The Venetian Period in Cyprus 

Battle of Lepanto

The news of the fall of Famagusta and the fate of its commander at length roused the League of European Powers to action. The fleets of Spain and Venice, with squadrons from Genoa and the Papal states, concentrated at Messina under the supreme command of Don John of Austria. In October 1571 the whole force, numbering over three hundred ships, proceeded to the gulf of Lepanto, where the Turkish fleet of equal strength awaited them. The battle of Lepanto was fought on 7 October, and after enormous losses on both sides the greater part of the Ottoman fleet was taken or destroyed. 

Lepanto is a fitting close to a chapter in history. It was the last great battle to be fought in ships propelled by oars. It was the last dying flicker of the crusades. But it achieved no permanent results. No longer could the Pope rally the forces of Christendom to a holy war. No longer was the trade with the East centred in the Levant. The objects of the crusades were dead, and with them died the interest of Europe in the affairs of Cyprus for a long time. No serious attempt was made from Europe to regain possession of the island, and Cyprus remained for more than three centuries a province of the Ottoman Empire. 

  • From: Newman, P., (1940), "A Short History of Cyprus", Longmans, Green & Co., London.

Chronological History