The feats of the Knights of Malta in 1565, in a yet unknown manuscript

Symposia Melitensia No 5, Malta 2008; ISBN 1812-7509; illustrated; pp. ii + 142.

The fifth issue of Symposia Melitensia – a journal issued by the University of Malta Junior College – is on sale from leading bookshops in Malta and Gozo, for e9.50. It may be bought also from The Secretary, The University of Malta Junior College, Msida (Tel. 2122 4271/2).

The first General Chapter meeting of the Order of St John held after the victory over the Turks in the Great Siege of 1565, took place on 10 February of the following year. Before dealing with the agenda of the day, orations were delivered. One of these was presented by Augustinian Fr Spiritus Pelo Anguisciola who would yet deliver another oration, a month later, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of Valletta, in March 1566. The text of the latter had been published by Gian Francesco Abela, in his Descrittione di Malota … in 1647. The texts of both orations – taken from original manuscripts discovered by Dr Joe Zammit Ciantar – are being reproduced in ‘Orations on the Victory of the Order of St John over the Turks in 1565 and on the occasion of the Laying of the Foundation Stone of Valletta in 1566’, a paper authored by Zammit Ciantar himself. The text of the first oration – together with information about the learned Anguisciola – is being published and commented upon for the first time, in this paper, published in this issue of Symposia Melitensia.

Other researched and refereed papers published in this issue are:

‘Don Lorenzo Hervás, Gan Frangisk Agius de Soldanis, u l-Ilsien Malta’ by Mario Cassar, MA;

‘“L-Ghajnejn Tixtieq”: Il-Harsa Fallika tal-Poeti Rgiel lejn l-Oggett Femminili’ by Immanuel Mifsud, M.Ed.;

‘The Abate Vella and his Forgeries – Some notes on the background of his works’ by Dr Thomas Freller;

‘“The Pope wants to be the ruin of this Religion” – The papacy, France, and the Order of St John in the seventeenth century’ by Dr Emanuel Buttigieg;

‘Early Computing and Data Processing in Malta’ by Mario Aloisio, G.Dip.II., MIEEE;

‘Maltese Legal Jargon’ by Joe Felice-Pace, Lic.D.;

‘Appreciating fortified cities: an educational perspective’ by Dr George Cassar;


‘Complementary Translation’ by Dr Charles Briffa; and ‘The Idealized Nation-Mother of the Romantics and the Status Quo’ by Dr Adrian Grima.

Editorial Board: Tony Aquilina, Jean Paul De Lucca, Sandro Lanfranco, Louis Scerri, and Joe Zammit Ciantar (Editor)

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