The history of human inhabitation in Malta is very old, and dates back to the Neolithic age. However, Malta history features a series of foreign invasions and subsequent colonizations. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and the Carthaginians were the early rulers of Malta. The Arabians started ruling the place from 870 AD. The Normans belonging to Sicily captured the island in circa 1090. In 1530 Malta was handed over to the knights by Charles V of Hapsburg.
From the period of 19th century Malta was under the authority of a military governor. After the establishment of the Suez Canal in 1869, Malta turned to be a popular coaling hub in East Asia. In the year 1921 self government was finally accorded to Malta after long revolt against the rule of British. But in the year 1936 this self government was lifted up. In 1964 Malta became an independent country and in 1974 it turned into republic.