Eight Thousand Years of Maltese Maritime History: Trade, Piracy, and Naval Warfare in the Central Mediterranean / Edition 1

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Overview

For millennia, Malta has always been considered a site of strategic importance. From the arrival of the Phoenicians through rule under Carthage, Rome, Sicilian Arabs, Normans, and Genovese, to the Order of St. John ("Knights of Malta"), the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, and even World Wars I and II, the Maltese islands have served as re-provisioning stations, military bases, and refuges for pirates and privateers.

 

Building on her systematic underwater archaeological survey of the Maltese archipelago, Ayse Atauz presents a sweeping, groundbreaking, interdisciplinary approach to maritime history in the Mediterranean. Offering a general overview of essential facts, including geographical and oceanographic factors that would have affected the navigation of historic ships, major relevant historical texts and documents, the logistical possibilities of ancient ship design, a detailed study of sea currents and wind patterns, and especially the archaeological remains (or scarcity thereof) around the Maltese maritime perimeter, she builds a convincing argument that Malta mattered far less in maritime history than has been previously asserted.

 

Atauz's conclusions are of great importance to the history of Malta and of the Mediterranean in general, and her archaeological discoveries about ships are a major contribution to the history of shipbuilding and naval architecture.

 

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ayse Devrim Atauz is the chief archaeologist for ProMare, a non-profit, marine research organization dedicated to underwater exploration the world over. co-principal investigator/chief archaeologist for the Mardi Gras shipwreck excavation. She holds degrees from universities in Turkey and the United States.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures     ix
List of Tables     xi
Foreword     xiii
Preface     xv
Acknowledgments     xvii
Introduction     1
Ancient History of Malta: From Prehistory to the Arab Conquest     5
Medieval Malta: From the Period of Muslim Occupation to the Arrival of the Order of Saint John     38
The Order of Saint John in Malta     73
Naval Organization of the Order of Saint John     89
Naval Functions of the Order of Saint John     140
Maltese Population, 1530-1798     166
Conclusions     174
Afterword     181
The Malta Project-Underwater Survey of Malta     185
Gran Caracca di Rodi in History and Iconography     195
Reconstruction of an Eighteenth-Century Third-Rate Ship-San Giovanni Battista     199
Summary of Major Naval Undertakings and Naval Forces of the Order, 1523-1798     208
Notes     285
Bibliography     345
Index     365
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