Skip to comments.Battle of Lepanto
Posted on 10/07/2004 9:47:44 AM PDT by omega4412
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, in which a Christian navy under Don John of Austria defeated the Turks.
Commemorated in G K Chesterton's poem Lepanto. An excerpt...as Don John approaches, Mohammed ("Mahound") speaking to his demons...
"But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palacesfour hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth..."
Fans of the poem might like the book "Lepanto by G K Chesterton," edited by Dale Ahlquist, on the historical and literary background of the poem. Ahlquist writes,
"So the problem with the poem is that it is a defense of the Catholic Church, of the Crusades, and of war: three things not generally looked kindly upon in today's English literature classes. Of course, neither are rhyme and meter. The only 20th century poetry that is permitted to be studied is that which clashes with everything: with the ear, with history, and with common sense."
More on the history
For battle details, a book with many maps and illustrations that I liked was:
Lepanto 1571, The greatest naval battle of the Renaissance: Angus Konstam. Pub: Osprey
The battle also merited a chapter of the Victor Davis Hanson book "Carnage and Culture".
The Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Song of Roland is another one that has pretty much disappeared from literature classes, for the same reason. These poems show just how long this battle has gone on. Time to end it once and for all.
It is now, but it wasn't then. Then it was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by the Catholic Hapsburgs. The Empire had several ports on the Mediterranean. Lepanto was one of the two huge, significant battles that stopped the advance of Islam into Europe. The other was the battle of Vienna about a century later, where the Turkish (Islamic) siege of Vienna was broken.
Actually it was the Dale Ahlquist-edited book I bought, and read the poem & commentary. I'll try to get to Carnage & Culture sometime soon though.
"Also a tip of the hat to Battle of Lepanto veteran, Miguel de Cervantes."
After this battle, the sail powered galleon with broadside-firing cannon became the gold standard of naval power.
I won't spoil it for anyone...
You will get a bill for emergency services that resulted from my fainting!
Pray tell... what public school might this be?
yes, I am being sarcastic...
I have that book! It is really good!
It isn't taught in school. Bump for later read.
You caught me! I teach at a PRIVATE Catholic school, the University of Dayton.
Regarding the galley, a Christian edge at Lepanto was 70 of a prototype ship called the galleas which was an attempt to put galleon firepower on a galley.
Over the long run, the galleas, like the clipper ship, was a doomed concept.
Returning soon..I hope.
If I'm not mistake the Galleyas (sp?) was pretty much a galley with raised fighting platforms at the fo'csle & poop decks. Works fine for light guns & marines, but not for heavier guns that were on the horizon. Plus that must have made an oar powered vessel very unmanagable in the wind.
That is why I likened it to the clipper ship as a technological peak. It was the peak in terms of putting firepower on a galley. But of course ocean going vessels got bigger and stronger and there is a fixed maximum in terms of what can be rowed.