Lepanto. In the Middle Ages the name of today’s Greek town Naupactus, in greek Naupaktos, in the Nomos of Aetolia and Acarnania, located on the northern coast of the strait which separates the Gulf of Corinth from that of Patras. In 1407 it was conquered by the Venetians, in 1499 it was conquered by the Turks, then reconquered by the Venetians and then again by the Turks and remained in this until 1828, when it was taken up again, and finally by the Greeks. Keep the Venetian walls and the citadel that, with the small harbor defended by two towers, give to Naupaktos a picturesque appearance.
Mediterranea was here May 16, 2013 and at other times in the month of May during the navigation in the Gulf of Patras and the Gulf of Corinth in the sea of the famous battle that takes its name from this city : The Lepanto’s battle.
The Lepanto’s battle is also known as the Battle of the Echinee or Curzolari because Curzolari, a group of 7 small islands called Echinades in the ancientness, located off the coast of Akarnania, the delta of Achelous and the entrance to the Gulf of Patras, were the true theater of the battle.
We are about 40 miles from Návpaktos.
Miguel de Cervantes, the writer of “Don Chisciotte”, that took part in that battle losing his left hand, tells: ” … two galleys are invested for the bows in the middle of the spacious sea: they are trapped and clinging, and the soldier there is nothing left that space which allow two-foot plank of the spur, and with all this, while seeing that … the first carelessness in putting your feet would go to visit the deep bosom of Neptune, with everything, with intrepid heart, driven by honor that nags at him, he starts to be a target of so much gunfire, and try to go for such a narrow space to the enemy ship.
And what makes most wonder is that as soon as one has fallen from where it can no longer stand up to the end of the world, that’s another immediately takes care of the place, and even if this falls into the sea that awaits her as an enemy, takes place to another, and then another, without giving it time to die: that is the greatest value that can be formed between all of the episodes of the war.”
Almost four and a half centuries later, Lepanto continues to maintain a particular meaning: the victory of the “Lega Santa”, became the cornerstone on which you would be entitled Western hegemony and which will feed the desire for redemption of the Islamic world for centuries to come. It could be ironic if Voltaire on scarce political consequences of such a large military confrontation, this was because, after the battle, they returned to the surface the divisions within the “Lega Santa” (soon dissolved ) and the clashes between the European Principles. A lesson that, even today, it is nice to repeat.
“The past is never dead, in fact it is not even past.” (William Faulkner )