The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement that took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic states (comprising Spain and its Italian territories, several independent Italian states, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta) arranged by Pope Pius V, inflicted a major defeat on the fleet of the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Ottoman forces were sailing westward from their naval station in Lepanto (the Venetian name of ancient Naupactus – Greek Ναύπακτος, Turkish İnebahtı) when they met the fleet of the Holy League which was sailing east from Messina, Sicily.The Spanish Empire and the Venetian Republic were the main powers of the Catholic coalition, as Spain financed the league the most and Venice was the main contributor of ships. John of Austria, half-brother of Philip II of Spain, was named overall commander of the fleet, with his principal deputies and counsels being the Roman Marcantonio Colonna, the Venetians Sebastiano Ven
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