Si­cily and Malta in 18th-19th cen­tury in new Cas­sola book

Malta Independent - - BOOKS -

Spe­cific com­mer­cial, po­lit­i­cal and so­cial re­la­tions be­tween Malta and Si­cily be­tween 1770 and 1860 are the sub­ject of in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Arnold Cas­sola’s lat­est book en­ti­tled Malta-Si­cily − Peo­ple, Pa­tri­ots, Com­merce (1770 – 1860), pub­lished by Mor­rone Edi­tore and funded by the Malta Book Fund, or­gan­ised by the Na­tional Book Coun­cil.

The first chap­ter deals with the visit to Malta of the Tus­can ab­bot Domenico Ses­tini, who was the li­brar­ian at the Principe di Bis­cari’s Bi­b­lio­theca, in Cata­nia. Ses­tini not only vis­ited Malta in 1777 but at the same time he also vis­ited Pachino in Si­cily, which was in­hab­ited mostly by Mal­tese. He there­fore has the op­por­tu­nity to com­ment about the Mal­tese both in Pachino and Malta. What did he think of the Mal­tese in gen­eral and of Mal­tese women in par­tic­u­lar?

Who were the Mal­tese per­son­al­i­ties who left a long-lasting good im­pres­sion on him? What did he say about the Mal­tese lan­guage? Th­ese ques­tions will be an­swered in the first chap­ter.

The se­cond chap­ter will an­a­lyse data avail­able at the ar­chives of Syra­cuse con­cern­ing Malta’s com­merce with that par­tic­u­lar area of Si­cily at the be­gin­ning of the 19th cen­tury. This chap­ter will give an­swers to the fol­low­ing ques­tions, among oth­ers: what was the vol­ume of sea traf­fic be­tween Malta and the nearby Si­cil­ian port? What prod­ucts were mainly trans­ported? What san­i­tary mea­sures were taken on ar­rival?

The third and con­clud­ing chap­ter, which is built on doc­u­men­ta­tion found in the Mod­ica ar­chives, will fo­cus on the role that Ital­ians based in Malta played in the 1860 ex­pe­di­tion to Si­cily un­der­taken by Garibaldi and his Mille and will pro­vide in­sights into the kind of weapons that were smuggled be­tween Malta and Si­cily; the role played by the Malta-Mod­ica tele­graph sys­tem in the Italian upris­ing; the con­nec­tions be­tween the Italian ex­iles in Malta, Pasquale Calvi, Rug­giero Set­timo, Mat­teo Raeli and Ni­cola Fabrizi, and the in­sur­gents in Mod­ica.

Arnold Cas­sola’s lat­est book can be found at all Agenda book­shops.

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