Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World

Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World

by Roger Crowley
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Overview

Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World by Roger Crowley

In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic struggle between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world.

In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written his most mesmerizing work to date–a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar and features a cast of extraordinary characters: Barbarossa, “The King of Evil,” the pirate who terrified Europe; the risk-taking Emperor Charles V; the Knights of St. John, the last crusading order after the passing of the Templars; the messianic Pope Pius V; and the brilliant Christian admiral Don Juan of Austria.

This struggle’s brutal climax came between 1565 and 1571, seven years that witnessed a fight to the finish decided in a series of bloody set pieces: the epic siege of Malta, in which a tiny band of Christian defenders defied the might of the Ottoman army; the savage battle for Cyprus; and the apocalyptic last-ditch defense of southern Europe at Lepanto–one of the single most shocking days in world history. At the close of this cataclysmic naval encounter, the carnage was so great that the victors could barely sail away “because of the countless corpses floating in the sea.” Lepanto fixed the frontiers of the Mediterranean world that we know today.

Roger Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality, technology and Inca gold. Empires of the Sea is page-turning narrative history at its best–a story of extraordinary color and incident, rich in detail, full of surprises, and backed by a wealth of eyewitness accounts. It provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588367334
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 178,126
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Roger Crowley was born in 1951 and spent part of his childhood in Malta. He read English at Cambridge University and taught English in Istanbul, where he developed a strong interest in the history of Turkey. He has traveled widely throughout the Mediterranean basin over many years and has a wide-ranging knowledge of its history and culture. He lives in Gloucestershire, England. He is also the author of 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West.

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Empires of the Sea 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
B-2 More than 1 year ago
Remarkable detailed and easy to read book . It is well researched account of the naval, social and political struggle between the Ottoman Empire and Western powers in the Mediterranean. Book describes the historical events of which were quite significant and dramatic yet much less known to the public than omnipresent eight wives of Henry VIII etc. I grade the books as Buy and Keep (BK), Read Library book and Return ( RLR) and Once I Put it Down I Couldn't Pick it Up ( OIPD-ICPU). This one is BK ( all right, RLR if you are not a history fan).
ChetVA More than 1 year ago
I was very impressed with Crowley's first book (1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West) and was anxious to read the next installment. Crowley has a style that is easy to read and understand and turns what some might consider "dry" history into a colorful and exciting narrative that reads more like a novel. I found this book a real page turner and couldn't put it down. Looking forward to reading his next book on Venice!
CarlW1958 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the action in here and learned quite a bit. A very good refresher on a key point in western civ.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well written account of the epic struggle for control of the Mediterranean Sea between the Catholics and Moors. Had the Catholics failed in their battle to maintain control of the Mediterranean against overwhelming odds,the scourge of Islam would have overrun Europe and the tide of history would have been changed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rcbn More than 1 year ago
How these 16th century battles of Islam against Christians defined present day Mediterranean Sea religious influence. How what happened five centuries ago determined what religion and culture are present today!
Ecster More than 1 year ago
Having read the individual history of the empires vying for control of the Mediterranean, this book ties in the events from the overall perspective in a very interesting manner.
HarryTNY More than 1 year ago
If you like History, you must read this one. Very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having fallen in love with Malta when there on a trip, I read everything I can about Malta. This book as certainly not a disappointment. Loved that it also includes the lead-up to seige of Malta and what happened to Suleiman after Malta held on and the Muslims were forced to leave. In case you don't know; the date of the defeat of the Muslims at the siege of Christian Malta was September 11. Sound familiar to anyone! Yes, that is why that date was chosen for an attack on USA; payback for their defeat in the 15th century, which was the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire.
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Superior_Shores More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as we prepare to cruise the Mediterranean once again. The knowledge gleaned from this well written book is immeasurable bringing the violent history to life. As I read the book I kept saying to myself, "I didn't know that". On a Nook the drawings are too small which is an issue with most books but that is not the author's issue. It did not detract from the book's content. If you are into religious history, history in general, or if you are going to cruise the Mediterranean, I highly recommend reading this in advance. It's a great book also if you've already been to the Mediterranean.
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Great Read, Gives backgound information that is needed, enjoyed the book