Maltese becomes a Republic.

2004                 
Malta becomes a member of the European Union.