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Battle of Curzola
Battle of Korčula
Date September 9, 1298
Location near Korčula (Curzola) island, now in Croatia
Result Genoese victory
Belligerents
Flag of Genoa.svg Republic of Genoa  Republic of Venice
Commanders
Lamba Doria Andrea Dandolo
Strength
78 ships[1] 95 ships
Casualties and losses
Unknown 85 ships
9,000 dead
7,000 prisoners

The naval battle known as the Battle of Curzola (or Battle of Korčula[2], from the modern name of the place) was fought on September 9, 1298 between the fleets of Genoa and Venice. It was one of many battles fought in the 13th and 14th centuries between Pisa, Genoa and Venice in a long series of wars for the control of Mediterranean and Levantine trade.

The battle took place in the seas of southern Dalmatia (now in Croatia); more precisely, in the channel between the island of Curzola (now Korčula) and the mainland peninsula of Sabbioncello (Pelješac). The Venetians were led by Admiral Andrea Dandolo, son of Doge Giovanni Dandolo, and the Genoese by Lamba Doria. The Genoese were victorious and Dandolo was killed in the fighting.

Venice suffered heavy losses but she managed to immediately equip another 100 galleys and to obtain reasonable peace conditions that did not significatively hamper its power and prosperity.

According to a later tradition recorded by Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Marco Polo was one of those among the Venetian prisoners and he dictated his famous book during the few months of his imprisonment; but whether he was actually caught at this battle or at a previous minor engagement near Laiazzo is unclear.[3]

Nevertheless, the enthusiastic people of Korčula re-enact this battle each September and pay tribute to Marco Polo as one of the loyal Dalmatian subjects of Venice who risked their lives in defense of the Republic.

References

  1. ^ Anonymous Genoese (14th century); Nicholas Jean (translator) (1983);De vitoria facta per januenses contra venetos in gulfo venecianorum prope ysolam scurzule from Le poesie storiche, p. 134. Genoa: A Compagna
  2. ^ Nicol, Donald M.; Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations; Cambridge University Press, 1992 ISBN 0-52142-894-7; pp. 219 [1]
  3. ^ Polo, Marco; Latham, Ronald (translator) (1958). The Travels of Marco Polo, p. 16. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 1-140-44057-7.

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