Battle of Lepanto

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Lepanto, battle of

Lepanto, battle of (lĭpănˈtō), Oct. 7, 1571, naval battle between the Christians and Ottomans fought in the strait between the gulfs of Pátrai and Corinth, off Lepanto (Návpaktos), Greece. The fleet of the Holy League commanded by John of Austria (d. 1578) opposed the Ottoman fleet under Uluç Ali Pasha. The allied fleet (about 200 galleys, not counting smaller ships) consisted mainly of Spanish, Venetian, and papal ships and of vessels sent by a number of Italian states. It carried approximately 30,000 fighting men and was about evenly matched with the Ottoman fleet. The battle ended with the virtual destruction of the Ottoman navy (except 40 galleys, with which Uluç Ali escaped). Approximately 15,000 Turks were slain or captured, some 10,000 Christian galley slaves were liberated, and much booty was taken. The victors, however, lost over 7,000 men. Among the allied wounded was Cervantes, who lost the use of his left arm. Lepanto was the first major Ottoman defeat by the Christian powers, and it ended the myth of Ottoman naval invincibility. It did not, however, affect Ottoman supremacy on the land, and a new Turkish fleet was speedily built by Sokollu, grand vizier of Selim II. Nevertheless, the battle was decisive in the sense that an Ottoman victory probably would have made the Ottoman Empire supreme in the Mediterranean.


See R. Crowley, Empires of the Sea (2008).

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References in periodicals archive ?
To the degree that La Numancia is an artistic representation of a kind of national auto de fe, but also an anxious critique of the apotheosis of Spanish Imperialism in the wake of the Alpujarras Rebellion (1568-71), the Battle of Lepanto (1571), and the annexation of Portugal (1580), then Cervantes's devil plays a fundamentally ambivalent role: on the one hand, subversive with respect to religious orthodoxy and militant nationalism; on the other hand, suggestive of humanism's efforts to reform and moderate the same.
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Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto. Niccolo Capponi.
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182), exemplified in the cartographical representation of, for example, the Battle of Lepanto against the Turks (1571) or the island of Malta defended by the Order of the Knights of St.
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Wheatcroft begins with the Battle of Lepanto off the coast of southern Greece in 1571.
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Wheatcroft provides some splendid set pieces, notably his account of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 with which his book opens, but on the whole he writes in a more discursive way than Fletcher, and gives sixty pages of detailed endnotes which enable the interested reader to follow through his arguments in more detail.