Battle of Zonchio, 1499

Contemporary depiction of the Battle by an unknown Venetian artist. Original in the collection of the British Museum.

Location Cape Zonchio, Ionian Sea
Year
1499
AD/BC
AD
History

During the Second Ottoman-Venetian War, a large Ottoman fleet was assembled in the Aegean under Kamal Reis. Consisting of sixty-seven galleys and about 220 smaller ships, it greatly outnumbered the Venetian force of forty-seven galleys and 117 smaller ships sent to engage it. Worse for the Venetians, their commander, Antonio Grimani, did not have very good control of his fleet, and suffered from indecisiveness. He also had trouble getting his captains to follow orders to attack. The first skirmish was on 12 August, 1499, and refusal of many Venetians to attack and Grimani's indecisiveness resulted in a Venetian defeat. A week later, they tried again, but for some reason only sent out two ships. Inexplicably, they reportedly returned unharmed. The two fleets clashed twice more, on the 20th and 25th, with the final fight resulting in the collapse of the organization of the Venetian armada, and its withdrawal. Upon returning home, Grimani was arrested and banished, but would become the duke of Venice in 1521.