Brief history dating
However in 870 AD Malta was conquered by the Arabs.
The Arabs ruled Malta for more than 200 years and in that time the Maltese were heavily influenced by Arab civilization. By 1091 he had also driven the Arabs out of Sicily.
In 1412 Malta passed to the kings of Castile (another part of Spain) but it made no difference to the ordinary Maltese. Eventually Castile and Aragon were united and Malta became part of the powerful Spanish Empire. The Spanish king granted Malta to the Knights of St John. In the 11th century Europeans went on journeys called pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
In 1048 some Italian merchants founded an order of monks called the Order of St John of Jerusalem. In 1113 the order was formally recognized by the Pope.
They were great sailors and traders and they gave Malta its name.
They called it Malet, which means shelter or haven.
However about 5,200 BC stone age farmers arrived in Malta from Sicily and they began to farm the soil.
The earliest farmers in Malta made simple tools of stone and wood. Despite their primitive tools the Stone Age farmers created an advanced society.
The Knights of St John continued to fight the Turks so finally in 1565 the Turks decided to try and capture Malta.About 480 BC the Phoenicians founded a city called Carthage on the north coast of Africa. They ruled for about 250 years until 218 BC when the Romans conquered Malta.Malta flourished under Roman rule and it was known for honey and for sailcloth.The Knights of St John first went to Cyprus but in 1310 they moved to Rhodes.However in 1523 the Turks captured Rhodes and the Knights were left without a home until the Spanish king gave them Malta in 1530. Malta was arid and infertile and fresh water was scarce. Nevertheless the Knights of St John made Malta their home. The job of this evil organisation was to hunt down and punish 'heretics' (anybody who did not agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church).
Meanwhile about 60 AD Paul was shipwrecked on Malta while he was sailing to Rome.