The Ottoman Turks
overreached themselves in 1683 with an assault on Vienna. The Turkish
army was routed by an alliance of Polish and Western European forces.
Their image of invincibility was shattered at last after 600 years
of seldom-checked expansion.
As the Turks
reeled backward, Venice joined the fray, recovering the region of
the Peloponnese (also known as Morea) that she had lost piecemeal
to the Turks over the prior 150 years. The Venetian advance was finally
halted by the Turks at Negroponte in 1689.
had just 25 years to enjoy her regained territory in peace. In late
1714 the Turks declared war and began an efficient and highly effective
invasion of Morea. The Turkish advance swept the mainland and was
finally stemmed only by the Venetians' successful defense of the island
fortress of Corfu. The Venetians, in turn, followed up on that victory
with a series of successful naval engagements. Then, when even the
recapture of Morea seemed possible, Venice's Austrian allies--who
had been engaging the Turks to the north at Belgrade--decided to accept
the Turks' peace overtures. Venice had no choice but to join in, frustrated
with the recovery of her Morea territory just beyond her grasp.