The history of the Maltese Islands is vast and dates back approximately 7000 years.
Malta went through a Neolithic period, the remains of which are the beautiful temples scattered across the Maltese islands. Later on, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and the Byzantines, all left their mark on the Islands.
With St. Paul’s shipwreck in 60AD, Christianity came to Malta and in 870 A.D. the Arabs conquered the islands, leaving an important impact on the language and culture of the Maltese.
Charles V granted Malta to the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, later to become known as the Knights of Malta. Formerly Malta had formed part of and was administered as part of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies, which formed part of the Spanish empire). The Knights of Malta ruled over Malta from 1530 to 1798 and had a grave impact on the artistic and cultural lives of Malta.
In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte took over Malta while on his journey to Egypt. He was welcomed at first but the Maltese quickly rose up against French troops who helped themselves to the riches left behind by the Knights. The British were sought out by the Maltese to help protect them against French occupation, after which, they remained on the islands from 1800.
British rule in Malta lasted until 1964 when Malta became independent. Malta has adopted the British education system and many aspects of British public law as well as aspects of company law. However Malta also has civil and commercial codes the content and interpretation of which was hugely influenced by the Code Napoleon and by the writings of French and Italian jurists writing in the 19th and first half of the 20thcenturies. Malta therefore remains a mixed jurisdiction with both civil and common law influences.
In 1974 Malta achieved the status of a Republic and in May 2004, joined the European Union. In 2008, together with Cyprus, Malta adopted the Euro.