The Metropolitan Cathedral of Malta is gladly presenting a new publication titled,
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑻𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑪𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉 𝒊𝒏 𝑴𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒂 𝒅𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑳𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝑴𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒂𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑬𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝑴𝒐𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒏 𝑻𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔, by Professor Stanley Fiorini.
The Mdina Cathedral Archives houses unique documentation relating to Malta’s late middle ages, both of civil concern as well as ecclesiastical. Early XV-century and later materials on the tithes of the Church in Malta are of interest to both spheres. During the mid-1980s I was attracted to these sources mainly seen then as of great potential for the information of an agricultural nature contained in them. When one starts delving into this material one is soon faced with tantalizing problems: Why are Malta’s tithes so different from similar Church taxation in nearby Sicily and further afield in Italy and Spain? Why are the Maltese tithes payable to the Cathedral dignitaries, the Archdeacon, Dean and Treasurer, unlike the others benefitting the diocese? Given that this taxation is on land property, why are certain fields susceptible to this tax but others contiguous with them not so burthened? What is the real value of the tax nominally a decima or 10%, and how was it levied from the landowner? When was this tax first imposed and on whom and why?
All these questions and others require answers in search of which one needs to dig deep, going back to Norman times, in the process shedding new light on other aspects of crucial interest to Malta’s medieval past. This book explores this terrain and comes up with possible solutions of these enigmas.
The book is available from the archives at the price of 30 Euros. A lecture will be given in October, the date will be announced later on