Miguel de Cervantes & the Battle of Lepanto, by Sarah Metts

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Statue of Miguel Cervantes in Nafpaktos(Lepanto) old venetian port .

By Sarah Metts, Catholic Exchange, October 8, 2021

Sarah Metts is a freelance writer and an aspiring Spanish historian. 

Miguel de Cervantes, who would one day write the great novel Don Quixote, was born in 1547 in Spain. His family had at one time held influence in society. By the time Cervantes was born, his father was poor and often had to travel in search of work. After studying under the Jesuits in Seville, Cervantes began a career as a soldier, and would find himself in the middle of one of the most important Christian military battles of all time—the battle of Lepanto.

By the 1500s, the Ottoman Empire’s naval fleet had become very powerful. They controlled most of the Mediterranean and often attacked parts of the Spanish and Italian coastlines, forcing the Christian inhabitants into slavery in North Africa. …