‘… marvelous in our eyes’: placing Lepanto in history

History, both modern and ancient, is strewn with examples of conflicts between Christendom and Islam. The 1571 Battle of Lepanto is one of them. In this detailed article, Canberra historian Humphrey McQueen takes a closer look. (Ed)

 ‘… marvelous in our eyes’[1]:  placing Lepanto in history

Humphrey McQueen

Vainglory and curiosity are the twin scourges of our souls. The former makes us stick our noses into everything; the latter forbids us to leave anything unresolved or undecided.
Michel de Montaigne (1570s)[2]

Pope Pius V instructed that the Psalmist’s words – ‘this is the Lord’s doing’ – be stamped on medallions commemorating the Holy League’s destruction of the Ottoman armada at Lepanto on 7 October 1571.[3] Out of 230 enemy warships, only thirty had escaped, leaving behind 30,000 dead.[4] Because the Christians had recited the Rosary before sailing into the fray, His Holiness dedicated the day of the battle to Our Lady of Victory but two years later his successor, Gregory VIII, renamed it for Our Lady of the Rosary. Beneath the depiction of the battle in the Doge’s palace, the Venetian Senate inscribed: ‘Not our power and arms, nor our leaders; but the Madonna of the Rosary helped us to victory’. For the benefit of Calathumpians, the ‘rosary’ refers both to a cycle of repeated prayers – ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Marys’ and ‘Glory Be to the Father’ – and to the beads on which the reciter keeps count. The pious belief that the Virgin had revealed the practice to St Dominic in the early thirteenth century as a weapon against the heretical Albigenses is a 1470 concoction; the ritual emerged from multiple sources, including Islam, to take something like its current form by the sixteenth century.[5]

I learnt of the miracle of Lepanto at St Finbarr’s convent, Brisbane, in the late 1940s when the nuns also told us that if it looked like rain on the morning of the school fete they would put the statue of the Virgin into the yard because Jesus would not let his mother get wet. Both stories circulated at a time of heightened devotion to the Virgin and to the Rosary promoted by world tours of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima to advance the five-million strong Blue Army’s Crusade against Godless Communism, and by Father Patrick Peyton who had been reading about Lepanto in 1942 when he started to preach that ‘the family that prays together, stays together’, taking to radio and television to publicise the Rosary. Pius XII in 1951 crowned Our Lady of Fatima as Queen of the World and declared his devotion to the Mother of God by naming 1954 as the church’s first Marian Year.[6]

These convictions thrive among members of the American Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family and Property who venerate Pius XII, wish that the Second Vatican Council had never happened, and attribute not only Lepanto but also the 1565 relief of Malta, the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Austria in 1955 and the 1964 military coup in Brazil to the Rosary.[7] John-Paul II put his survival from the 1981 assassination attempt down to Our Lady of Fatima who, he told his assailant, had deflected the bullet.[8] To most contemporary Australians, such claims sound quaint and even many Roman Catholics respond uneasily from within a culture where the TV dinner has long ago overtaken the family Rosary and Sunday roast.

The essay places Lepanto in history, both as it was lived and as it has been written, weaving action and belief into the battle’s origins, execution and consequences. The opening segment relies on the materialist conception of history established by Marx and Engels which challenges all descriptive treatments of human experience, including the less analytical segments of this one. A shorter section evaluates two non-Marxist lines of inquiry into pre-modern mentalities and into the long-term effects of an ‘event’ such as Lepanto: the first is the Annales school with its reliance on ‘longue duree’, represented by Fernand Braudel; the second is the late nineteenth-century German reaction to materialism in the natural and social sciences epitomised by Wilhelm Dilthey’s hermeneutics, and exemplified here in a dispute between Eduard Meyer and Max Weber over causation and interpretation. In each case, Philosophical Idealism is shot through with materialist assumptions. Just as Rationalism and the sciences had severed first-world Christians from the faith of their forebears so did Marxism spell an end to Classical Idealism, a secular schism which the theological historian Ernst Troeltsch lamented in 1912: ‘The “Marxist” method, especially those elements within it which seem clearly justified, is gradually transforming all our historical conceptions and naturally it also transforms all our ideas about the present and the future.’[9] Many of Troeltsch’s cohort accepted that ideas were not self-generating while insisting on their relative autonomy within socio-economic structures, a position pioneered by the founders dialectical materialism. Specifying the this-worldly foundations for that cross-connection is the spine of this paper.

Pedantries and prejudice

Before unraveling the relations between ideas and action on 7 October 1571, historians of every stamp must navigate the errors of detail that will beset collective memory about any event. First, the battle did not take place at Lepanto (Navpatros) but forty nautical miles to the west around what had been the Curzolaris archipelago until silting extended the shoreline three nautical miles to the south, leaving Oxia as the only island.[10] Timing has fared no better than location so that the drift in the Julian calendar ‘between the astronomical and the legal’ means that the battle was fought on the 17 October.[11] By adjusting the dates in 1582, Gregory abolished the fortnight in which Lepanto’s eleventh anniversary would have fallen. Moreover, for the Ottomans, the year was not 1571 anno domini but 978 dated according to the Prophet’s emigration (Hijri). From 1968, Andrew J. Hess ended the reliance of Western scholarship on European archives when he also spotlighted the bias of Western historians in giving next-to-no notice to the Muslim triumph at Djerba in 1560 while lavishing attention on Lepanto.[12] In a further instance, Western writers treat ‘Turk’ as synonymous with Islam, despite north Africans supplying not only a sixth of the Ottoman fleet but its commanders supposing themselves to be direct descendants of the Prophet and thus superior to the Turk. These corrections are always in danger of sinking under the weight of Orientalist presumptions barnacled onto legends about supernatural forces.[13]

Does Lepanto qualify as a miracle? The outcome was in no sense contrary to the order of nature. It came as a shock because of the 150 years of Ottoman dominance of the Eastern Mediterranean, but was no greater surprise than the relief of Malta had been six years earlier. Had the Holy League fleet become airborne, or had the Venetian provveditore generale of the sea, Agostino Barbarigo, plucked that fatal arrow from his eye with no loss of sight, then there would have be something marvelous to investigate. Instead, we have the coincidence of the Christians reciting the rosary and the fact that they were triumphant later that day.[14] Hume’s proposition that there are never enough credible witnesses to a miracle does not apply. Ten of thousands said the rosary and lived to recount their victory. The temporal connection is not in dispute. Missing is any violation of the natural order or to the law of probability. None of these aspects made any difference to true believers at the time, or to their inheritors today.

Beyond belief

How would a practitioner of the materialist concept of history account for Lepanto? From the start, we accept that morale is potent in any fight, and not only those to the death since, as Marx writes, ‘theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses’.[15] Chants, beating shields with swords, trumpets, praying and any form of social bonding can contribute to victory.[16] During the English Civil War, both Puritans and Royalists employed astrologers to assure each side of success.[17] All such actions are of this world, the behaviour of human beings whose psychological states are subject to social and physiological stresses and explanations. What is beyond belief is that Christ or his angels descend on battlefields.[18] It is, of course, possible that fighters will convince each other that something of that sort is happening and are thereby encouraged to fight more effectively.

In this vein, materialists deny the appearance of angels over Mons in 1914, yet we accept that retreating soldiers ached for some supernatural sign, a need which also ensured that tales about an apparition would be pushed at home for recruitment. Unable to trace even one of witness of angelic presence, David Clarke wondered whether talk of the miracle of Mons had had its origins in a short fiction in which St George and the archers from Agincourt killed 10,000 Germans without leaving a mark on their bodies. Did a rumour about a heavenly host merge with this neo-Gothic yarn to become accepted as fact?[19] In the early stages of that retreat, a wounded major at St Quentin on 27 August rallied two broken battalions by beating out the British Grenadier and Tipperary on a child’s drum while his bugler played the tunes on a tin whistle. The troops responded because they had been socialised to recognise the tunes and had been trained to discipline. The drum and whistle, though bought from a toyshop, were of that man’s world. The incident allows a place for an individual since other officers had taken the train to Paris. The men’s reaction expressed esprit, not an emanation from the spirit world.[20]

To account for why both sides at Lepanto convinced themselves that they were armed with supernatural swords and shields involves documenting the worldly actions that encouraged such beliefs. Fighters for the Holy League heard the Papal Bull granting total indulgence to those who died fighting the infidel.[21] The League’s commander and distaff brother to King Phillip II of Spain, the twenty-four-year old Don Juan of Austria, promised freedom to the criminals among his rowers, unchaining and arming them for combat. The Ottomans made the same offer to their slaves in the expectation that success would fill the benches with new captives.[22]

Although the victory soon became identified with the Virgin and the Rosary, the emblem that the victors had ‘continually before their eyes’ on the day itself was that of the crucified Christ. On each vessel, Jesuits and Capuchin friars, crucifixes in hand, urged on the troops, chanting the mass and Ave Marias every day.[23] Don Juan toured his fleet holding aloft the ivory crucifix he had seized during his recent repression of the Moors around Granada. His flagship, the Real, displayed the papal gift of a life-size crucifix atop its mainmast.[24] No less puissant was his exhibiting the head of the Ottoman commander, Muezzinzade Ali Pasha, from the top of his captured flagship, before sending it around the fleets on a frigate.[25]

The Christogram IHS, taken from the first three Greek letters in Jesus IHSOYS, was the focal point of the Papal banner handed to Don Juan to bless the League’s formation, and which he carried onto the Real,[26] as well as a pennant with IHS high at the stern.[27] Around the time of Lepanto, the Jesuits extended IHS to IHSV for In hoc signo vinces, ‘in this sign ye shall conquer’.[28] As a call to arms, IHS had been crucial to Christianity because of the legend about the conversion of the Roman Empire. Before the battle of Mulvian Bridge in 312, superstition again gripped Constantine the Great, who, fearing the magical power of his rival, prayed to his dead father’s preferred deity, the Sun. After the emperor saw a cross blazoned over the sun with ‘In this conquer’ across the sky, he ordered ‘the heavenly sign of God’ to be painted on the shields of his troops. Constantine commissioned a battle standard of gold and precious stones forming Chi and Rho, the first letters of Christ. The scientific basis for the sighting is the ‘halo phenomenon’ caused by ice crystals in sunlight, comparable to the drops of water that form rainbows. Classical scholar A.H.M. Jones severed the thread between fact and myth:

No matter how much the ‘conversion’ has been embroidered and reshaped, it was not a spiritual experience. Constantine knew and cared nothing for the metaphysical and ethical teaching of Christianity when he became a devotee of the Christian God: he simply wished to enlist on his side a powerful divinity, who had, he believed, spontaneously offered him a sign. His conversion was initially due to a meteorological phenomenon which he happened to witness at a critical moment of his career.

Constantine’s conversion was typically syncretic, blurring the Unconquerable Sun with the Christ, whose followers venerated Sun-day. The bishops knew better than to try to correct the theology of the Pontifex Maximus as they had the heresy of Arius.[29] Shortly after the emperor’s death in 337, his mother, Helena, was being credited with the discovery of the true cross.[30] These marvels were known throughout the Holy League. Their improbability had no bearing on the effect they had on the morale of men fearing judgement as much as death.

Earlier in the sixteenth century, the Papacy had revived the story about the Donation of Constantine according to which the Emperor had granted the Western Empire to the bishop of Rome  – a new Pontifex Maximus. After Lutherans revived its discrediting as a Medieval forgery, a succession of popes commissioned six cycles of paintings around Constantine. In the early 1590s, the workshop producing the cycle for the Lateran Palace inserted a depiction of Lepanto – ‘projected with the dramatic immediacy of a report from the front’ – between those of Constantine’s vision of the cross and his Donation.[31] Additions to the fourth-century Arch of Constantine put Lepanto on its left, his Mulvian Bridge victory on the right and, across the centre, Pius’s the obsession of Pius to retake Constantinople on the way to reclaiming the Sepulcher in Jerusalem.[32]

Although Christians were certain that the Rosary could affect the outcome, Pius V intensified his prayer and fasting out of fears that God would again give the day to the Infidel in order to scourge His One True Church for the sins of Venetians and Spaniards, not to mention Protestants.[33]

Is it written?

With the Ottoman flagship displaying a banner into which the name of Allah had been embroidered 29,800 times with gold thread, Islamic iconoclasm did not put its warriors at a psychological disadvantage.[34] Similarly, in place of receiving Absolution and the Blessed Sacrament as preparations for entry into heaven, the Muslims knew from the Prophet that ‘cleanliness is half the faith’ and so performed the ablutions stipulated for formal prayers or in order to kiss the Qur’an.[35] This predilection for ‘cleanliness in war’, as an English traveler noted, did bring military disadvantages because the handling of small arms made the fighters’ hands ‘black and sooty, their clothes full of spots …’, encouraging many of their noblest to stick to swords and bows.[36]   

Muslim expectation that prayer would deliver a miracle was less than in Christianity. Islam recognises three primary forms of prayer: the Salat five times a day; Dhikr, a ritual not unlike the Rosary, for remembering the Divine Name; and Du’a as a personal plea.[37] Every day, all of Ali’s men performed the Salat. On the day of the battle, most would have been able to do so safely only at dawn – and the survivors perhaps before sleep. One line of theologians insists that the Salat be performed even during battle, albeit in a reduced form, Salat al-Khawf. One variant is that the faithful take it in turns of praying and standing guard, which would have been possible only on the galleys not engaged by noon. Had the main fleet followed the strict interpretation, a host of angels would have been necessary to protect them as they bowed towards Mecca.[38] However, throughout the hours of ‘fear’, all could ceaselessly recite any of the ninety-nine names of Allah, Dhikr, a devotion which the Prophet had declared would secure greater esteem on the Day of Resurrection than a man who ‘wielded his sword against unbelievers and idolaters until it was broken.’[39]

Islam is grounded on two miracles: creation and the Qur’an, in which divine thought is rendered as earthly speech, and revealed to the Prophet by the angel Gabriel.[40] Mohammad had been granted no miracles though the Qur’an records those carried out by Jewish prophets and some attributed to Christian saints, notably Mary, mother of Jesus. Believers could recall that, in the time of the Prophet, angels had intervened to help believers at the of battles of Badr and Hunayn, though it would have been presumptuous to pray for their reappearance. All could have drawn hope from the teaching that miracles remind believers that the unjust will be annihilated. Muslims had the surety that Allah would not grant a miracle to the enemy since their point was to convert unbelievers. Moreover, a number of folk tales grew up about miraculous happenings so that it is likely that many among the 30,000 Ottoman troops from a jumble of cultures and traditions, looked forward to a ‘clear sign’ of Divine favour. On top of such accretions, Sufis were masters of legerdemain and known for their sorcery. Superstition flared when a flight of crows hovered over the fleet as it emerged from the gulf of Lepanto – was it a good omen, or ill.[41] 

Men, money, munitions

Without erasing the significance of religious belief for morale, its contribution to success has to be set against the massiness of men, money and materials, in this case, securing the funds to marshal 200 ships and 30,000 troops. Receiving the consecrated host on the morn of battle stiffened morale but could not supply the physical energy needed to pull on an oar, haul a cannon or wield a sword so that ‘without the wheat and biscuit from Naples and Sicily … Lepanto could not have taken place’.[42] Equally important were the ‘Three Graces’, the term given to the taxes, including one on the sale of indulgences (cruzada), that the Pope again allowed Phillip II to extract from the Spanish clergy in 1570 to win him to the League. The prospect of higher revenues sent Genoese bankers to Madrid with loans at favourable rates of interest, thereby underwriting the fleet.[43]

Hence, bringing the three rivals together involved filthy lucre to underwrite the preparations plus an agreement on how to divide the spoils, with Spain promised half. Although the prospect of earthly gain often requires a patina of religious conviction, in no sense did the Christians agree to engage the Ottomans merely to get their hands on booty. To the extent that commercial interests operated they did so to secure existing territories or access to trade in the longer term, a blessing which Spain, England, Venice and France mostly secured by treaties with the Porte.[44] If the prospect of loot spurred valour as had happened on the Crusades, it also resulted in the impotence of the League after its surprising success. So fierce was its falling apart over future spoils,[45] that a distant observer could be forgiven for wondering whether its signatories had forgotten to recite the Rosary.

Order of battle

Reports of an alliance between Spain, the Vatican and Venice had set off rejoicing in advance of the arrival of Spanish ships. Don Juan inspired confidence because he came from suppressing the Moriscos uprising across Andalusia.[46] He won yet another victory before the enemy had been sighted by integrating the rival forces and securing their agreement on the limited objective of smashing the infidel fleet. He reported that his greatest victory had been over his own emotions in order to maintain the alliance after the Venetian commander, Sebastiano Venier, almost wrecked the League five days before the battle when, without consulting Don Juan, he hanged four Spanish fighters whom he alleged had instigated a murderous brawl on one of his galleys. Don Juan overruled advice from eight of his eleven officials to do the same to Venier, instead, excluding him from their councils.[47] To reduce the chance of desertion, the flagships of Spain, the Republic and the Papacy fought side by side in the center squadron, while galleys from each ally were intermingled.[48] As they confronted the enemy, the wind changed, forcing the Ottomans to furl their canvas and start rowing.[49] Don Juan gave thanks to God by dancing a galliard.[50]

Setting boundaries to the impress of the spiritual is one matter. The disposition of the Christian navy is another. The effectiveness of the Venetian squadron was improved because each warship carried its own carpenter, caulker and oar-maker who overcame difficulties which no priest could solve by prayer alone.[51] Faith without work leaves fighters for dead. Naval historian, J.F. Guilmartin, underlines that ‘galley warfare was a chancy business. A moment of indecision, panic or lack of thorough planning could bring sudden and complete disaster upon a superior fleet.’ As the hours passed, Lepanto proved

a rarity in military history: a battle in which both sides fought skillfully and well, where the random strokes of chance which infest the battlefield were largely neutralized by the skill of the commanders against whom they fell, and where the stronger side won – though by a narrow margin and not in the expected way.

Guilmartin attributes the victory to three elements: ‘the greater weight of the Christian Center, the inability of the Muslims to outflank the Christian fleet and precipitate a melee … and the disruptive effect of the fire of the galeasses on the Muslim array …’ Galleasses were a Venetian innovation which carried five times as much artillery as an ordinary galley while their higher freeboards impeded landing parties and helped gun crews to keep firing. Venice could not match the Ottoman Empire galley-for-galley but her galeasses were more than a match for several of them, a fact of death which Ali Pasha had not learned, perhaps because of his recent victories over Venetian forces.[52]

Galley battles were not duels. Ships moved in dense formations to fight with small arms and at arms length, deploying artillery as a last-minute prelude in order to disable as many infantry immediately prior to a head-on ram for boarding. Hence, the cannon barrels were filled with anti-personnel shot. More devastating, because of their rate of fire, were the swivel-mounted harquebuses which disgorged a deadlier rain than could Ottoman archers.[53] The aim was to capture not sink the opposing fleet since its ships, including their equipment and slaves were booty for the commanders, with the rest being grabbed by surviving victors.[54] The renewal of Greek fire by the commandant of the Papal Guard, Gabrio Serbelloni, accounts for why so many Ottoman vessels were burnt beyond salvaging.[55]

Since broadsides were a little way in the future, and a cannon cost nearly a quarter the price of the hull, commentators have wondered why navies had spent on them at all if they could be used only once and to little effect (except against fortresses). The conventional view has been that cannons were of limited use because, first, there was not enough time to reload, secondly, the gunners were exposed to arrows, thirdly, there was little chance of reaching a distant target in choppy seas and – finally – should a shot happen to hit anything, a metal ball would do little damage, although stone ones splintered causing havoc on deck. A recent counter-view does not overturn the consensus but shows that multiple cannon shots were possible and useful. The gunners were at greater risk when preparing to fire than during a reload since they then had the protection of the corsia because recoil had driven the gun and its mount back eleven metres to a pad of ropes just short of the main mast. Once reloaded, a 50-pounder weighing 2,400kg could be on the bow again within seven seconds thanks to oarsmen yanking it on a well-greased oak sled. Lepanto became the prime instance of multiple cannon shots after Don Juan told his captains to fire whenever they thought they could do the most damage but to retain two rounds for the ramming. A first-hand account from 1572 says that the centre squadron of the Christian lines fired as many as five times thereby preventing some of the enemy from discharging all their guns, several of which were found loaded upon capture.[56] The hail of shot from the Holy Alliance seems no less providential than repeated Hail Marys.

Although word of the outcome did not reach Rome for fourteen days, the Pope enjoyed an epiphany on the night of the 7 October, which, out of modesty, he kept to himself until after the Venetian courier arrived; reports of this visitation advanced the cause of his beatification in 1672.[57] A depiction of His Holiness’s foreknowledge imagines the Virgin and Child floating above the battle as if it were visible through the Papal windows. The pictorial ordering is a conventional arrangement of interior/exterior but here represents a mental interior – revelation of victory – against an exterior hundreds of kilometers to the south-east; the crucifix on the left recalls the one he had sent to Don Juan and its reproduction on the banner. One need be neither Protestant nor unbeliever to treat these reports and portrayals for what they are. It is quite possible that Pius, the erstwhile Grand Inquisitor, did experience some such apparition in a state of altered consciousness induced by ruthless fasting and a diet of asses’ milk to treat the stomach ailment that killed him seven months later.[58]

General rejoicing

Following the Crusades, which had left the Infidels in control of the Holy Land, the rival faiths had pushed each other back and forth, when not destroying or betraying their co-religionists. This see-sawing of power brought victory for the Grand Turk at the island of Djerba in 1560, defeat at Malta in 1565, and the capture of Venice’s last hold on Cyprus at Famagusta two months before Lepanto. Indeed, the author of the four-volume The Papacy and the Levant, Kenneth M. Setton, writes that ‘[t]he Christian Expedition of 1570 to save the island of Cyprus from the Turks was to be one of the notable failures of the century’.[59] Above all, the Ottomans had not been defeated at sea since 1416.[60] A Christian victory in what proved to be the last of the galley confrontations made the ascription of a miraculous power at Lepanto as inevitable as were celebrations recalled for their magnificence.[61] The maritime triumph was ‘[I]mmortalised in a massive literature, on canvases of Heroic dimension, in epic poetry, on commemorative medals, and in Renaissance music.’[62] The pageantry in Barcelona outlasted the Holy League by decades, voicing concerns inimical to the dominance of Phillip and his successors.[63]

Typical of the initial mythopoeic was a lost painting by Domenico Tintoretto which had Christ and his Mother being worshipped by Pope, Doge and King and their respective commanders, Marcantonio Colonna, Sebastiano Venier and Don Juan.[64] One 1572 engraving shows the three Christian leaders, with apposite saints, in a galley ‘dragging the whole Turkish fleet behind them in a great net’.[65] Giorgio Vasari’s ‘The Christian fleet at Messina before the battle of Lepanto in 1571’ is an elaborate figurative allegory against a naturalistic backdrop of ships at anchor. In the lower left, the three powers are depicted as females with the Papal figure wearing the triple Crown; in the front centre, putti support a framed map of the area; to the right, a skeleton looms over weeping and slaughtered Ottomans. The top half details the Christian fleet with the Venetian galleasses standing out from flanks of saw-toothed galleys jammed together. Titian’s ‘Phillip II after the victory of Lepanto, offers the prince Don Fernando to victory’ is an oblique tribute to the League, perhaps masking the ‘Prudent King’s’ suspicion that Venice stood to reap where Spain had sown.

Six large canvases by Luca Cambiaso in the Escorial from the mid-1580s and a suite of portraits in Santa Maria Maggiore of Venetian captains such as the Prince of Urbino in gilded armour, stand out from scores of paintings by artists, like Andrea Vicentino, known now only to specialists. Emerging unscathed from one of the most lethal battles in history, individuals attributed their safety to their favourite saint; for instance, an anonymous Greek donor commissioned a stock-in-trade icon painter to honour St Cyprian, patron of Cyprus – which Venice was about to surrender.[66] A further essay would be required to analyse relevant works by Veronese in terms of perspective as symbolic form and allegory as a Mannerist device falling out of favour since the Council of Trent.[67]

Lepanto fever spread to Protestant England where King James’s 1585 poem Lepanto, which identifies Don John as that ‘Papist bastard’, could be read as an allegory for the persecution of Protestants;[68] as the author of a manual on how to identify a witch, James had no trouble in accepting the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel at Venice to urge commitment to the League.[69] The battle and the poem were at the back of Shakespeare’s imagination when he penned The tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice for a 1604 performance at the court of the new crowned monarch.[70]

Notwithstanding commemorations without surcease, any notion that Lepanto might have ‘left an indelible mark upon the history of modern Europe’[71] is truer for story-telling than for lived experience during the 1570s. The Christians proved more adept at internecine warfare than at following through on their miraculous gift.[72] Central to this inability to recombine were disputes over who should get what from territories yet to be won back from the heathen. Don Juan wanted a tenth of all the spoils from Lepanto and imagined himself on the way to being the king of Albania, or Algeria, if not both.[73]

Tracing the mutual suspicions of the three Holy League signatories, Setton observes that the ‘colossal expense’ of the 1572 ‘expedition achieved nothing but the capture of a Turkish galley’.[74] In August, French Catholics were too busy massacring Huguenots to join the defence of their faith, having signed a commercial treaty with the Turk in 1568.[75] Venice ceded Cyprus during 1573, a loss which the Signora felt as an amputation of an arm while the Grand Turk could dismiss Lepanto as a singed beard which would regrow. Indeed, spearheaded by the Algerian galleys that had escaped Lepanto, an Ottoman fleet larger than either at Lepanto blocked any Christian re-conquest of lands to the east before turning westwards to raze Spanish forts between Sicily and North Africa as steps towards retaking Tunis in 1574. Spain squandered resources on religious wars in the Netherlands,[76] thereby contributing to that reverse and to the recurrence of state bankruptcy a year later, 1575.[77] Phillip II parleyed with the Moor before the catastrophe at Alcazar in 1578 brought the death of Portugal’s king Don Sebastian, leading Setton to conclude that ‘[t]he Porte was more firmly established in North Africa after Lepanto than it had been previously.’[78] By 1580, the Ottomans faced no contest there but made no further attempt to retake Spain. Instead, ‘[A]ll along the military frontier in the western Mediterranean, rulers had concluded that an appeal to religious warfare would not substantially change the space of respective civilisations.’[79] Small wonder then that Voltaire mocked believers for elevating the importance of Lepanto since its aftermath might well lead one to ‘imagine that the Turks had won’,[80] though, by 1759, he surely knew that the 1570s had seen an end of the expansion of Islam.


Two hundred years further on, Fernand Braudel claimed a perspective which allowed more impact to Lepanto in its own day yet reduced its significance by several orders of magnitude.[81] A battle won or lost is what Braudel and the Annales School look down upon ‘as a glaring example of the very limitations of “l’histoire evenementielle”,’ in contrast to the ‘longue duree’ built upon demography, climatology and mentalite.[82]  Hence, Braudel re-evaluated Lepanto by tracking the 200-year drift away from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic as the cockpit of global power and trade, beginning with the Portuguese assault on the Gran Canaries[83] and continuing with their slaving raids along the Africa’s west coast until they rounded the Cape to reach India by 1498, Canton in 1517 and Japan by 1543. Venetians, ever alert to their profits through the Levant, responded to the threat of competition from oceanic routes to the spice islands by proposing, around 1504, to reopen the passage to the Red Sea.[84]

The sea-borne empires found technical expression during the four years prior to Lepanto when the Flemish mathematician, Gerardus Mercator, (who named America), devised a method for the cylindrical projection of charts and published one integrating these new worlds.[85] Navigators had redrawn more than maps. By remaking the sinews of war through command over hitherto unimaginable resources of labour, precious metals and luxuries, a scattering of tiny ships had had more impact on the future of Venice, the Hapsburgs and all Muslims than did the 500 galleys crammed together in a corner of the Mediterranean for a few hours on 7 October 1571. The defence of Goa and of Chaul that year against Muslim forces from India and Indonesia ‘was rightly regarded by contemporaries as the Portuguese equivalent in the Indian Ocean of Don Juan of Austria’s victory over the Turks at Lepanto.’[86]

‘adequate causation’

Scepticism about the results from Lepanto sails close to Max Weber’s commentaries on the historiography proposed by Eduard Meyer[87] in 1902 when he singled out the Greek victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 BC as having guaranteed the persistence of Classical virtues and arts.[88] Meyer took no interest in how those ideas contributed to the outcome. His claim was that the Athenians had secured the survival of certain ideals across two millennia.[89] That Marathon has been recalled from time to time is beyond dispute. For instance, Veronese’s The Family of Darius before Alexander (c.1570) was viewed as an allegory of Lepanto; the oration in Venice for those who had died there compared the Grand Turk with Xerxes.[90] That Athenian ideals became the matrix of social, cultural and political practices for more than two millennia is of a different order. Must a Persian victory mean no Caesars, no Christianity, no feudalism, no capitalism? By dissolving the actualities of the past into the transmission of ideas, Meyer convinced many of his contemporaries that it did, succeeding, in part, because his embrace of Greek ideals was code for reactionary Romanticism and chauvinism. Nothing horrified him more than the extension of Athenian democracy to the German proletariat. In keeping with these preferences, Meyer and his ilk marginalised three Athenian practices which did persist without a break into the twentieth-century: slavery, empire and war.[91]

Like Meyer, Weber did not interest himself in the Persian Wars as military operations, beyond arguing that victory at Marathon had been decisive only because it allowed the Greeks to build a fleet for Salamis where they inflicted a greater defeat eleven years later.[92] Embedded in Weber’s response is his view that contend that one battle could have had anything like the consequences attributed to it by Meyer, social scientists, including historians, would have to forge links in a chain of ‘adequate causation’ between 490 BC and late nineteenth-century Europe, a reconstruction which he initiated by arguing that the Greek victories had strengthened the hand of the civic-minded faction in Athens against its magical cultists, so that any effect from Marathon was not exogenous upon a distant battlefield but endogenous to Athenian power structures. Weber was reiterating his fondness for administration, rationalism and belief as the elements through which to interpret social behaviours.

Like every aspect of human action, each of Weber’s trio of terrains deserves to be explored with more precision than can be attained by interpolating an event into a longue duree, and each merits greater significance than is achieved by distinguishing short, medium and long-term consequences. All consequences are tied to causes, whether long-chain or proximate, through shifts in a ‘hierarchy of mediations’, the heuristic failure that Sartre identified among Fifties French Marxists.[93]

Verstehe nicht[94] 

In the spirit of meeting that criticism, our pursuit of the impact of faith on the Christian victory at Lepanto has credited the power of prayer and a belief in miracles to sustain morale and has traced the this-worldly means by which particulars of faith were actualised. Despite treating an acceptance of the supernatural with seriousness, if not at face value, any attempt to interpret sixteenth-century convictions concerning the efficacy of the Rosary encounters questions more profound than can be met by balancing the fire-power of galleasses against Ali Pasha’s tactics, or weighing the appeal of Papal Indulgences against Qur’anic promises of Paradise. Testing as it is to measure those considerations, the insurmountable obstacle is that everyone at Lepanto understood every aspect of their experience through a cosmology light-years from our acceptance of a heliocentric solar system whirling as specks through a universe which has been expanding for more than thirteen billion years. Moreover, Christians in the late sixteenth century inhabited a world in which a divine intervention was nothing out of the ordinary but one more expression of a world sustained by an omnipotent, omniscient and ever-present personal tripartite Deity who, surrounded by choirs of angels and galleries of saints, was looking down on the earth as the pinnacle and purpose of his works. The incarnate second person of this divinity paid especial heed to his Blessed Mother when she sought his aid on behalf of sinners for whose redemption he had suffered and died on the cross. Into the 1700s, Malebranche defended a Cartesian dualism by representing every human action as the creator’s bridging of mind and body.[95] Today’s contributors to the Catholic Historical Review endorse such doctrines but not even the Holy Father, having absorbed deep time and constant change, is able to rewind his apprehension of the natural world into the common sense prevalent during the Catholic Reformation. Hence, the question of how it was possible for the best educated of that era to expect a miracle does not arise any more than does the almost universal acceptance of alchemy, astrology and the burning of witches.

Accepting that mentalites differ across the centuries is the first step. Specifying the structure of previous ones is harder. Getting one’s mind inside an opposed way of seeing the world to ‘re-experience the feeling’ (Nachfuhlen) of an individual from a prior age is closer to the impossible. From the 1870, German social thinkers, often neo-Kantians, sought to do just that in order to counter the materialisms merging the natural and social sciences, and being absorbed by the German working-class. As one reassertion of ‘spiritual forces in public affairs’, Wilhelm Dilthey, professor of philosophy at Berlin from 1882, published Introduction to the Science of the Mind. Intellectual honesty kept him searching for a method to write history as if one could re-live the past. Accepting that his first attempts had reduced ‘life’ to the psychological, but repelled by any purely physical explanation of thought processes, he came to an uneasy rest with phenomenology. Dilthey faced the egocentric problem. If knowledge is inner consciousness, how can we know a mind other than our own?[96] Materialists reason that because language, and thereby thinking, are social products, we can reduce the distance between mentalites.[97]

In keeping with Dilthey’s hope that poetry opened the path to the ‘sympathetic understanding’ essential for historians,[98] Meyer claimed the privileges of a poet to intuit an utterly subjective account from the chaos that he saw in human life.[99] Weber disagreed.[100] Determined to rebut Meyer’s lop-sided Idealism, Weber was no less anxious to hold the line against the mechanical materialism of the Marxists of his day by wedding ‘value-free objectivity’ onto an ‘empathetic understanding’ (verstehen) of motives to the neglect of actions and outcomes. Just as Weber judged Meyer a better historian than historiographer, Mary Fulbrook proposes that Weber’s empirical investigations benefited from his failure to practice what he preached.[101]

Any criticism that Weber might make of our representation of Lepanto is unlikely to be more than quibbles, perhaps the insertion of inverted commas to mark his distaste for this or that term.[102] On the prospect of prayer disrupting the order of nature, his denial could not be sharper:

Self-evidently, to the extent that religions claim that empirical facts or causal influences on empirical facts have their origin in some sort of ‘supernatural’ [force] [these religions] must come into conflict with every scientific truth.

Weber’s method in cultural studies leaves no more room for spooks than does Marx’s materialist conception of history. No amount of intellectualising, Weber realised, will stop believers from accepting miracles:

The steady and slow influence of the practical consequences of our conception of nature and history will perhaps over time lead to a fading away of these ecclesiastical powers …. But no manner of anti-clericalism, oriented towards ‘metaphysical’ naturalism, can bring that about.[103]

He does not put his hope in his ‘conception’ of nature and history but in its practical consequences, an expectation in keeping with Marx’s view that religion will fade away only through the abolition of the conditions that make it necessary.[104]

 Grace abounding

The persistence of those everyday conditions has sustained belief in a second sequence of miracles, one which is so remote from the morale-boost of praying together in the face of death as to require a different line of explication. The first case is how to interpret a conviction among Barcelona’s faithful that the figure of Christ (known as ‘Santo Christo’) on the life-size crucifix from the topmast of Don Juan’s flagship had assumed its right-leaning posture in order to get itself out of the way of a cannon ball. The absence of any contemporary report of this miracle has ensured a richness from its retellings. Here, a materialist investigator would first compare the look of this crucifix with those being produced around Rome in the second half of the sixteenth-century to see whether the pose was unusual.

Materialists, nonetheless, will not be surprised to hear that the miracle of an agile stick figure has spawned a further miraculous intervention. Suspended in front of the chapel containing the bent crucifix in Barcelona’s Santa Eulalia basilica is a model of Don Juan’s Real, the direction of which indicates where fisherman should seek their catches. Local sceptics attribute the movements of this ‘supernatural wind-vane’ to the draughts from opening and closing the cathedral doors.[105]

Similar forensics are called for if we are to understand the attribution to the apostle James of the human remains found early in the ninth century in the north-west of Spain when a star hovered over the field where a corpse lay buried. James then became the patron warrior saint of Christians during their re-conquest with the battle cry Santiago y cierra Espana! (St James and close in, Spain!).[106] Galician atheists know that there is no heaven from which James can intercede on behalf of tourist promoters along the pilgrimage Santiago de Compostella but, after 1,300 years of Christian propaganda, Iberian unbelievers find it harder to accept that James might never have set foot on their peninsula.

Despite the outcome of wars being conditioned by beliefs about another world, neither Virgin nor Prophet can interfere with the course of events in this one. A measure of the vulgarity of bourgeois historians is that almost none of their accounts of the battle, Capponi excepted, so much as mentions the military efficacy of prayer.[107] Materialists acknowledge the significance of mass belief during battle as thoroughly as we spurn the capacity of dead wood to defy the laws of physics. Although Marxists nowadays can dismiss any notion of inanimate objects shifting stations as absurd without being accused of crude reductionism, we still are obliged to account for the creation and persistence of the legends around the ‘Santo Cristo’, as we do those regarding Santa Diego at the opposite corner of Spain. Irrespective of one’s beliefs about the Real’s crucifix, the wellsprings of its 400-year veneration as an exemplar of the Cross’s triumphing over the Crescent have never been confined to a single naval battle at the far end of the Mediterranean but continue to invoke a crusade fought out for more than a thousand years in every corner of the patria. On 19 May 1939, Generalissimo Franco presented his ‘sword of victory’ to the Primate of all Spain under the banner that Pius V had given to Don Juan.[108] The manipulation of In hoc signo for political ends in Madrid would lose some of its credibility were it not threaded through the daily miracle of putting fish on Catalan tables. It is from within such ‘sensuous human activity’ that practitioners of the materialist conception of history begin our quest for explanations of belief in the supernatural, ever mindful of Montaigne’s caution:

How many of the things that constantly come into our purview must be deemed monstrous or miraculous if we apply such terms to anything which outstrips our reason![109]

[1] Psalm 118: 23.
[2] Michel de Montaigne, Essay XXVI, The Complete Essays, Allen Lane The Penguin Press, London, 1991, p. 200.
[3] Ludwig Pastor, History of the popes from the close of the Middle Ages, volume 18, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., London, 1929, pp. 443-4.
[4] Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the age of Philip II, Fontana, London, 1973, pp. 1088-1142; Hugh Biceno, Crescent and Cross, The Battle of Lepanto 1571, Cassell, London, 2003; Andrew Wheatcroft, Infidels: a history of the conflict between Christendom and Islam, Random House, New York, 2003, pp. 3-35; Lincoln Paine, The Sea and Civilization A Maritime History of the World, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2013, pp. 434-6.
[5]The New Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 12, Thompson Gale, Detroit, 2003, pp. 373-6; Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex, the myth and cult of the Virgin Mary, Vintage, London, 2000, pp. 305-14; Hugh H. Davis, ‘A Rosary Confraternity Charter of 1579 and the Cardinal of Santa Susanna’, AmericanCatholic Historical Review, 48 (3), October 1962, pp. 321-42. Muslims, especially Sufis, use Rosaries to tell the ninety-nine Names of God.
[6]New Catholic Encyclopedia, ‘Fatima’, vol. 5, pp. 643-44; ‘Fr Peyton’, vol. 11, p. 222.
[7] www.tfp.org
[8] Ali Murat Yelt, ‘Fatima, The Pope and Mehmet Ali Agca”, Islamic Studies, 32 (4), Winter 1993, pp. 447-60.
[9] Ernst Troeltsch, The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches, vol. II, Harper Torchbook, New York, 1960, pp. 1002-4, quoted Paul Peachy, ‘Marxist Historiography of the Radical Reformation: Causality or Covariation?’, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, 1, January 1970, p. 8.
[10] Peter Throckmorton et al., ‘The Battle of Lepanto, Search and Survey Mission [Greece} 1971-72’, International Journal of Nautical Archeology and Underwater Exploration, 2 (1), March 1973, pp. 123-7.
[11] Niccolo Capponi, Victory of the West, The Great Christian-Muslim Clash at the Battle of Lepanto, DaCapo Press, Cambridge, MASS., 2007, pp. viii, xv and 253-4.
[12] Andrew C. Hess, ‘The Battle of Lepanto and Its Place in Mediterranean History’, Past & Present, 57, November 1972, pp. 53-73; Andrew C. Hess, ‘The Moriscos: An Ottoman Fifth Column in Sixteenth-Century Spain’, American History Review, 74 (1), October 1968, pp. 11, n. 41. Hess had worked as foreman in a steel-mill before mastering Middle-Eastern languages and history.
[13] Tamin Ansary, Destiny disrupted: a history of the world through Islamic eyes, Public Affairs, New York, 2009, p. 221; Lepanto makes it into Edward W. Said, Orientalism, Penguin, London, 1995, p. 74.
[14] David Hume, Theory of knowledge: containing the Enquiry concerning human understanding, etc, Nelson, Edinburgh, 1951, pp. 119-21.
[15]Marx-Engels Collected Works (M-ECW), vol. 3, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1975, p. 182.
[16] Kenneth M. Setton, The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571, volume 4, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1984, p. 1056.
[17] Henry Rusche, ‘Merlini Anglici: Astrology and Propaganda from 1644 to 1651’, English Historical Review, 80 (315), April 1965, pp. 322-33.
[18] Setton, p. 1056, quoting an eye-witness chronicler, Gianpietro Contarini.
[19] David Clarke, The Angel of Mons, Wiley, Chichester, 2004, pp. 229-46; reprinted in Clarke, pp. 247-50.
[20] General Sir Tom Bridges, Alarms and Excursions: reminiscences of a soldier, Longmans Green, London, 1938, pp. 86-9; William Philpott, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, volume 7, OUP, 2004, p. 594.
[21] Setton, pp. 964 and 967; Pastor, pp. 425 and 441.
[22] Capponi, pp. 255 and 260.
[23] Carlos Fuentes, El Espejo Enterrado, Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico, 1992, p. 171, my thanks to Peter Curtis for this reference; Seddon, p. 964. The power of the sacrament did not convince priests to venture into the typhus-infected lower decks, Seddon pp. 975 and 1010-11.
[24] Capponi, p. 264; Pastor, p. 414-5; Setton, p. 1024.
[25] Pastor, p. 421; Setton, pp. 1058, 1060, cf. 1067; Robert Appelbaum,’War and Peace in The Lepanto’, Peter C. Herman (ed.), Reading Monarch’s Writing: The Poetry of Henry VIII, Mary Stuart, Elizabeth I, and James VI/I, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Tempe, 2002, pp.197 and 317, lines 829-41; Setton’s divergent accounts cannot shield Don Juan’s reputation from so barbaric a deed given so many more to his credit in Andalusia and the Netherlands.
[26] Michael Aronna, ‘The Mapping of Empire, Evolving Notions of Christendom and Europe in the Poetry of Fernando de Herrera Commemorating the Battle of Lepanto’, Andrew Davison and Himadeep Muppidi (eds), Europe and its boundaries: words and worlds, within and beyond, Lexington Books, Plymouth, 2009, pp. 145-70; Wheatcroft, 2003, p. 3.
[27] H.S. Vaughan, ‘The Santo Cristo of Lepanto’, TheMariner’s Mirror, X (4), October 1924, p. 331; Pastor, p. 430, n. 2.
[28] Kirsteen Noreen, ‘Ecclesiae militantis triumphi: Jesuit Iconography and the Counter-Revolution’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 29 (3), August 1998, pp. 698-715.
[29] A.H.M. Jones, Constantine and the Conversion of Europe, Collier Books, New York, 1962, pp. 84-90; for an attempt at  redemption, H.A. Drake, ‘Constantine and Consensus’, Church History, 64 (1), March 1995, pp. 1-15; Fergus J. King, ‘In hoc signo A literary and social analysis of Constantine’s dream’, St Mark’s Review, 225, August 2013 (3), pp. 16-26; New Catholic Encyclopedia, ‘Constantine, volume IV, pp. 179-83; ‘Donation’, pp. 860-1.
[30] J.W. Drijvers, Helena Augusta, the Mother of Constantine the Great, and the Legend of her Finding the one True Cross, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1992, pp. 79-146; Stephen G. Nichols, ‘In Hoc Signo Vincis: Constantine, Mother of Harm’, Marilyn Aronberg Lavin (ed.), Piero della Francesca and His Legacy, Studies in the History of Art, 48, 1995, pp. 37ff.
[31] Jack Freiberg, ‘In the Sign of the Cross: The Image of Constantine in the Art of Counter-Reformation Rome’, Lavin (ed.), pp. 76-8 and 86; Pauline Moffitt Watts, ‘A Mirror for the Pope: Mapping the “Corpus Christi” in the Galleria Delle Carte Geografiche’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, 10, 2005, p. 182n.
[32] Pastor, p. 441; Iain Fenlon, Music and Culture in Late Renaissance Rome, OUP, New York, 2002, pp. 155-6.
[33] Pastor, pp. 399, 401 and 423-4.
[34] Pastor, p. 420; determined to acquit Pius of conniving in the Bartholomew Eve Massacre, A Lynn Martin fails to notice the Papal gaze fixed eastwards, ‘Papal Policy and the European Conflict, 1559-1572’, The Sixteenth Century Journal, 11 (2), Summer 1980, pp. 35-48.
[35] ‘Ghusl’, Encyclopedia of Islam, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1965, vol. II, p. 1104; Cyril Glasse, ‘Ablutions’, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Stacey International, London, 2008, pp. 15-16.
[36] Quoted Halil Inacik, ‘The Socio-Political effects of the diffusion of fire-arms in the Middle East’, V. J. Parry and M.E. Yapp (eds), War, Technology and Society in the Middle East, OUP, London, 1975, p. 199.
[37] ‘Du’a’, Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. II, 1965, pp. 617-8; ‘Salat’, 1995, vol. VIII, pp. 925-35; ‘Dhikr’, 1965, vol. II, p. 223-6; Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, pp. 355-7 and 130. Specific prayers exist, including, not surprisingly, one for rain, istiska’.
[38]Encyclopedia of Islam, 1995, vol. VIII, pp. 934-5.
[39] Quoted Glasse, p. 130.
[40] ‘Mu’djiza’, Encyclopedia of Islam, 1971, vol. VII, p. 295; ‘Karama’, 1975, vol. IV, pp. 615-6; Jane Dammen McAuliffe (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 2003, vol. 3, pp. 392-99; Maxime Rodinson, Muhammad, Taurus Parke, London, 2002, pp. 69-107.
[41] Capponi, p. 257.
[42] Geoffrey Parker and I.A.A Thompson, ‘The Battle of Lepanto, 1571 The Costs of Victory’, TheMariner’s Mirror, LXIV (1), February 1978, p. 14; H.G. Koeningsberger, Government of Sicily under Phillip II; a study in the practice of empire, Staples Press, London, 1951, p. 130; Setton, pp. 959-60, 1002-3 and 1020; Pastor, pp. 395-7; Braudel, pp. 1096-97.
[43] Parker and Thompson, p. 15; Koeningsberger, chapter 5; Setton, pp. 959-60, 1014-7 and 1078; Pastor, pp. 7-9, 373, 386, 390, 399, 404-7 and 411; Patrick J. O’Banion, ‘Only the King Can Do It: Adaption and Flexibility in Sixteenth-century Spain, Church History, 81 (3), September 2012, pp. 561-3 and 572-4.
[44] De Lamar Jensen, ‘The Ottoman Turks in Sixteenth Century French Diplomacy’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 16 (4), Winter 1985, pp. 451-70; in the weeks before the battle, the French were trying to bring Venice and the Grand Turk back into alliance, Setton, p. 1049.
[45] Setton, pp. 1067 and 1074-5; Pastor, pp. 406, 421-2, 428 and 440. (No Protestant was more adept at separating faith from profit than a Dutchman in Japan.)
[46] Hess, ‘The Moriscos’, 1968, pp. 1-25.
[47] Setton, pp. 1050-52; by February 1572, the Venetian Senate had been pressured into replacing Venier, p. 1073; Pastor, p. 417.
[48] Setton, p. 1055.
[49] Capponi, pp. 265-6; for much more on the weather J. H. Pryor, Geography, Technology and War: Studies in the Maritime History of the Mediterranean, 649-1571, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1988, chapter 1-3, and critique Renard Gluzman, ‘Between Venice and the Levant: re-Evaluating Maritime Routes from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century’, The Mariner’s Mirror, 95 (3), August 2010, pp. 264-94. ‘Kamikaze’ was the divine wind that wrecked the Mongol invasion fleets headed for Japan in 1274 and again in 1281; weather wrought havoc through the Spanish Armada in 1588.
[50] in February 1572, the Spanish ambassador to Venice paid for some forty trumpets, cornets, shawms and recorders requested by Don Juan, perhaps to replace ones damaged along with rest of his ship, Michael J. Levin and Steven Zohn, ‘Don Juan of Austria and the Venetian Music Trade’, Early Music, 33 (3), August 2005, pp. 439-46.
[51] Ruggiero Romano, ‘Economic Aspects of the Construction of Warships in Venice in the Sixteenth Century’, Brian Pullan (ed.), Crisis and Change in the Venetian economy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Methuen, London, 1968, p. 61; B. Langstrom, The Ship, Allen and Unwin, London, 1962, pp. 330-48; Robert C. Davis, Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal, Workers and Workplace in the Preindustrial City, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1991, p. 16; booty from Lepanto and peace after giving up Cyprus stopped galley construction until almost 1590.
[52] John Francis Guilmartin, Jr, Gunpowder and Galleys, Changing Technology and Mediterranean Warfare at Sea in the Sixteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1974, pp. and 233-4 and 240; Inacik, 1975, pp. 195-202; Susan Rose, ‘Islam Versus Christendom: The Naval Dimension, 1000-1600’, Journal of Military History, 63 (3) July 1999, p. 573.
[53] Paine, p. 435; Pastor believed that each galleass carried ‘36 large cannon and 64 smaller pieces to throw balls of stone’, p. 420, n.1.
[54] Guilmartin, pp. 231-2; Setton, pp. 1058, 1060 and 1067.
[55] Setton, p. 423, n. 3.
[56] Joesph Eliav, ‘The Gun and Corsia of Early Modern Mediterranean Galleys: Design issues and rationales’, The Mariner’s Mirror, 99 (3), August 2013, pp. 262-74; ‘Tactics of Sixteenth-century Galley Artillery’, 99 (4), November 2013, pp. 398-409; for the galley’s last hurrah see Randal Gray, ‘Spinola’s Galleys in the Narrow Seas, 1599-1603’, TheMariner’s Mirror, 64 (1), February 1978, pp. 71-83.
[57] Pastor, pp. 449 and 459; Pius V was cannonised in 1712; his tomb includes a relief of Lepanto.
[58] Pastor, pp. 423-4 and 452-4.
[59] Setton, p. 974; for the fall itself, pp. 1027-44.
[60] Franz Babinger, Mehmet the Conqueror and his Time, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1978, p. 322.
[61] E.H. Gombrich, ‘Celebrations in Venice of the Holy League and of the Victory of Lepanto’, Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art, Phaidon, London, 1967, pp. 62-8; cf. Edward Muir, ‘Images of Power: Art and Pageantry in Renaissance Venice’, American Historical Review, 84 (1), February 1979, pp. 16-52 – the discussion of Lepanto on page 43 summarises Gombrich.
[62] Hess, 1972, p. 53; Anthony Blunt, ‘El Greco’s “Dream of Phillip II”: An Allegory of the Holy League’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 3 (1/2) October 1939-January 1940, p. 63.
[63] Michele Olivari and Jesus Villanueva, ‘Los Discursos Festivos en Barcelona tras la Battala de Lepanto: Alcance e Implicaciones de un Gran Acontecimiento Sentimental’, Historia Social, 74, 2012, pp. 145-166; I am indebted to Peter Curtis for his translation.
[64] Blunt, 1939-40, p. 65.
[65] Pastor, p. 444, n. 4.
[66] R.M. Dawkins, ‘A Picture of Lepanto’, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 50 (1), 1930, pp. 1-3.
[67] Staale Sinding-Larsen, ’The Changes in the Iconography and Composition of Veronese’s “Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto” in the Doge’s Palace’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 19 (3/4), July-December 1956, pp. 296-302; Richard Cocke, ‘Venice, Decorum and Veronese’, Massimo Gemin (ed.), Nuovi Studi Su Paolo Veronese, Arsenale Editrice, Venice, 1990, pp. 241-55; Claudio Strinati, ’Veronese and Mannerism’, Patrizzia Nitti (ed.), Veronese: Gods, Heroes and Allegories, New York, 2004, pp. 31-36; Edward Grasman, ‘On Closer Inspection – The Interrogation of Paolo Veronese’, Artibus et Historiae, 30 (50), 2009, pp. 125-34.
[68] Appelbaum, p. 178.
[69] James VI, ‘The Lepanto’, Herman (ed.), Lines 85-92, p. 295.
[70] Samuel C. Chew, The Crescent and the Rose, Islam and England during the Renaissance, OUP, Oxford, 1937, pp. 115-8, 125-30 and 521-3 – Chew calls James’s 915 lines ‘long, pompous and tedious’ (p. 129) – a rival for the ‘intolerable prolixity’ of an Italian versifier, Pastor, p. 446; David M. Bergeron, ‘ “Are we turned Turk?”: English Pageants and the Stuart Court’, Comparative Drama, 44 (3), Fall 2010, pp. 255-75; Emrys Jones, ‘ “Othello”, “Lepanto” and the Cyprus Wars’, Shakespeare Survey, 21, Cambridge at the University Press, 1968, pp. 47-52; F.N. Lees, ‘Othello’s Name’, Notes and Queries, April 1961, pp. 139-41; Lepanto was a figure of speech in the 1640s for Sir Thomas Browne: ‘Let me be nothing if within the compass of myself I do not find the battle of Lepanto: passion against reason, reason against faith, faith against the devil, and my conscience against all’, Religio Medici, Cambridge at the University Press, 1963, p. 82.
[71] Hess, 1972, p. 53; Parker and Thompson, 1978, pp. 13-22.
[72] William J. Bouwsma, Venice and the defense of republican liberty; Renaissance values in the age of the Counter Reformation, University of California press, Berkeley, 1968, pp. 189-93.
[73] Setton, p. 1067; Pastor, pp. 421-2.
[74] Setton, p. 1086; cf. Pastor, p. 442; Braudel, pp. 1106-27.
[75] Jensen, pp. 451-70.
[76] Geoffrey Parker, Spain and the Netherlands, 1559-1659: ten studies, FontanaCollins, Glasgow, 1979.
[77] Braudel, pp. 1134 and 1127-9; Mauricio Drelichman and Hans Joacim Voth, Lending to the Borrower form Hell. Debt, Taxes and Default in the Age of Phillip II, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 2014.
[78] Setton, p. 1096; Pryor, pp. 177-8; Rose, p. 578.
[79] Hess, 1972, p. 72.
[80] Voltaire, The General History and State of Europe, A. Donaldson, Edinburg, 1758, vol. 3, p. 31.
[81] Braudel devotes sixty pages to the formation of the Holy League across five years, (which, on his timescale, seems not much more than an ‘event’,) two pages to the battle itself and three to whether the victory was as fleeting as sceptics have insinuated, pp. 1027-1106.
[82] for early English reactions to the Annales school see Journal of Modern History, 44 (4), December 1972, and on the Ottoman and Spanish Empires, pp. 475-6.
[83] Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986, chapter 4.
[84] C.R. Boxer, The Portuguese Seaborne Empire 1415-1825, Hutchinson, London, 1969; J.H. Parry, The Spanish Seaborne Empire, Hutchinson, London, 1966.
[85] Chandra Mukerji, ‘A New World-Picture: Maps as Capital Goods for the Modern World System’, From Graven Images, Patterns of Modern Materialism, Columbia University Press, New York, 1983, pp. 79-130.
[86] Boxer, pp. 58-59.
[87] Bruun and Whimster (eds), Max Weber, pp. 169-84; Fritz K. Ringer, Max Weber: an intellectual biography, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2004, pp. 80-89; cf. Max Weber, Critique of Stammler, Free Press, New York, 1977, pp. 119-25 and 145-55.
[88] Bernard Knox, Backing into the Future, Norton, New York, 1994, pp. 137-41; for an over-the-top variant on Meyer’s hypothesis, Victor Davis Hanson, ‘No Glory That Was Greece The Persians Win at Salamis 480BC’, Robert Cowley (ed.), What if? The world’s foremost military historians imagine what might have been, G.P. Putman & Sons, New York, 1999, pp. 15-35.
[89] Given that Marx spent a lifetime arguing that nothing in human affairs can be eternal or universal, it should cause no surprise that he broke off his planned ‘Introduction’ to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy to ponder how it was that the Greeks ‘still give us aesthetic pleasure and are in certain respects regarded as a standard and unattainable ideal’, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970, pp. 216-7, and Grundrisse, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, pp. 109-11; by not reading beyond those scraps, Mohammad R. Nafissi condemns Marx for the ‘universality of his theory’, ‘On the Foundations of Athenian Democracy: Marx’s Paradox and Weber’s Solution’, Max Weber Studies, 1, 2000, pp. 58 and 60; for an informed analysis, Margaret A. Rose, Marx’s lost aesthetic, Karl Marx & the visual arts, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984, pp. 83-91.
[90] Cocke, 1990, pp. 252-3; see also Marie Tanner, The Last Descendant of Aeneas: The Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1993, p. 221.
[91] M.I. Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1983, pp. 44-61; M.I. Finley, Ancient History, Evidence and Models, Pimlico, London, 2000, pp. 85-6; Finley shows how little space Weber allows for legitimate opposition in his accounts of Greece, pp. 93-99.
[92] For a scholarly take on the myth-making see Paul Cartledge, Thermopylae, the battle that changed the world, Pan, London, 2006, and After Thermopylae, OUP, Oxford 2013.
[93] Jean-Paul Sartre, Search for a Method, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1963, p. 56.
[94] H. Stuart Hughes found verstehen’‘to be the most difficult intellectual problem that I have confronted in the present study’, Consciousness and society, the reorientation of European social thought, 1890-1930, Knopf, New York, 1958, p. 187.
[95] Steven Nadler, ‘Malebranche on Causation’, Steven Nadler (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Malebranche, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 113-7.
[96] Arnold Bergstaesser, ‘Wilhelm Dilthey and Max Weber: An Empirical Approach to Historical Synthesis’, Ethics, 57 (2), January 1947, p. 93; Wilhelm Dilthey, Introduction to the Human Sciences, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1988, pp. 302-7; Michael Ermarth, Wilhelm Dilthey: The Critique of Historical Reason, Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1978, pp. 291-303.
The infiltration of ‘shame-faced materialism’ into the Bolsheviks provoked Lenin in 1908 to reaffirm the existence of a world outside our heads, Materialism and Empirico-Criticism, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1972.
[97] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, “The German Ideology’, (M-ECW), vol. 5, 1976, pp. 27-54.
[98] Bergstaesser, pp. 99-100.
[99] Finley, 2000, pp. 52-3.
[100] Hans Henrik Bruun and Sam Whimster (eds), Max Weber: collected methodological writings, Routledge, London, 2012, pp. 139-84.
[101] Mary Fulbrook, ‘Max Weber’s “Interpretative Sociology”: A Comparison of Conception and Practice’, British Journal of Sociology, 29 (1), March 1978, pp. 71-82; Friedrich H. Tenbruck and Max Weber, ‘The Problem of Thematic Unity in the Works of Max Weber’, ibid., 31 (3), September 19080, pp. 316-.
[102] Weber deploys inverted commas in Die Protestantische Ethik und der ‘Geist’ des Kapitalismus, a detail overlooked by most translators and commentators. Guenther Roth recognises that their ‘profusion …[is[ … an alienating device’ to show how he deploys ‘familiar terms with reservations, with a new meaning, or in an ironic sense’, ‘Introduction’, Economy and Society, volume I, Bedminster Press, New York, 1968, p. CI.
[103] Weber to Ferdinand Toennies, 19 February 1909, Bruun and Whimster (eds), Max Weber, p. 400.
[104]M-ECW, vol. 3, 1975. p. 177.
[105] Vaughan, 1924, pp. 324-34.
[106] William C. Atkinson, A History of Spain and Portugal, Pelican, Harmondsworth, 1960, p. 63.
[107] Capponi, p. 264.
[108] Paul Preston, Franco, HarperCollins, London, 1993, p. 330; hanging nearby was the battle flag of El Cid from 1212; Franco had relied on Moorish mercenaries to launch his campaign against the heirs of the Reformation.
[109] Montaigne, Essay XXVI, ‘That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities’ p. 204.