Skip to comments.The Battle of Lepanto: When Turks Skinned Christians Alive for Refusing Islam
Posted on 10/08/2020 7:00:08 AM PDT by SJackson
The anniversary of one of historys most cataclysmic clashes between Islam and the West
Earlier this week, on October 7, 1571, was the anniversary of one of historys most cataclysmic clashes between Islam and the Westone where the latter finally crushed and humiliated the former.
In 1570, Muslim Turksin the guise of the Ottoman Empireinvaded the island of Cyprus, prompting Pope Pius V to call for and form a Holy League of maritime Catholic nation-states, spearheaded by the Spanish Empire, in 1571. Before they could reach and relieve Cyprus, its last stronghold at Famagusta was taken through treachery.
After promising the defenders safe passage if they surrendered, Ottoman commander Ali Pashaknown as Müezzinzade (son of a muezzin) due to his pious backgroundhad reneged and launched a wholesale slaughter. He ordered the nose and ears of Marco Antonio Bragadin, the fort commander, hacked off. Ali then invited the mutilated infidel to Islam and life: I am a Christian and thus I want to live and die, Bragadin responded. My body is yours. Torture it as you will.
So he was tied to a chair, repeatedly hoisted up the mast of a galley and dropped into the sea, to taunts: Look if you can see your fleet, great Christian, if you can see succor coming to Famagusta! The mutilated and half-drowned man was then carried near to St. Nicholas Churchby now a mosqueand tied to a column, where he was slowly flayed alive. The skin was afterward stuffed with straw, sown back into a macabre effigy of the dead commander, and paraded in mockery before the jeering Muslims.
News of this and other ongoing atrocities and desecrations of churches in Cyprus and Corfu enraged the Holy League as it sailed east. A bloodbath followed when the two opposing fleetscarrying a combined total of 600 ships and 140,000 men, more of both on the Ottoman sidefinally met and clashed on October 7, 1571, off the western coast of Greece, near Lepanto. According to one contemporary:
The greater fury of the battle lasted for four hours and was so bloody and horrendous that the sea and the fire seemed as one, many Turkish galleys burning down to the water, and the surface of the sea, red with blood, was covered with Moorish coats, turbans, quivers, arrows, bows, shields, oars, boxes, cases, and other spoils of war, and above all many human bodies, Christians as well as Turkish, some dead, some wounded, some torn apart, and some not yet resigned to their fate struggling in their death agony, their strength ebbing away with the blood flowing from their wounds in such quantity that the sea was entirely coloured by it, but despite all this misery our men were not moved to pity for the enemy. . . . Although they begged for mercy they received instead arquebus shots and pike thrusts.
The pivotal point came when the flagships of the opposing fleets, the Ottoman Sultana and the Christian Real, crashed into and were boarded by one another. Chaos ensued as men everywhere grappled; even the grand admirals were seen in the fray, Ali Pasha firing arrows and Don Juan swinging broadsword and battle-axe, one in each hand.
In the end, there was an infinite number of dead on the Real, whereas an enormous quantity of large turbans, which seemed to be as numerous as the enemy had been, [were seen in the Sultana] rolling on the deck with the heads inside them. The don emerged alive but the pasha did not.
When the central Turkish fleets saw Alis head on a pike in the Sultana and a crucifix where the flag of Islam once fluttered, mass demoralization set in and the waterborne melee was soon over. The Holy League lost twelve galleys and ten thousand men, but the Ottomans lost 230 galleys117 of which were captured by the Europeansand thirty thousand men.
It was a victory of the first order, and all of ChristendomCatholic, Orthodox, and Protestantrejoiced.
Practically speaking, however, little changed. Cyprus was not even liberated by the Holy League. In wrestling Cyprus from you we have cut off an arm, the Ottomans painfully reminded the Venetian ambassador a year later. In defeating our fleet [at Lepanto] you have shaved our beard. An arm once cut off will not grow again, but a shorn beard grows back all the better for the razor.
Even so, this victory proved that the relentless Turks, who in previous decades and centuries had conquered much of Eastern Europe, could be stopped. Lepanto suggested that the Turks could be defeated in a head-on clashat least by sea, which of late had been the Islamic powers latest hunting grounds. As Miguel Cervantes, who was at the battle, has the colorful Don Quixote say: That day . . . was so happy for Christendom, because all the world learned how mistaken it had been in believing that the Turks were invincible by sea.
Modern historians affirm this position. According to military historian Paul K. Davis, More than a military victory, Lepanto was a moral one. For decades, the Ottoman Turks had terrified Europe, and the victories of Suleiman the Magnificent caused Christian Europe serious concern . Christians rejoiced at this setback for the Ottomans. The mystique of Ottoman power was tarnished significantly by this battle, and Christian Europe was heartened.
No matter how spectacular, however, defeat at sea could not shake what was first and foremost a land powerso that more than a century later, in 1683, some 200,000 armed Ottomans had penetrated as far as and besieged Vienna.
But thatto say nothing of Turkeys many other jihads down to the presentis another story.
449 years ago yesterday
"Pope Pius V, whose treasury bankrolled part of this military endeavor, ordered the churches of Rome opened for prayer day and night, encouraging the faithful to petition the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the recitation of the Rosary. When word reached the Pope Pius of the victory of the Holy League, he added a new feast day to the Roman Liturgical Calendar- October 7th would henceforth be the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Pope Pius successor, Gregory XIII would change the name of this day to the feast of the Holy Rosary. "
Yep. Sounds like the religion of piece(s) all right.
There was a great book by the brilliant author Bernard Lewis titled “What Went Wrong”, about how Islam controlled large parts of the world and was the dominant power in so many areas, military, commerce, technology, etc.
Their downfall turned out to be their reluctance to accept knowledge of infidels, and that arrogant insularity was one of the main reasons for their decline.
In the Renaissance, there were huge swaths of Islamic literature, medicine, and technology that were translated from the Islamic world and assimilated into Western culture, but there was nearly no formal knowledge going back to the Islamic world from the left, because...they didn’t want it. It was infidel, and considered tainted.
In 600 years up to the Renaissance, only one book had been translated from a western language into Arabic...a book on venereal diseases. This was considered acceptable, because they were thought to be “Frankish Diseases”.
Even more telling, was after the Battle of Lepanto, there was a formalized account (officially recorded in the Ottoman records) of a discussion between two Islamic naval officers examining a wrecked Christian warship.
The warship was technologically so far ahead of their own ships in design (the same vessels that had roundly defeated them) that they were discussing the merits of the European design and marveling at it...but they couldn’t just copy it and incorporate it into their own designs. Because it was “infidel” technology, they had get a fatwa to allow it...because it was infidel in origin.
And THAT is “What Went Wrong” with Islam. And the humorous part of it is, even today, they cannot understand this. It is a “mystery” to them, the same way that it is a “mystery” to the NBA and NFL that their viewership has plummeted. They WILLFULLY refuse to even consider that perhaps their viewers don’t appreciate being dissed, called racists, and having the ills of black society being blamed on them...I swear, I read it this morning from Yahoo Sports and saw that their declining viewership was a “little bit of a mystery” and I almost fell out of my chair. Willful refusal to understand.
That is one of the great things about America. We incorporate everything we can, with little or no consideration of the origin. Food, technology, medicine, you name it. Even our language, English, is liberally salted with words and phrases from other languages and cultures, incorporated right into and become part of our English lexicon.
Thanks for the update on the religious significance of the population’s praying the rosary for victory on that great day. Henceforth, Oct.7th has ben celebrated as the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Hahahaha...makes me wonder if I have an autocorrect set up somewhere that substitutes "Left" for "European"...:)
I am sure they were only crucified after they were raped repeatedly.
We are Catholic converts, after being Protestants for 20+ years. I brought a “Battle of Lepanto” cake to Bible Study one October 7. Had set up a crescent of Muslim ships and a cross of Christian ships. NOBODY there knew anything about the Battle of Lepanto!! They were all lifetime Catholics. We converts had to teach them.
The Catholic leadership got away from antagonizing Islam with inconvenient truths, and pretends they are just like us. 9/11 was the West’s reminder of what Islam is.
The Catholic Church changed the name the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary centuries ago (still with Lepanto in mind), now the battle is ignored/downplayed.
Pope Paul VI returned some of the Turkish banners seized during the battle to Turkey in an attempt to calm them during the Cyprus invasion 50 years ago; how did that work out?
Was it that same pope who gave the captured Islamic flag back to Istanbul/ Turkey? Or I think perhaps Pope John Paul II?
Pope Paul VI
The Ottoman navy was defeated in the Battle of Lepanto and the Holy League took the banner. The flag was kept at the Vatican until Pope Paul VI presented it to Turkey in 1964.
I’m not sure what you mean; Paul VI was pope in 1965 when Greece and Turkey were fighting over Cyprus - so he returned to Turkey some flags won in the battle of Lepanto centuries earlier (against Ottoman Turkey).
I’d suspect JPII would have been more involved with Arabs than Turks; don’t know.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.