From Cyprus to Lepanto: History of the Events, Which Occurred from the Beginning of the War Brought against the Venetians by Selim the Ottoman, to the Day of the Great and Victorious Battle against the Turks

From Cyprus to Lepanto: History of the Events, Which Occurred from the Beginning of the War Brought against the Venetians by Selim the Ottoman, to the Day of the Great and Victorious Battle against the Turks

by Giovanni Pietro Contarini, Kiril Petkov (Editor)
From Cyprus to Lepanto: History of the Events, Which Occurred from the Beginning of the War Brought against the Venetians by Selim the Ottoman, to the Day of the Great and Victorious Battle against the Turks

From Cyprus to Lepanto: History of the Events, Which Occurred from the Beginning of the War Brought against the Venetians by Selim the Ottoman, to the Day of the Great and Victorious Battle against the Turks

by Giovanni Pietro Contarini, Kiril Petkov (Editor)

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Overview

At Lepanto, on the morning of October 7, 1571, two massive fleets joined battle at the rocks of Curzolari at the entrance to the Gulf of Patras, off the coast of western Greece. The armada of the Holy League, a coalition of Venetian, Spanish, and papal vessels, augmented with squadrons from the duchies of Tuscany, Savoy, Parma, and Urbino, the Knights Hospitaller of Malta, the Republic of Genoa, and other Christian allies, confronted a comparable Ottoman naval force augmented with North African corsairs. More than four hundred and fifty heavily armed galleys with over one hundred and fifty thousand sailors, oarsmen, and soldiers clashed in a short but fierce fight. Little quarter was sought, or given, by either side. In terms of hardware, manpower, and logistics, it was the largest-ever encounter of oared vessels of the pre-modern world. The Battle of Lepanto was the peak of the war between the Ottomans and the Mediterranean Christian powers.

In the chorus of eyewitness and contemporary accounts of the battle and the events that led to it, Giovanni Pietro Contarini’s History of the Events, which occurred from the Beginning of the War Brought against the Venetians by Selim the Ottoman, to the Day of the Great and Victorious Battle against the Turks holds the pride of place. Published in 1572, a few months after Lepanto, the History is the first comprehensive account of the war, and the only one to attempt a concise but complete overview of its course and the Holy League’s triumph.

Contarini’s account was also the first to go beyond effluent praise and mere factual reporting to examine the meaning and importance of these events. Significantly, it is also the only full historical account by an immediate commentator. Despite falling short of the best contemporary humanist historiography, Contarini blended his straightforward narrative with keen and consistent reflections on the political philosophy of conflict in the context of the Ottoman-Catholic confrontation in the early modern Mediterranean.

Kiril Petkov provides the first complete English translation of Contarini’s History. His introduction places it within its historical context of international diplomacy and war, ideological conflict, and individual agency.

188 pp., illustrated, introduction, annotated English translation, glossary, bibliography, index. History, Mediterranean Studies



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599103822
Publisher: Italica Press
Publication date: 07/26/2019
Series: Italica Press Medieval & Renaissance Texts Series
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

1549-1604 or 1605

Kiril Petkov is Professor of Medieval and Mediterranean History at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He received M.A. degrees from the State University of New York (Albany) and Central European University (Budapest) and holds a Ph.D. from New York University. Professor Petkov works on the cultural history of the Middle Ages, the sociology of pre-modern religion and interfaith and inter-cultural relationships in the pre-modern Mediterranean. He has been awarded grants for research in Germany, France, Belgium, and England.

Kiril Petkov is Professor of Medieval and Mediterranean History at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He received M.A. degrees from the State University of New York (Albany) and Central European University (Budapest) and holds a Ph.D. from New York University. Professor Petkov works on the cultural history of the Middle Ages, the sociology of pre-modern religion and interfaith and inter-cultural relationships in the pre-modern Mediterranean. He has been awarded grants for research in Germany, France, Belgium, and England.

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction xi

Giovanni Pietro Contarini, History of the Events 1

Preface 3

Causes of the Conflict 7

Preparations 14

The Battle for Cyprus 26

Nicosia 29

Famagusta 37

The Holy League 77

The Forces of the Holy League 88

Vanguard 88

Left Wing 89

Center 91

Right Wing 92

Rearguard 94

The Ottoman Forces 96

Right Wing 105

Center 107

Left Wing 109

Reserve 112

The Battle of Lepanto 113

Aftermath 126

Galleys 130

Artillery 131

Slaves 131

Glossary 133

Bibliography 135

Editions of the History and the Elegantissima Descriptio 135

Early modern works in print and manuscript 136

Modern studies and editions 138

Index 145

Illustrations

Frontispiece. Title page from Giovanni Pietro Contarini, Historia delle cose successe dal principio della guerra mossa da Selim Ottomano a’ Venetiani, fino al dì della gran giornata vittoriosa contra Turchi, descritta ... da M. Gio. Pietro Contarini Venetiano. In Venetia: Appresso Francesco Rampazetto, 1572 ii

Map of the Eastern Mediterranean. From Giovanni Pietro Contarini, Elegantissima totius Europae, ac partis Asiae, nec non littorum Africae descriptio. Venice: [s.n.], 1564, plates 16–17 viii–ix

Caravel. Detail from Contarini, Elegantissima totius Europae, plate 10 x

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