The history of the Maltese Islands reads like ‘who’s who’ of military and economic powers holding sway over the Mediterranean through the ages. Going back thousands of years, beyond recorded history, one finds the arrival of early civilizations who came to these islands and settled here in prehistoric times. Successive waves of conquerers took possession of these small but strategically important territories over the centuries, only to pass them on to the next set of ‘owners’.

This timeline starts at around 5200 B.C., when the first waves of stoneage farmers came to these shores, and tracks the main milestones and transitions in Malta’s eventful history, right down to the present.

  5200 B.C.   Arrival of man on Malta  
  3200 B.C.   Building of megalithic temples  
  2000 B.C.   Invasion of Bronze Age peoples  
  800 B.C.   Phoenician colonisation  
      Early Inhabitants  
  900 B.C.   The start of the Iron Age  
  480 B.C.   Carthaginian domination  
      Roman Times  
  218 B.C.   Roman domination after the Punic Wars  
  60   St. Paul shipwrecked on Malta  
  395   Byzantine domination of Malta  
      Under The Arabs  
  870   Arabs occupy Malta  
      Normans Rule & The Middle Ages  
  1090   Normans occupation  
  1194   Swabian occupation  
  1266   Angevins occupation  
  1283   Aragonese occupation  
  1350   Establishment of a Maltese nobility  
  1397   Establishment of the Universita  
  1485   Death of Peter Caxaro  
      Knights of St. John  
  1530   Order of the Knights of St John arrive in Malta   
  1561   Inquisition established  
  1565   The Great Siege of Malta by the Ottoman Turks  
  1566   The Founding of Valletta  
      French Occupation  
  1798   Napoleon Bonaparte takes Malta from the Knights  
  1799   Britain takes Malta  
  1800   The French surrender  
  1802   Peace of Amiens  
      British Period  
  1814   Malta becomes a British Crown Colony  
  1914-1918   First World War  
  1919   Sette Giugno riots against British rule  
  1921   Amery-Milner constitution grants self-government  
  1930-1939   Turbulent period of intermittent self-government  
  1939-1945   Second World War  
  1947   Restoration of self-government  
      Modern Malta  
  1964   Independence within the British Commonwealth  
  1974   Malta becomes a Republic  
  1979   Last British services leave Malta  
  2004   Malta membership of the European Union  
  2008   Malta joins the Eurozone