Mdina is Malta’s old capital city, with Rabat being its suburb. A Bronze Age village is believed to have once stood at one end of the hill where Mdina today lies. The area was subsequently occupied by the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and the Romans and became an important urban centre. Melita, as the city was known during Roman times, was at least three times the size of the present-day Mdina. (Zammit, p.85)
Zammit, Vincent, 2011. Malta History & Tradition. BDL Publishing.