Lepanto, Battle of
(Oct. 7, 1571) Naval engagement between allied Christian forces (Venice, the pope, and Spain) and the Ottoman Turks during an Ottoman campaign to acquire the Venetian island of Cyprus. After four hours of fighting off the coast of Lepanto, Greece, the allies, under Juan de Austria, were victorious, capturing 117 galleys and thousands of men. The battle was of little practical value, since Venice would surrender Cyprus to the Turks in 1573, but it had a great impact on European morale and was the subject of paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.
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