crossroads to the civilizations,

 marker of the great ages

In 1870, an amateur archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, determined to find the real Troy of the Trojan War, the war that is the center of the Homeric poems.

The Temple Period

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Story of the Ages
The temple builders of prehistoric Malta share some symbols with the first civilization of the Mediterranean on the island of Crete.(7000BC to 1500BC) There is an active archeological dig taking place in Turkey at the site of the first City Catal Hayek (7500 BC) which considers its best recoveries to be small goddess figurines
Download We know very little about the Minoans of ancient Crete, yet the remains on their island indicate they were likely the first traders of the Mediterranean who were ultimately ruined by natural disasters as well as growing Greek rivalry. Their role as the traders of the Mediterranean was taken over by the Phoenicians who are considered the first Maltese


Early Neolithic Period (c.5000-4300 BC) brought the agriculture economy which allowed civilizations to prosper. DownloadThe planet's first city is Catul Hayuk (Çatalhöyük) founded about 7500 BC in present day Turkey. While the fertility goddess figurine, is also prominent among the ongoing archaeological digs, there is nothing approaching the temples of Malta which remain the humanities oldest public buildings.

The Temple Period (4300 - 2200 BC) This phase represents an important turning point in the cultural evolution of prehistoric man. The greatest undertaking of the pre-Phoenician Gozoitans are undoubtedly Ggantija Temples (3600 - 3000BC) situated in Xaghra, and documented as the oldest freestanding structure in the world.

It is possible but not likely that Malta was a sacred island where Downloadwhich entertained larger gatherings from the mother culture. The explanation would explain the lack or corresponding temples elsewhere. as there is a the dearth, or near-absence, of settlement sites contemporary with the temples in Malta. Recently at a 2003 Archaeology conference held on Malta it was pointed out that even nearby Sicily did not have settlements which corresponded with the people who used and erected the Neolithic temples of Malta.

Phoenician seamen were preceded only by the Minoans, who were active about 3000BC. The Minoans, based on the island of Crete produced a singular civilization in antiquity: one oriented around trade and bureaucracy with little or no evidence of a military state. The island of Crete's first archaeological remains date to 7000 BC

The prehistory of the Maltese islands started round about 5000 BC, but the people who built the temples are said to have mysteriously disappeared from the island. on a clear day it is possible to see Sicily and the islands and this is where the first settlers of the the Copper Age are most likely to have come from although it is easy to make the case they were seafarers from elsewhere in the Mediterranean. 

Control over Malta was a pre-requisite to domination of the Mediterranean. For this reason all the various powers that, at one time or other, held sway over the Mediterranean at that time exercised control over Malta. The list of Malta's colonizers is a long one, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Castilians, Knights of St. John, the French, and finally, the British.

Bronze Age (2200 - 700BC) Unlike their predecessors, these people were warlike people who used copper and bronze tools and weapons and who cremated their dead instead of burying them. Among the interesting remains, there are three dolmens on Ta' Cenc plateau. These consist of a horizontal, roughly shaped slab of limestone supported on three sides by blocks of stone.

Phoenicians and Carthaginians (700 - 218BC)
The first known people to settle in Malta were the Phoenicians, who reached these shores on their trading ventures in the 9th century BC. The Phoenicians came originally from the Levant , which is the area around modern Lebanon . They had a great tradition as sailors and traders. Phoenicians attracted by the local harbours, established a colony in Malta and Gozo. For a time the Phoenicians lived alongside Bronze-age man approximately 700 years before Christ. The Phoenicians did not live only on the
Download coast but ventured inland and founded what today is known as Mdina.   When Carthage was established as a colony in 814BC, and continuing until 146BC, it became the centre for expeditions and sailing training.

Around 550BC, the Phoenicians of Carthage took over and the Carthaginians,  or Punic culture remained masters of the islands until 218BC. There are remains of a Punic rock-cut sanctuary at Ras il-Wardija, on the outskirts of Santa Lucija village, on the south-western tip of Gozo. The great City of Cathage rose nearby to Malta located where Tripoli, Tunis now stands. Carthage inherited Phoenica's settlements on the coasts of Sicily and Spain and on the adjoining isles. Not only were these islands valuable possessions in themselves—Malta as a cotton plantation but also also useful as naval stations to preserve the monopoly of the Western waters.

At Tas-Silg, in Marsaxlokk one still finds the remains of the renowned Temple of Juno, a temple so venerated that Cicero himself felt outraged when it was robbed by the corrupt Roman consul, Caius Verres.

Romans (218BC - AD 535)

The Conversion of St. Paul
by Caravaggio

Paul of Tarsus or Saint Paul the Apostle (d. 67) is considered by many Christians to be the most important disciple and interpreter of Jesus teachings. He was, next to Jesus, the most important figure in the development of Christianity. Paul is described in the New Testament as a Hellenized Jew and Roman citizen from Tarsus (present-day Turkey). He made the first great efforts through his epistles to gentile communities to show that the God of Abraham is for all people, rather than for Jews only. His epistles form a fundamental section of the New Testament. Some argue that it was he who first established Christianity as a distinct religion rather than a sect of Judaism.

Due to his body of work and his undoubted influence on the development of Christianity, many modern scholars have considered him the founder of Christianity, who modified Jesus's teachings and added important new doctrines. However, this view remains controversial. Many Christian scholars say that no teachings were modified and assert that Paul taught in complete harmony with Jesus.
Little is said of the religion that Paul encountered during his 90 days on Malta but the most popular pagan religion of the day had been spread by the Punics/ Phoenicians who inhabited Malta. It was a 2nd generation religion with zodiacal references called Mithrarism


 At the beginning of the second Punic War in 218BC, the Carthaginians were ousted by the Romans. In Gozo they created a municipium, autonomous of that of Malta with a republican sort of Government that minted its own coins. It is said that Malta was much greener than it is today and it was the Phoenicians and the Romans who cut down all the trees to build their large ships. Under the Romans, Christianity reached the shores of the island for the first time.

In AD 60, Saint Paul the Apostle, while journeying to Rome, was shipwrecked in Malta. The Maltese were introduced to Christianity by the Apostle of the Nations, St. Paul.

St Paul's Bay, where the  shipwreckedSt. Paul, came ashore after drifting for 14 days while traveling to Rome via Crete

 The site where this event allegedly took place is St. Paul’s Bay. The narration of the shipwreck of St. Paul is still told to this day on the 10th February, a national holiday and a religious feast.

During his stay on the islands, St. Paul healed the father of the Roman Governor Publius who later became the island’s first bishop. Tradition says that Publius’ house was the site where the first church (the Mdina cathedral) was erected. Publius was eventually martyred in one of the fierce persecutions against Christians in Rome.



Fortunately his stay was 90 days notDownload seven years like Malta's other famous shipwrecked hero, Odysseus

 Upon Paul's arrival in Jerusalem with the relief funds, Ananias the High Priest made accusations against him which resulted in his imprisonment (Acts 24:1-5). Paul claimed his right as a Roman citizen to be tried in Rome, but due to the inaction of the governor Felix, Paul languished in confinement at Caesarea Palaestina for two years until a new governor, Porcius Festus, took office, held a hearing, and sent Paul by sea to Rome, where he spent another two years in detention (Acts 28:30).

Acts describes Paul's journey from Caesarea to Rome in some detail. The centurion Julius had shipped Paul and his fellow-prisoners on a merchant vessel, on board which Luke and Aristarchus were able to take passage. As the season was advanced the voyage was slow and difficult. They skirted the coasts of Syria, Cilicia, and Pamphylia. At Myra in Lycia the prisoners were transferred to an Alexandrian vessel transporting wheat bound for Italy, but the winds being persistently contrary a place in Crete called Goodhavens was reached with great difficulty and Paul advised that they should spend the winter there. His advice was not followed, and the vessel driven by the tempest drifted aimlessly for fourteen whole days, being finally wrecked on the coast of Malta. The three months during which navigation was considered most dangerous were spent there, where Paul is said that he healed the father of the Roman Governor Publius from fever and other people who where sick and preached gospel, but with the first days of spring all haste was made to resume the voyage.

Acts only recounts Paul's life until he arrived in Rome, around 61; Paul's own letters cease to furnish information about his activities long before then.

"St. Paul's great insight on the road to Damascus was that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross could be interpreted in terms of the mystery religions' understanding of the death and the resurrection of the savior--that is, as the death of one's purely material, animal existence and the birth, then, of the spiritual life. This is symbolized in Christian terminology by the transformation of the old Adam into the Adam.. Then we have the refrain of O feix culpa, "O happy fault"-original sin-and the notion that the fall of man into the field of time out of the timeless rapture of Eden was followed by the coming of the Savior, who represented a sublimation-a higher manifestation of the consciousness of humanity than that which had been represented in the garden-and so, without the fall, there would have been no savior. Well, all of this is really mystic language from the Greek mysteries
Joseph Cambell
perhaps the most responsible person for bringing mythology to a mass audience.  His works rank among the classics in mythology and literature: Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume The Masks of God, The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, and many others.


the great classic of death and rebirth is
had its origins in Thrace or the present day Bulgarians. A people whose history of occupation by neighboring empires rivals that of Malta


Byzantines (535 - 870) Around AD 535, the Roman Empire was split into two and Malta formed part of the eastern empire with Constantinople as its capital. Very little is known of the Byzantine times in Malta.

Arabs (870 - 1127) In 870, the  Arabs became sole masters of the Maltese archipelago. The Punic dialect that had originated with the Phoenicians was then greatly affected in its structure.
During this period, Christianity was sometimes tolerated, but more often suppressed. Very little of the art and buildings of these time have survived.  When the last Arab rulers were driven out in the year 1249, they left behind them notable imprints of their culture on the language of the Maltese people. Many place names and family names are Arab as is the name of the island of Gozo - Ghawdex..
  European Domination (1127 - 1530) In 1090, Count Roger the Norman drove out the Arabs in a short battle won with the help of the Maltese, to whom he gave the red and white colors of the present flag. He restored the Catholic Church in Malta and joined Malta with Sicily , which he recovered in 1091.  In 1127, the Norman's took formal possession and hence, Gozo and Malta shared the same fate of Sicily passing successively under the rule of Swabia (1194), Angou (1266) and Aragon (1282). Under these rulers, the island was governed by a series of fuedal lords whose sole interest was to exact the highest possible taxes from the inhabitants, piracy and slave trading also became profitable island occupations. 
 After the Norman overlords, Swabian and Angevin dynasties ruled for brief periods and at the beginning of the 14th century, the Islands fell under Aragonese domination. In 1530, the King of Spain, Emperor Charles V, granted the Islands on fief to the international Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.


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