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Author: Melisande Aquilina

The Snake Show

With Valletta’s transformation into the European Capital of Culture 2018, a number of cultural events, talks, exhibitions and activities started enhancing our capital city, promoting and highlighting our multi-varied traditional heritage, as well as adding colour and verve to an already beautiful and enchanting historical location. FRAGMENTA, a cultural platform presenting contemporary art in the form of pop-up public exhibitions, is a cultural programme supported by Valletta 2018, whose mission is to offer exposure to current local and foreign artists in order to titillate our senses and evolve our mental faculties. One of these events – the exhibition with...

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Malta and Sicily – What do they have in Common?

Living on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea definitely has its advantages, and being in an optimal location to travel easily and visit many of the most beautiful countries in Europe, is not the least of these. Throughout the years, Malta’s location has always been of prime interest to different countries and individuals in power. Phoenicians and Carthaginian sailors and merchants used Malta’s specific location in order to further their trade and explore new lands. The Greeks and Romans were more than happy to manage such an archipelago for this reason, as well as to enhance...

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Maltese Herbs: Thyme

This winter’s spate of people suffering from the flu has definitely led to a surge in the purchasing of antibiotics. Primarily used to combat viruses and infections, antibiotics come in all shapes and sizes, but are generally prescribed by a doctor and bought at a pharmacy or hospital in the form of pills or pastilles. The use of antibiotics revolutionarized medicine in the 20th century, however what did people do before these started to be discovered and used? Before the onset of modern medicine, there were other, more natural means of affecting cures. In fact, many people still prefer...

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The Ancient Romans in the Maltese Islands

In the year 218 B.C, at the beginning of the Second Punic War, the Roman Consul Titus Sempronius Longus invaded the Maltese islands while on his way to North Africa. It was this which led to the Maltese islands being considered part of the Roman province of Sicily, and having the status of an allied city (civitas foederata) within the Roman Empire. The natives of the islands were not regarded as a conquered people, but rather as allies of Rome, and this meant that the Maltese were able to keep their own laws, mint their own money, and sent...

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Maltese Herbs: Fennel

If you love Maltese food, you’ve surely already sampled the famous ‘patata l-forn’, that is, Maltese baked potatoes. This dish, served as an accompaniment to a number of meat recipes, such as Maltese rabbit or baked poultry, has one particular ingredient without which it wouldn’t really have that wonderful taste we all know and love. That ingredient is fennel (bużbież). Fennel is an indigenous herb from the carrot family, which is very common in the Maltese islands. It flowers between the months of May and October and featured so much in the lives of the Mediterranean people, that they...

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