The Siege of Malta, 1565

The Siege of Malta, 1565

Translated from the Spanish edition of 1568

Francisco Balbi di Correggio

Translated by Ernle Bradford


Boydell Press



An eyewitness account of one of the greatest-ever battles as a few men under the Knights of St John took on a huge Turkish armada.
This is the history of one of the great battles of the world, written by a private soldier who was an eye-witness. The siege of Malta was a crucial moment in the long struggle between Islam and Christendom for domination of the Mediterranean, fought out by unequal forces on the small island which commands the sea-routes at the centre of that sea. The Knights of St John were a survival from the medieval world, the largest of the surviving crusading orders, and they had been driven out of their base on Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean after a great onslaught by the Turks in 1522. Now, forty-three years later, the Turkish ruler, Suleyman the Magnificent, who had been the victor at Rhodes, was determined to finish them off. He sent out a huge armada, carrying the pick of his army, under two commanders. Against this powerful force, the Knights could only raise a handful of men and mercenaries, and had to depend on the fortifications they had raised in the thirty-five years since they first came to Malta, which bore no comparison to the massive walls and ditches on Rhodes. Francisco Balbi di Correggio was a humble soldier of fortune who enlisted under the charismatic command of the Grand Master of the Order, Jean de la Valette. The extraordinary drama that unfolded after the first appearance of the Turkish fleet in the summer of 1565 is told in his own words, giving equal credit to the courage and leadership of the Knights and the grim determination of the ordinary people of Malta.


May 2005
8 black and white, 25 line illustrations
224 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
First Person Singular
ISBN: 9781843831402
Format: Paperback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037030, BIO026000, HIS027000
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This is a carefully-presented, well-translated and well-edited book, with an excellent commentary to accompany the original source documents. (...) Thanks are due to Boydell Press for making this serious academic publication available. BRITISH BULLETIN OF PUBLICATIONS
Will serve as a useful primary source for undergraduates and as well as for scholars. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL
An extremely welcome reprint...of a seminal work on the subject and the prime reference source for all those who have written about the 1565 siege. An extremely readable account. CASEMATE

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