Victory of the West: The Great Christian-Muslim Clash at the Battle of Lepanto

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When the heavily manned fleet of the Ottoman Empire met the ships of a fragile coalition of Christian European states in 1571, the waters off the coast of Greece, they say, “ran red with blood.” It was a victory of the West-the first major victory of Europeans against the Ottoman Empire. In this compelling piece of narrative history, Niccolò Capponi describes the underlying clash of cultures and takes a fresh look at the bloody struggle between oared fighting galleys and determined men of faith. As a description ...

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Overview

When the heavily manned fleet of the Ottoman Empire met the ships of a fragile coalition of Christian European states in 1571, the waters off the coast of Greece, they say, “ran red with blood.” It was a victory of the West-the first major victory of Europeans against the Ottoman Empire. In this compelling piece of narrative history, Niccolò Capponi describes the underlying clash of cultures and takes a fresh look at the bloody struggle between oared fighting galleys and determined men of faith. As a description of the age-old conflict between Christianity and Islam, it is a story which resonates today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Choice
Voluminous yet highly readable account of the naval battle of Lepanto and preceding events This very fine study significantly expands current scholarship on the subject. Highly recommended.

Saudi Aramco World
[A] readable collection Author provides background information and explanation so that complex interactions become accessible to the reader, and the book is enhanced by good illustrations and a very useful bibliography.

Shepherd Express
Stewart is a compelling writer When Asia Was the World will help raise popular awareness that the Earth's history didn't begin in Europe.

International Journal of Maritime History
“Impressive…Capponi’s account has many merits.”

Publishers Weekly

Capponi, a highly regarded Italian Renaissance scholar with a focus on military history lives up to his reputation in his first major U.S. publication. The battle of Lepanto, fought in 1571, was both one of history's significant naval engagements and a watershed in the long war between Christians and Muslims. To pierce its penumbra of myths and legends, Capponi returns to the original archival and printed sources to construct this fresh, multilayered analysis. On one level Lepanto was a victory for the Western technology that would decide so many battles in the next four centuries. The Christian fleet made better use of gunpowder weapons and had a trump card in their galleasses—galleys converted into gunships, whose heavy artillery allowed Christian seamen to prevent the Ottomans from utilizing their superiority in boarding tactics. Lepanto was also a psychological victory: a ramshackle alliance of Christian states thrashed an Ottoman Empire at the peak of its power and confidence, preventing the Ottomans from dominating the Mediterranean as before. The unexpected outcome sharpened the still-enduring struggle between Christianity and Islam, making it correspondingly difficult for the Muslim world to accept the West taking an increasing lead in military, scientific and economic matters. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306816185
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Niccolò Capponi is an eminent military and Renaissance historian. He is a former fellow at the Medici Archive Project, and curator of the Capponi Archive. He lives in Florence, Italy.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note     xv
Maps     xviii
Dramatis Personae     xxiii
Prologue     1
The Waxing Crescent     7
A House Divided     46
Mediterranean Medley     60
Build-up to Drama     91
Cyprus     119
A League of Mistrust     153
The Cutting Edge     179
Bragadin's Hide     219
The 7th of October     253
The Phoenix's Ashes     287
Epilogue     320
Battle Arrays     325
Galley Armament     332
Glossary     335
Notes     340
Bibliographical Note     367
Bibliography     374
Index     401

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