Ottomans Vs Christians Masters Of The Mediterranean – Part 2 of 3

In part two, Julian Davison departs the former capitol of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul, and travels to the site of one of the most extraordinary sieges in European history, the island of Malta.

The pride of the Christian Crusader Order of the Knights of St. John, Malta stands today like a baroque jewel, but in the 16th century it was the object of desire for Ottoman Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent and he was prepared to risk all to possess it.

In Malta, Julian enlists in a local re-enactment group and tries his hand at the weapons of 16th century warfare before dissecting a siege that would become one of the Ottomans most shocking defeats.

Before leaving Malta Julian explores the legacy of the Knights of St. John and meets a modern day knight. He then travels northward to the commercial superpower of the 16th century, the resplendent kingdom on water, Venice.

Here, Julian, participates in the time honoured pageant, La Sensa, a symbolic marriage between Venice and the Sea before revealing how this tiny island Republic grew to into one of the richest and most formidable sea powers in the world.

We discover how Venice managed a complex love/hate relationship with the Ottoman Empire that exploded into an all out war for control of the Mediterranean involving the Pope and much of Christian Europe.

Julian gets a taste of life as a galley slave before moving on to the former Venetian stronghold, Cyprus.

Part Turkish, part Greek, Cyprus continues to be one of the most contested islands in the whole Mediterranean and the roots of its struggle can be traced to the bloody battles waged here in the 16th century.

Julian begins his exploration of Cyprus in the Turkish occupied north where he follows the trail of the Ottoman Army’s relentless campaign for control of the island in 1571. But the bloodiest and most decisive battle for Cyprus was yet to come.

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