Malta - Country history and economic development
4000s B.C. A religious culture develops in Malta even before that of Egypt.
218 B.C. Malta becomes part of the Roman Empire during the Second Punic War.
60 A.D. Saint Paul brings Christianity to Malta after he is shipwrecked on the island.
433. The Byzantine Empire acquires Malta.
870. Malta is conquered by the Arabs.
1090. The Arabs are driven out by Normans under Count Roger of Normandy, who had established a kingdom in Sicily. Malta remains under Sicilian control for 440 years.
1523. Malta is ceded to the Knights of St. John, a religious order of fighting monks that had participated in the Crusades, but were based in Italy after being driven out of the Middle East by the Arabs. The Knights become known as the Knights of Malta and build towns and settlements throughout the islands.
1798. Malta is conquered by France under Napoleon Bonaparte.
1800. With British support, the Maltese overthrow the French.
1814. Malta voluntarily becomes a British colony. Under the British, the islands become an important naval and trade center in the Mediterranean.
1939-45. Malta suffers an intensive air and sea assault by German and Italian forces during World War II.
1964. Malta is granted independence by Great Britain. The island joins the British Commonwealth of Nations.
1974. Malta becomes a republic and adopts a new constitution.
1979. The last British military forces depart from Malta.
1987. Tourism in Malta reaches its height, with 60 percent growth over the previous year.
1996. The Labor government halts Malta's application process for EU membership.
1998. After winning early elections, the Nationalist Party restarts the process for EU entry.