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or Melĭté (Μελίτη).


The modern Malta, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, about seventeen miles long and nine in breadth. It was colonized by the Phœnicians, and afterwards belonged to the Carthaginians, from whom it was taken by the Romans in the Second Punic War (B.C. 216). It is celebrated as the island on which the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked; though some writers erroneously suppose that the Apostle was shipwrecked on the island of the same name off the Illyrican coast. The inhabitants manufactured fine cloth (Melitensia, sc. vestimenta); and the lapdogs (catuli Melitaei) were much petted by Roman ladies. Cicero speaks of it as the home of pirates (Verr. iv. 46, 47), but himself often thought of making it a place of exile. The Ogygia of Homer is sometimes identified with Malta. In the fifth century A.D. it was taken by the Vandals, then by the Goths, and in 870 by the Arabs. See Caruana, Reports on Phœnician and Roman Antiquities in Malta (1881-1882); and James Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul (1866).


Now Meleda, a small island in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Illyria (Dalmatia), northwest of Epidaurus.


A deme of Attica which gave its name to one of the city gates.


A lake in Aetolia.

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