Giovanni Contarini’s Account of the Lepanto Campaign

I am happy to report that my book review of Kiril Petkov’s translation of Giovanni Pietro Contarini’s account of the Lepanto campaign has been published by the Mediterranean Seminar Review.

Contarini, Giovanni Pietro. From Cyprus to Lepanto. Trans. Kiril Petkov. New York, NY: Italica Press, 2019. ISBN-13:978-1599103815. Xxvi+162pp. 3 b/w images. $35.00 (Hardcover); $17.00 (Paperback); $9.99 (Kindle). 

As I explain in my book review, “The armadas of the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire fought an epic battle in the Gulf of Lepanto on 7 October 1571, involving over 450 warships with at least 150,000 crew members— representing one of the largest naval battles in world history. This dramatic naval engagement during the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1570-1573 is often interpreted as an important Christian victory that slowed the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean.”

My review focuses on the significance of Contarini’s accont: “This book provides an English translation of the first edition of 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, which was written in Italian and published in Venice in 1572. Contarini dedicated his work to Giovanni Grimani (1506-1593), Patriarch of Aquileia, and provides a Venetian perspective on the Ottoman- Venetian War and the Lepanto campaign. The book was widely disseminated and seems to have been very successful, since it was reprinted twice and then translated into Latin and German. Petkov explores the hybrid nature of the text, which borrows from other contemporary accounts of the sieges of Nicosia and Famagusta and the battle of Lepanto (xviii-xix). Petkov refers to Contarini’s History of the Events as “a ‘chronohistory,’ a carefully compiled factual narrative governed by a distinct philosophical agenda” (xxi). …”

My book review can be downloaded as a .pdf file from the Mediterranean Seminar Review website.

This entry was posted in Early Modern Europe, Early Modern World, Empires and Imperialism, European History, History of the Western World, History of Violence, Italian History, Maritime History, Mediterranean World, Religious Violence, Renaissance Art and History, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.