Melita (personification)

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Melita depicted on a £1 stamp designed by Edward Caruana Dingli issued on 28 August 1922

Melita is the personification of Malta or the Maltese people. The name originated from the Roman town of that name which was destroyed and rebuilt several times by the Fatamids, Normans and Knights of Saint John and eventually renamed Mdina or Città Notabile.

The personification of Melita first appeared on 4 February 1899 on a postage stamp. Since then, Melita has been portrayed several times on both postage stamps, revenue stamps and banknotes of Malta.

The design currently in use was designed by Edward Caruana Dingli in 1922, which was featured on a set of postage stamps commemorating Malta's self-government. The design shows Melita wearing a garment over a breastplate showing the Maltese Cross, a helmet and sandals. She is holding a rudder representing the Maltese in control of Malta's destiny.

The last banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Malta, which were issued between 1989 and 2000 and valid until 2008, featured Melita from the design by Edward Caruana Dingli made for the 1922 stamp set.