Four hundred and fifty years ago in the waters of the Greek islands of Echinades (Curzolari, for the Venetians) the memorable naval battle took place between the Holy League, of which the Serenissima was an important member and the Ottoman Empire, which went down in history as the “Battle of Lepanto”, one of the most impressive events of all time.

Fifty years after the important conference held at the Cini Foundation on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, new studies and acquired knowledge are coming to add elements drawing new lines on the landscape of an event that, despite having a fascinating military outcome in favor of Christianity, had controversial political consequences. The story of this event is intertwined with a European, Balkan and Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape that has changed radically in the last fifty years and finds the European states once again exposed to critical situations.

Thus, the image of the naval battle of Lepanto acquires content and questions, to which it is worth trying to answer today, with renewed interest.

The Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice participated in the conference organized by the Scuola Grande di San Marco on October 7, 2021, which marks the 450th anniversary of the historic event, with the aim of highlighting the modern dimensions of that old conflict between the two worlds and the role of the united Europe.