chapter  XIX

The Roots of Medieval Gozo

ByAnthony Luttrell

This chapter describes complements M. Buhagiar's survey of painting on Malta, and a comparison with that work suggests how much has been destroyed on Gozo. The appearance in 1990 of Gozo: the Roots of an Island mark a significant advance in Gozitan historical studies, replacing the older work of Anthony Gauci which, however, retains some value. In Gozo the Middle Ages may be considered to have commenced at the end of the Romano-Byzantine period that is with the Muslim conquest of ca. 870 and to have concluded with the Turkish devastations of 1551. The municipal autonomy of Roman Gozo, which even had its own coins, is striking; a plan of the Roman villa on Ramla Bay seems a notable omission. Muslim Gozo was presumably very much like Muslim Malta, but the latter's history is most obscure, though recent discussions of the texts of Al-Himyafi provide another step forward.