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Features

  • An island of Christian sanctuary

    An island of Christian sanctuary

    On Sunday mornings, a little before 11 o’clock, when the third Mass of the day is about to start at St John’s Cathedral in Valletta, a vibrant crowd of white-robed worshippers spills out of the door of the Catholic church of St James, around the...

  • Asia marks anniversary

    Asia marks anniversary

    Beachside memorials and religious services have been held across Asia to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that left more than a quarter of a million people dead in one of modern history’s worst natural disasters. The...

  • Thousands pray at Indonesian mosque that survived

    Thousands pray at Indonesian mosque that survived

    Thousands of Indonesians gathered on Thursday to pray at a mosque that was one of the few buildings left standing in Banda Aceh, the city flattened by the Boxing Day tsunami 10 years ago. Pictures of the 135-year-old mosque left isolated in a...

  • 10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles over the ‘last mile’

    10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles over the ‘last mile’

    Friday marks the anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history, when more than 230,000 people died in the Asia-Pacific region In April 2012, Indonesia’s Banda Aceh, the city worst hit by the tsunami that killed at least...

  • The World War I Christmas truce of 1914

    The World War I Christmas truce of 1914

    Five months had already passed since the outbreak of World War I. By early September, the German army came within 70 kilometres of Paris, but at the First Battle of the Marne (September 6 to 12, 1914), French and British troops forced the Germans...

  • Bernard Frederick Paul Bernard: 1st Maltese World War I casualty

    Bernard Frederick Paul Bernard: 1st Maltese World War I casualty

    Malta’s best known role during World War I was that of ‘nurse of the Mediterranean’, tending to the injuries of young men who had seen action in Greece and Turkey, offering them respite and, in many cases, serving as their final resting...

  • Mating Leonora

    Mating Leonora

    Last week, Leonora finally gave birth to nine beautiful puppies. I say finally because her owners had long wished for just such a litter, but repeated attempts at mating her had up till now proven unsuccessful. Leonora is a liver-spotted,...

  • Milestone in academic history

    Milestone in academic history

    The Faculty of Laws of the University of Malta marks its foundation day on Wednesday. Raymond Mangion, head of the faculty’s Department of Legal History and Methodology, traces its history. The Universitas Studiorum, the present University of...

  • An eminent lawyer

    An eminent lawyer

    The Faculty of Law will tomorrow grant an award for academic excellence to one of its luminaries, nonagenarian judge Maurice Caruana Curran. The judge was born in Valletta on June 11, 1918, and was educated at the Old Lyceum and then at the Royal...

  • How Antonio Bosio became famous worldwide

    How Antonio Bosio became famous worldwide

    Where in Malta was Antonio Bosio’s birthplace? Maltese historians assert he was born in Vittoriosa. Giovanni Curmi, one of the first to attempt to tackle Bosio’s biography seriously, adds emphatically: “We have his act of birth registered in one...

  • A Maltese officer’s death in India

    A Maltese officer’s death in India

    Throughout this year the world commemorated the first centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and, for us in particular, the important role played by Malta in ‘the war to end all wars’ as the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’, whose many of...

  • Charting the enigmatic life of Antonio Bosio

    Charting the enigmatic life of Antonio Bosio

    Arguably the ‘Maltese’ academic who acquired the widest fame in the baroque age throughout Europe was Antonio Bosio “the father of modern archaeology” or, if you prefer “the Christopher Columbus of the catacombs”, as Pope Karol Wojtyla referred to...

  • Orlando Emanuel Caruana – an American Civil War hero

    Orlando Emanuel Caruana – an American Civil War hero

    When Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican US president after having won the election of 1860, he publically pledged to bring an end to slavery. Seven slave states in the deep south did not agree and formed a new nation which they called the...

  • To neuter or not to neuter...

    To neuter or not to neuter...

    Last week, while examining Horace, his owner remarked that he’d been told he should neuter his dog but was in a dilemma about it all because he also wanted to mate him. Not wanting to interrupt my examination, I delayed replying until Horace’s...

  • A momentous episode for Malta that changed the world’s history

    A momentous episode for Malta that changed the world’s history

    If you’re over 30 years of age and you lived in Malta during the end of the 1980s you might remember the historical summit held here between US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev which brought the Cold War to an...

  • Rome minister Giuseppe Elia Pace friend of Mikiel Anton Vassalli

    Rome minister Giuseppe Elia Pace friend of Mikiel Anton Vassalli

    After years of research in Malta and abroad, I have finally published a documented biography of Dr Giuseppe Elia Pace. The book, entitled L-Avukat Giuseppe Elia Pace 1742-1820, Ħabib ta’ M.A. Vassalli f’Ruma, was inspired not so much by what Pace...

  • The sporting ethos in Homer’s epic poems

    The sporting ethos in Homer’s epic poems

    Scholars and academics periodically debate whether Ulysses’s amorous interlude at Ramla l-Ħamra in Gozo actually happened or whether Malta’s sister island was actually the remote island of Ogygia in Homer’s Odyssey or whether this epic poem should...

  • Prestigious artworks to go under hammer next month

    Prestigious artworks to go under hammer next month

    A collection of wax crib figures and saint statues are among the 1,000 lots of collectible items going under the hammer at the Belgravia Auction Gallery, St Julian’s, next month. Two Malta views from the latter part of the 18th century, attributed...

  • Reflections on Malta’s connection with Mycenaean culture

    Reflections on Malta’s connection with Mycenaean culture

    The filming in Malta of Troy from Homers epic poem, the Illiad, written about 850 BC, brought to my mind the world’s most famous abduction so masterly described by Homer, the father of European literature. Throughout the years, this historical...

  • A history of theft from churches in Malta

    A history of theft from churches in Malta

    Although there have been times when no matter what crimes were committed in Malta, churches were usually off limits, some thieves were not afraid of this sacrilegious act. One of the first recorded church thefts on the island was from the church...

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