Famous English historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) believed that the laws of a people are the most instructive part of its history. This website is unique in that it provides a lawyer's perspective of the history of Malta describing the conditions of the Maltese people throughout the ages through an analysis of the various laws and customs that prevailed or, in the very early periods, are likely to have prevailed.
Given its strategic location at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta was bound to attract the attention of the great powers of the time, including the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Arabs, the French and the British. Malta was destined to play a critical role in the busy maritime routes of the Mediterranean throughout the centuries.
From the early times, when the Carthaginian traders ruled the shores around the Mediterranean Sea, to the times of the Great Siege when the Knights of St John saved Europe from the Ottoman Empire, right up to the Second World War, when Malta became "the most wanted place on earth", surviving the onslaught of the German and Italian bombing. The bravery and valour of the Maltese people was appropriately recognised with the award of the George Cross - the only time in history that the award was given to a whole nation.
The Maltese islands are dotted with historical places of interest ranging from Neolithic temples more than 6,000 years old to the architectural wonders built by the Knights of St John during their 250-year domination which ended over 200 years ago.
British rule ended on 21 September 1964, when Malta gained its independence and took its place in the community of sovereign nations. Ten years later, on 13 November 1974, Malta became a Republic with a Maltese President as its Head of State but retained its membership of the Commonwealth. In 2004 Malta became a full member of the European Union.