Lecture by Din L-art Helwa - 6/3/2007

MEDICINE IN PRE HOSPITALLER MALTA – Thursday 8th March 2007 at 6 pm

The next public lecture organised by Din l-Art Helwa is by Professor Charles Savona Ventura on the practice of medicine in Malta prior to the arrival of the Order of St John, which should be of interest to anyone curious about life in Malta during the Classical and Medieval periods. The talk will focus on the development of medical practices and concepts, on the basis of public health management, religion, and scientific medicine.

During the Classical period, the Maltese islands fell under the dominion of a Semitic culture – the Phoenicians and Carthaginians – who held strong superstitious beliefs about diseases. This superstitious element was retained throughout the Roman period and subsequently modified within the Christian mould of the Byzantine period. The Romans introduced regulations for public health under Justinian I, which were modified during the Middle Ages with the aim of restricting the spread of disease within the community, and ensuring quality trained medical professionals. These early efforts at understanding and controlling disease set the scene for the introduction of scientific medicine initiated after the Renaissance and the arrival of the Hospitaller Order of St John.

Professor Charles Savona Ventura, MD, MRCOG, FRCOG, MRCPI, is Consultant Obstetrician Gynacecologist with the Department of Health in Malta, and is Associate Professor for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and Health Care at the University of Malta. He is also Hospitaller and Historian to the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem and Grand Archivist to the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem with a special interest in Maltese medical history.

The lecture will be held at 133 Melita Street, Valletta, on Thursday 8th March at 6 p.m. Admission is free of charge, although donations to Din l-Art Helwa’s restoration projects will be most appreciated. Those wishing to participate are advised to be seated by 5.45 pm. To join Din l-Art Helwa contact

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