Friday, October 7, 2011


Four hundred and forty years ago today (October 7, 1571 A.D.) the Battle of Lepanto was fought in the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece. The naval forces of the (Christian) Holy League decisively crushed those of the (Muslim) Ottoman Turks, who for neither the first nor final time were threatening to overrun all of Europe if left unchecked. A young Miguel de Cervantes was a participant in the battle, in the course of which he was severely wounded, permanently losing the use of his left arm. The battle also inspired a wonderful poem by G. K. Chesterton, first published a century ago, whose final lines pay homage to Cervantes.

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