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Battle of Matapan
Part of the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1714-18
Portrait of King Joao V and the Battle of Cape Matapan.JPG
João V at the Battle of Cape Matapan; Domenico Duprà, 1717.
Date19 July 1717
LocationNear Cape Matapan, southern Greece
Result Portuguese victory
Ottoman expansion to the western Mediterranean curbed
 Ottoman Empire Portugal Kingdom of Portugal
 Republic of Venice
Sovereign Military Order of Malta Knights of Malta
 Papal States
Commanders and leaders
Kapudan Pasha Eğribozlu İbrahim Pasha Lopo Furtado de Mendonça, 1st Count of Rio Grande
30 ships
4 galleys
33 ships
24 galleys
2 others

The naval Battle of Matapan took place on 19 July 1717 off the Cape Matapan, on the coast of the Mani Peninsula in southern Greece, between the combined naval forces of Venice, Portugal, the Papal States and Malta and the Ottoman fleet, under Kapudan Pasha Eğribozlu İbrahim.


Lopo Furtado de Mendonça, 1st Count of Rio Grande, by Domingos Vieira, 1635.

Diedo's 24 sailing ships met up with Pisani's 24 galleys and Maltese leader Belle Fontaine's 9 Portuguese-Maltese ships near Cape Matapan on 2 July. After trying separately to find an advantageous position with respect to the Ottomans for several weeks, occasionally having to land to find water, the Allied force went to Marathonisi, near the top of the Gulf of Matapan, to water. They had tried to make it to Sapienza but winds were against them and they took the risk of being caught in the gulf.

Despite having the galleys tow the sailing ships south, there were not enough galleys, and the Ottoman fleet, with 30 sailing ships, and 4 galleys, were seen to the south, at the west side of the bay entrance, on 19 July. With a light wind from the SSE, this meant that they had the advantage. Diedo, unable to sail to the west of the Ottoman fleet, decided to sail slowly east, across the bay.

The fleet was in 4 divisions: Diedo was in the Van, which was led by his 2nd in command, Correr. The 3rd or Rear Division was commanded by Dolfin. The 4th or Allied Division was commanded by Belle Fontaine.

Ibrahim with 6 ships attacked the Rear Division at about 6am, while the rest of his fleet went ahead and attacked the Van and Center. At about 12pm the fleets were approaching the east side of the bay, and shortly after the leading ships turned, the wind turned from the SE, putting the leading Venetian ships to windward of some of the Ottoman fleet for the first time. Taking advantage of this, Diedo attacked them and the tough battle continued. At about 3pm the Ottoman fleet retired, sailing for the Cervi-Cerigo passage, while the Allies sailed for Cape Matapan. Neither side wished to continue the fight.

As a result of the battle, Venetian attempt to recapture Morea was decisively foiled and the Ottoman reconquest of the peninsula was confirmed.

Each Allied state gave their own ships complete credit for any achievements. Some of these accounts are almost totally unreliable due to a variety of reasons—for example, their inclusion of forces which were not actually present for the battle.

Ships involved

Christian Allies

Van Division

Madonna dell'Arsenal 70
Costanza Guerriera 78
Trionfo 70 (Admiral Diedo)
Leone Trionfante 80
San Francesco 54
Aquila Valiera 76
Fenice 56
San Andrea 56
Gloria Veneta 70

Center and Rear Divisions

San Lorenzo Giustinian 70
San Pietro Apostolo 54
Aquiletta 54
Terror 88
Nettuno 50
Fede Guerriera 56
Fenice 56
Corona 80
Madonna della Salute 76 (Admiral Correr)
San Pio V 70
Sacra Lega 54
Valor Coronato 54
Rosa 56
São Lourenço 58 (Portuguese)
Columba d'Oro 78
Grand Alessandro 74 (Rear-Admiral Dolfin)

Allied Division

(6 Portuguese, 2 Maltese, 1 Venetian)
San Raimondo 46 (Maltese)
Fortuna Guerriera 70 (Venetian)
Rainha dos Anjos 56
Nossa Senhora das Necessidades 66
Santa Catarina 56 (Chevalier de Bellefontaine - Maltese)
Nossa Senhora do Pilar 84
Santa Rosa 66
Nossa Senhora da Conceição 80 (General-Admiral Lopo Furtado de Mendoça)
Nossa Senhora da Assunção 66


Captain Trivisan (fireship) - Scuttled
Madonna del Rosario (hospital ship) - Sunk


13 Venetian
5 Maltese
4 Papal
2 Tuscan


Ships of the Line

Kebir Üç Ambarlı (The Great Three Decker) 114 (Flagship of Ibrahim Pasha)
Ejder Başlı (The Dragon) 70
Çifte Ceylan Kıçlı (The Two Gazelles) 70
Yaldızlı Hurma (The Gilded Date) 70
Şadırvan Kıçlı (The Sprinkling Fountain) 66
Siyah At Başlı (The Black Horse) 66
Beyaz At Başlı (The White Horse) 66
Kula At Başlı (The Grey Horse) 66
Büyük Gül Başlı (The Great Rose) 66
Yılan Başlı (The Snake) 34 (unique ship with 2x372 pdr "üç kantar" monster guns firing marble balls)
Ifrit Başlı (The Demon) 62
Küçük Gül Başlı (The Little Rose) 60
Çifte Teber Kıçlı (Two Halberds) 58
Yıldız Bagçeli (The Star Garden) 58
Zülfikâr Kıçlı (The Two Pointed Sword) 56
Akçaşehir (Town of Akçaşehir) 56 guns
Servi Bagçeli (The Cypress Garden) 54
Ay Bagçeli (The Moon Garden) 54
Yeşil Kuşaklı (Green Belted) 54
Sarı Kuşaklı (Yellow Belted) 54
Kırmızı Kuşaklı (Red Belted) 52
Al At Başlı (The Red Horse) 52
Yaldızlı Nar Kıçlı (The Gilded Pomegranate) 52


Mavi Arslan Başlı (The Blue Lion) 44
Siyah Arslan Başlı (The Black Lion) 44
Taç Başlı (The Crown) 44
Güneş Kıçlı (The Sun) 44
Kuş Bagçeli Karavele (The Bird Garden Caravella) 44
Yıldız Kıçlı (The Star) 40
Mavi Kıçlı Karavele (The Blue Caravella) 38


  1. Yusuf Alperen Aydın, "Sultan'ın Kalyonları", Istanbul, 2011


  • História da Marinha de Portugal, Editora das Forças Armadas
  • Anderson, Roger Charles (1952). Naval wars in the Levant 1559-1853. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 1-57898-538-2. 
  • Lane, Frederic Chapin (1973). Venice, a Maritime Republic. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-1460-0. 

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