Yesterday’s mysterious statue – revealed! He was Jean de Valette, a French nobleman and Gran Mason (also known as a Grand Master) of the Knights Hospitaller. He commissioned the building of Valletta, now Malta’s capital city, after defending the island from the Turks at the Siege of Malta – a defeat which proved the Ottoman Empire was not invincible. Europeans followed his example and stopped fighting each other, instead banding together to fight the Ottomans. Their alliance resulted in the resounding defeat of the Ottoman Empire’s main fleet at the Battle of Lepanto six years after the Siege of Malta, and today you learned a thing.

(Little Turtle would like to point out that the dates on the statue reflect the years Jean de Valette was a Gran Mason, not his birth and death.)

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