Hospitaller activities in medieval Malta
By Charles Savona-Ventura
Malta Medical Journal Volume 19:3 (2007)
Introduction: The Medieval Period in the Mediterranean World is generaly considered to cover a period of about a thousand years, and is considered to initiate with the end of the Roman era heralded by the division of the Roman Empure into two parts between the sons of Theodosius in AD 395. It ended with the advent of the Renaissance movement of the fifteenth century. This period in Malta was to see the Islands come under the influence of the Byzantine Empire encompassing the period prior to the ninth century; the Arab dominance starting in AD 870 and lasting until their formal expulsion in the mid-13th century; and the Latin phase of the late 13th century to the early 16th century when the islands were ceded to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The documentary sources dated to before the 14th century are rather scanty and often limited to ecclesiastical and political matters. A number of extant documents relate to medical matters, particularly with the setting up and management of hospital services and with matters relating to the affairs of hospitaller orders having links to the Maltese Islands.