Driving around the island of Malta a couple of weeks ago, I was suprised to see what looked like caves in the hillside. I’ve read David Ball’s The Sword and the Scimitar and know that during the great seige, the Jewish community took to the hills and lived in relative safety in the caves. Seeing them is a stark reminder of a way of life that is long since dead.
Cave dwelling (or troglodytism), was very popular here during medieval times, too. In the mid-1500s many Maltese lived in caves. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1830s that the last cave dwellers were forcibly evicted by the British. At Ghar il-Kbir we can still see these caves and get some idea of how people lived back then. Cave mouths dot the hillsides, opening into used-to-be homes like this one at Ximxia hill.
And how about this for a radom connection: Caves + dwellers = Cavedwellers, the movie where Aidan Quinn plays an abusive husband – which reminds me of The Eclipse where Aidan Quinn plays an abusive boyfriend. What is it with Aidan Quinn? Or, more to the point, what’s with my fascination with Aidan Quinn playing the bad boy?