Malta in 32 historical maps
The name Malta is either from Greek or Phoenician origin. The presence of the Greek dates back to 700BC when they called the island Melita, which refers to “(land of) honey”. The name was also used by the Romans during their domination of the island. The alternative Phoenician theory refers to the word Maleth , meaning “a haven”. The name Melita is used on the earliest maps, the name Malta on modern maps. On 17th century maps both names were often applied. The island already appears as a small (green) spot on regional maps of Ptolemy (c.150AD/c.1480). The first (printed) separate maps of Malta were published in the early 16th century. The city Valetta was founded in 1566 by Jean de la Valette, Grandmaster of the Maltese Knighthood. It became the capital in 1570. An inset map of the city was included in the first town atlas, published by Hogenberg & Braun in 1572.