History of Malta.Around 5000 BC
Neolithic farmers arrive.

5000-4000 BC
Neolithic period: Skorba Temples built.

4000-3000 BC
Temple Period: Age of Tarxien and Ggantija temples and Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.

2500-700 BC
Bronze and Iron Age. Period of fortified villages and ‘cart tracks’.

700-550 BC
Phoenicians colonize the islands.

550-218 BC
Period of Carthaginian rule.

218 BC
Romans annexe Malta in their strategy to win the Second Punic War.

AD 60
St Paul is shipwrecked on Malta and brings Christianity.

5th century
Roman power diminishes; Vandal raids.

6th century
Byzantine empire gains control.

870
The Arabs conquer Malta.

1090
Roger the Norman, ruler of Sicily and parts of southern Italy, takes Malta from the Arabs.

1194
Malta (with Sicily) becomes part of the German Hohenstaufen empire.

1266
Charles of Anjou takes over the kingdom of Sicily, of which Malta is part.

1282
Riots against French rule in Sicily. King Pedro I of Aragon defeats Charles of Anjou; Sicily and Malta come under the kingdom of Aragon.

Mid 15th century
Emergence of a università, or local governing body, under Aragonese tutelage.

1429
Malta sacked by Muslims.

Early 16th century
Having declined economically and culturally, Malta is now little more than a rock with a population of about 20,000.

1530
Emperor Charles V of Spain grants the Maltese islands to the knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The Knights occupy the islands making Birgù (modern Vittoriosa) their Headquarters.

1565
The Great Siege of Malta.

1566
The city of Valletta is founded.

1571
The Maltese capital is formally moved from Birgù to Valetta. A Christian fleet, assisted by the Knights, inflicts defeat on the Ottomans at Lepanto.

1676
Plague causes 8,569 deaths.

1693
Earthquake wrecks most of Mdina.

1735
Sicilian ports are closed to Maltese ships after Grand Master Vilhena resists Charles VIII’s attempt to influence Maltese affairs.

Late 18th century
The Order becomes demilitarized and corrupted by wealth.

1792
The French National Assembly confiscates the Order’s lands in France.

1798
Napoleon takes Malta and plunders the islands. The Order of St John is ordered to leave the island. The Maltese rise up against the French; helped by the British, they besiege the main French garrison.

1800
The French capitulate and the British occupy the island.

1802
The Treaty of Amiens stipulates that Malta should be returned to the Knights, but a powerful group of Maltese declares allegiance to Britain.

1813
Sir Thomas Maitland is appointed as the first British Governor of Malta. Extensive constitutional and administrative reforms are made.

1814
The Treaty of Paris formally recognizes Malta as a British Crown Colony.

1848
The British Admiralty’s first dry dock opens on Malta.

1853-56
During the Crimean War, Malta acts as a supply station for British forces.

1869
The opening of the Suez Canal makes Malta an important port on the British route to India.

1914-18
World War I. Malta becomes ‘the Nurse of the Mediterranean’, providing 25,000 beds for the wounded.

1921
Malta is granted self-government ‘in matters of local concern’.

1940
Italy enters World War II.

1942
The Second Great Siege. Over 6,000 tonnes of bombs are dropped on Malta in April alone. On 15 April the George Cross is awarded to the Maltese people for their bravery during the air raids. In August and September, the German and Italian air forces suffer heavy losses over Malta and in October they concede defeat. The UK government announces a grant of GBP 30 million for the reconstruction of the island.

1962
The State of Malta formally comes into being with Dr Borg Olivier as its first Prime Minister.

1964
Malta is granted full independence within the British Commonwealth, though British forces remain.

1974
Malta is declared a republic.

1979
British forces finally leave Malta.

1989
Presidents Bush and Gorbachev meet on a ship moored off Malta for the so-called ‘Seasick Summit’.

1990
Malta applies for full membership of the European Community.

1996
Nationalists ousted by the Labour party.

1998
Nationalist victory puts the island back on course to join the European Union.

2003
Nationalist victory definitely confirms Malta joining the European Union in 2004.