MERIAN, Matthäus (1593–1650) – PUGNA NAUTICA INTER MELITENSES – 1647


MERIAN, Matthäus (1593–1650) – PUGNA NAUTICA INTER MELITENSES – 1647


MERIAN, Matthäus (1593–1650)

Title of Map: PUGNA NAUTICA INTER MELITENSES, ET TURCOS IN MARI MEDITERRANEO, / Treffen zwischen den Maltesern und Türcken in dem Mittellándisehen Meer, A. 1645.

Area Depicted: Battle in the Mediterranean sea.

Author: John Peter Lotichius (1598-1669)


Place: Frankfurth Year: 1647

Engraving size: 203 x 330 mm

Verso: blank

Printing method: copper engraving

Description: Finely engraved and labeled naval battle scene between Maltese galleys and the Ottoman Turks. Although labeled 1645 this detailed copperplate engraving certainly depicts an action on September 28, 1644 between six Maltese galleys and a fleet of Ottoman galleons. The galleys San Lorenzo, Santa Maria, Vittoria and others engaged a Turkish convoy carrying pilgrims bound for Mecca. The Maltese killed many pilgrims and took almost 400 prisoners as slaves including by some reports one of the Sultan’s wives and her son.

The Maltese San Lorenzo, Santa Maria and Vittoria overhauled and attacked a Turkish galleon, while San Giuseppe and San Giovanni captured a smaller sailing ship and the capitana chased a vessel which turned out to be Greek, before returning to fight the galleon. The picture shows exactly these actions: on the right, three galleys labelled S. Laurentz, S. Maria and Victoria surrounding a ship labelled Türckische Galleon; in the middle, two others labelled S. Iohann and S. Ioseph engaging another Turkish sailing vessel; and on the left, another galley labelled Capitaine de Malte engaging a vessel labelled Griechisches Schiff.

There’s also Rhodes in the background, and a convoy of other Turkish ships in the background on the far right; all of this also matches the description On their voyage home the Maltese stopped in Crete, then a possession of Venice, for a few days. This apparent collusion between the Maltese and Venetians, previously at peace with the Turks, served as a pretense for the Cretan war between the Turks, Venice and Malta between 1645 and 1669.


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