Battle of Curzola

Battle of Curzola (today Korčula,[10] southern Dalmatia, now in Croatia) was a naval battle which was fought on September 9, 1298 between the Genoese and Venetian navies; it was a disaster for Venice, a major setback among 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.

Battle of Curzola
Part of the War of Curzola
The triumph of Lamba Doria in the Battle of Curzola by Fedele Fischetti.png
The Triumph of Lamba Doria
DateSeptember 8, 1298[1]
Location42°52′3.000″N 16°58′23.999″E / 42.86750000°N 16.97333306°E / 42.86750000; 16.97333306Coordinates: 42°52′3.000″N 16°58′23.999″E / 42.86750000°N 16.97333306°E / 42.86750000; 16.97333306
Result Genoese victory[1][5][6]
Flag of Genoa.svg Republic of Genoa
 Republic of Venice
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Genoa.svg Lamba Doria
Republic of Venice Andrea Dandolo
Republic of Venice Matteo Quirini
66–75 galleys[2][4][9] 95 galleys[6][3][9][10]
Casualties and losses
Heavy[8] 7,000–9,000 killed
5,000–7,000 captured
65–83 galleys lost
Battle of Curzola is located in Croatia
Battle of Curzola
Location within Croatia


The battle took place in the channel between the island of Curzola (Korčula) and the mainland peninsula of Sabbioncello (Pelješac), and ashore, where Venetian men had been landed on the island's far side. The Venetians were led by Admiral Andrea Dandolo, son of Doge Giovanni Dandolo, and the Genoese by Lamba Doria, whose son was killed in the fighting: "Throw my son overboard into the deep sea," Doria was said to have ordered: "What better resting place can we give him?".[citation needed]

Venetian galley at Curzola

The fleets of the two states were apparently equal in number, but, after the Venetians ran their galleys aground while trying to capture the Genoese galleys, Doria exhibited superior strategy and managed to inflict a resounding defeat on his enemies. The disaster seemed almost complete for Venice: 83 of their 95 ships were destroyed and about 7,000 men were killed.[10] The Genoese were victorious and Dandolo committed suicide in his first days of captivity. Venice suffered heavy losses, but she managed to immediately equip another 100 galleys and sought to obtain reasonable peace conditions that did not significantly hamper its power and prosperity.[citation needed]

According to a later tradition (16th Century) 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 (Ayas) is unclear.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Bradbury, Jim (2004). The Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare. London.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wislicenus, Georg (2007). Deutschlands Seemacht. Leipzig.
  3. ^ a b c d Ersch, Johann Samuel (1846). Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste: 25.Theil. Leipzig.
  4. ^ a b c d e Damberger, Joseph F. (1851). Synchronistische Geschichte der Kirche und der Welt im Mittelalter: Vol.12. Regensburg.
  5. ^ a b Kleinhenz, Christopher (2004). Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia: Vol.1. New York.
  6. ^ a b c d Leo, Heinrich (1829). Geschichte der italienischen Staaten: -4. th. Vom Jahre 1268 bis 1492. Hamburg.
  7. ^ a b c Bianchi Giovini, Aurelio (1871). Storia dei papi da san Pietro a Pio IX. Milan.
  8. ^ a b c Hazlitt, William Carew (1860). History of the Venetian republic: Vol.2. London.
  9. ^ a b c d Smedley, Edward (1832). Sketches from Venetian history: Vol.1. New York.
  10. ^ a b c d Nicol, Donald M. (1988). Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-34157-4.
  11. ^ a b Società ligure di storia patria (1984). Genova, Pisa e il Mediterraneo tra Due e Trecento. Genoa.
  12. ^ Polo, Marco; Latham, Ronald (translator) (1958). The Travels of Marco Polo, p. 16. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044057-7.

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