Lepanto 1571: The Greatest Naval Battle of the Renaissance by Angus Konstam

By Angus Konstam

For far of the sixteenth century the Mediterranean was once a battleground among Christians and Muslims. A decisive conflict among huge galley fleets used to be anticipated to choose the destiny of the full Mediterranean basin. In August 1571, an Ottoman fleet of a few 235 galleys encountered the marginally smaller Christian fleet of the Holy League. In a 5 hour melee the Christians inflicted a decisive defeat at the Turks. Lepanto was once the final nice galley struggle of all time and the most decisive naval battles in historical past. This ebook info the process the most an important army campaigns of the Renaissance.

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Conservatives' such as Plato, drew from it the inference that the law of the state could be brought into exact equivalence with Natural Law, and thus could be all-binding and immutable; whereas 'revolutionaries', the first of whom were the Sophists, strangers to Greece and therefore with no vested interest in the Athenian state, concentrated on the temporality of all human laws, their very impossibility of being universal and therefore inviolable: 'Socrates, despite his distinction between what is naturally right and legally right, pronounced the laws of Athens to be right' without qualification, but 'To the Sophists the laws were not venerable because of tradition or by reason of having stood the actual test of life in the city-state: they were artificial constructs and served the interests of the powerful (Thrasymachus)'.

Even Hobbes did not deny the existence of Natural Law as the product of reason, but instead located its field of operation beyond the individual's reason and conscience, as if these are not inborn gifts but exist as collective agreements or imposed rules. Machiavelli, again, does not deny Natural Law, but chooses instead largely to ignore it, dwelling on the conflicts of temporal realpolitik without looking for ultimate moral answers. Thomas More in Utopia dramatises the clash between an Aquinas and a Machiavelli, Natural Law theorist and sceptical pragmatist.

We are dealing with a concept which is elusive, to some vague and unacceptable, and always disputable in particular applications, but self-evidently powerful and central to human, social existence and to all legal systems. It has equivalents in cultures as diverse as Japanese {kejime) and Australian Aboriginal (law of the land'), as well as in those taking guidance from some 'divine book' such as the Christian Bible or the Moslem Koran. There is a larger story to be told, beyond the scope of this book, tracing the fortunes of Natural Law thinking as it has informed historical, political events.

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