Morea Lost to the Ottoman Turks

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.

Location mapVenice 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.



1998-2000 C. I. Gable