Did you know Malta was once part of Muslim-Arab empire?

University of Malta diploma sheds light on little known aspects of Maltese history.

The conquest of Malta was part of the wider process of the Arab conquest of Sicily. It should be noted that for many centuries before and after 870AD, the fate of Malta was intimately linked to the fate of Sicily, geography often being one of those undramatic, but deeply significant factors in shaping the story of a territory and its people.

The Arab-Muslim conquest of Malta seems to have been a very violent episode, so violent that some sources speak of the island having been left ‘an uninhabited ruin’.

While there is debate as to the extent of this depopulation, it is clear that a Christian society was replaced by a Muslim one for the next 200-300 years. We do not have much by way of physical remains from this long period, although there is some evidence that the landscape was deeply altered in those times.

Eventually, Islam itself would be replaced by Christianity through a process of conquest, conversion and assimilation. The evidence for this lies in a hugely significant, but intangible inheritance from the Arab-Muslim period: the Maltese language.

What is also fascinating about this period is the way the memory of it still causes debate, and even anxiety. A Muslim-skeleton-in-the-cupboard of a Christian nation can still generate surprisingly passionate reactions.

You might be drawn to the stories and experiences of those who came before us, and living in such a history-rich homeland as Malta, it’s no wonder you’re eager to find out more.

    History is as exciting, if not more so, than any moving fictional tale. It enables us to see how life now compares with life in olden times. It’s a way to connect meaningfully and powerfully as people.

    How can you gain a deeper understanding of Maltese history?

    Through a structured programme of learning, the Diploma in Maltese History in Context offered by the University of Malta’s Department of History, will over the course of two years, build up your knowledge of History and a clearer picture of the chronological events that paved the way to the present.

    From key developments in prehistoric times to pivotal moments in modern times, this course will foster your intellectual, analytical, critical and organisational skills that will be of value in any career.

    For more information, visit the dedicated page in the UM Course Finder. 

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