The history of the Mediterranean Sea is the history of naval development and armament. Ships played an important part in the Persian Wars of the Greek city states against the Persian Empire as well as in the Peloponnese War between Sparta and Athens and their allies. The Punic Wars of the Romans saw a lot of naval action as well as their in-house squabbles leading up to Octavian taking power as Emperor Augustus.
The Mediterranean Sea has seen naval warfare since man took to water. But the sea battle that took place in 1571 off the coast of Greece near Lepanto was without precedent. 484 armed naval vessels confronted each other armed with cannons. The historic event shaped the future of the Mediterranean. But how great was its influence on English history?