chapter  I

Medieval Malta: Approaches and Reproaches

ByAnthony Luttrell

The very small number of fourteenth-century documents surviving on Medieval Malta, almost all of them in copy, has been studied with comments on their background and diplomatic problems. The injection of an archaeological approach into Malta's medieval historiography, and especially into the study of its countryside, was renewed from a different angle through a project on the late-medieval casale with its four churches at Hal Millieri. A concentration on archives outside Malta would further understanding of the relatively unknown thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, while the fifteenth-century materials are extraordinarily rich. The Christians on Malta in 1091 may have chanted Kyrie Eleison but they were captives rather than indigenous islanders, and they were not necessarily Greek-speaking since the phrase formed part of the Latin liturgy. Research on medieval Malta is therefore much stronger than its teaching; in fact, the university provides no formal instruction in palaeography.