Initially, attacks on Italy seemed to be extensions of the Sicily campaigns. Significant steps were made by the Muslims: establishing of ties with the merchant states, founding of a temporary Islamic state, and the invasion of Rome. After Sicily began to fall to the Normans, the Pope started to use his power to take advantage of the crusading spirit and call international crusades against the Muslims. The next noteworthy Muslim presence occurred during the 13th century when Frederick II established a Muslim colony at Lucera. After it was dismantled, the Muslim impact remained in the form of ambassadors, scholars, etc. Since Rome was the spiritual head of Europe at the time, it came into heavy contacts with the Ottomans. Sultan Muhammad II made use of Italians in all functions of his reign. He died in hopes of conquering the south European nations. Throughout these centuries Italian art from carpets to painting reflected contacts with the Muslim world.
|810-820|| Muslims attack Sardinia, Corsica, etc.; they occupy the Balearic Islands, Nice and parts of Southern Italy. |
|813|| Muslims attack Nice, Corsica, Civita Vecchia (near Rome). |
|836-909|| Aghlabids invade Italy. |
|837|| Muslims first gain a foothold on mainland Italy after coming to the call of the Napolitans against the Lombards of Benevento. |
|838|| Muslims allied with Naples attack the Adriatic coast of Italy temporarily occupying Brindisi after defeating a Venetian fleet. |
|841|| The dynast of Benevento, Radelchis, appeals to the Muslims for aid against his rival Sikenolf, governor of Bari. The Muslims accept and occupy Bari. In response, Sikenolf fruitlessly seeks the aid of the Muslims in Crete against the Muslims in Italy. |
|843|| With the help of Naples, the Aghlabids capture Messina and the strategic Straits of Messina. |
|846|| Pope Leo IV implores the coastal cities of Naples, Amalfi, and Gaeta to join forces against Muslim invasion. Under Cesarius, son of the duke of Naples, the Italian fleets defeat the Muslims (a heavy storm facilitated this victory). Many of the Muslims captured and forced into labor, are used to fortify the Vatican City.|
The Muslims reach the Italian town of Arrezo; the name derives itself from "Saracino" (Saracen was the common name for Muslims). This is the origin for the festival held in this city on the first Sunday of September at the Piazza Grande known as the Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen).
|849-866|| The Muslims occupy the Apulia region of Italy. Mufarraj ibn Sallam declares his independence in Bari occupying 48 fortresses in the region and raiding Napolitan lands. |
|851|| The Muslims in Bari attack Calabria threatening Benevento and Salerno. |
|858|| The Muslims of Bari raid Benevento. They defeat a Frankish relief force. |
|859|| Prince Adelchis of Benevento pays the Muslims tribute. By this time, the Muslims have penetrated Campagna and raid the suburbs of Naples. The Volturno valley and Venafro are occupied. |
|866|| Louis II attacks the Muslims in Italy occupying Matera, Venosa, and Canosa but fails to take Bari.|
The Muslims besiege Ragusa until a relief force led by Nicetas Oryphas arrives.
|869|| Louis II unsuccessfully besieges Bari again. |
|871|| Louis II successfully conquers Bari from the Muslims. |
|872|| Muslims take the offensive in all direction of southern Italy defeating Prince Adelchis of Benevento and his Lombard troops three times. |
|873|| Louis II conquers the Muslims of Capua. |
|875|| Louis II dies. His campaigns against the Muslims prevented their occupation of a larger portion of Italy.|
A Muslim fleet sails up the Adriatic to Grado and sets fire to Comacchio on the return voyage.
|876|| Muslims are joined by Italian states of Naples, Salerno, and Amalfi in attacking the Roman coast. Pope John VIII is forced to pay tribute. |
|880|| Atanasio, the bishop of Naples, appeals to the Muslims for aid. Pope John VIII anathematizes him. |
|881|| Muslims of Sepino, in alliance with Count Guy of Spoleto, occupy the valley of Volturno again after overrunning Isernia and Bojano. |
|882|| Muslims establish a base at Garigliano. |
|886|| The Byzantines wrest Calabria and parts of Apulia from the Muslims. |
|888|| The Muslims defeat a Byzantine fleet near Reggio. In the counterstrike, the Byzantine capture the enemy commander Mujbir ibn Ibrahim. |
|901||After the Byzantines send forces to take advantage of the civil disorder of Muslim portions of Sicily, Abdullah ibn Ibrahim counterstrikes with an attack on Reggio on the Italian mainland.|
|905||The Muslims at Gargliano raid Capua, then in alliance with Naples.|
|911|| Muslims colonize the Alpine Passes. |
|915|| Pope John X, with aid from other Italian states, drives Arabs from their base at Garigliano. Central Italy is freed from Muslim invasions. Some view this victory as the best show of Italian unity during the century.|
Ibn Qurhub sends an expedition against the Italian mainland. Eustathius, the Byzantine strategist of Calabria, pays tribute to the invading Muslims.
|920|| Muslims attack the Italian Piemonte in the east and upon Marseille in the west. |
|925|| Expeditions from Sicily attack the coasts of Lombardy and Calabria. |
|929|| Fatimids raid Naples and Salerno. |
|934|| Fatimids, based in North Africa, capture Genoa. |
|935|| Following the capture of Genoa, a Muslim flotilla defeats a Byzantine fleet sailing in Corsican waters. |
|942|| Muslims occupy Mount Jupiter (Great St. Bernard). |
|952|| Muslims sailing up from al-Madhiyya establish a short-lived mosque in Reggio in southern Italy.|
|956|| Kalbites attack Calabria. |
|972|| St. Maiolus, while returning to Cluny from Rome, is captured by Muslims when he tries to use the St. Bernhard route. Muslims ransom him for 1,000 pounds of silver. |
|976|| Abul Qasim leads a Muslim expedition into southern Italy. |
|982|| The Kalbite forces of Abul Qasim defeat the Frankish Emperoro Otto II in Capo Colonna in Calabria.|
|986|| Muslims occupy Gerace and advance to Cosenza in Italy. |
|994|| Muslims occupy Matera in Italy. |
|999|| Gerbert is consecrated as Pope Sylvester II. Around 952, he entered an abbey. After growing tired of monasticism, he went to Muslim Spain (around 960) where he learned the sciences. He became so learned in these sciences that many in his homeland accused him of acquiring this knowledge via a pact with the devil.|
Abu Bakr ibn Omar al-Gutiya, Andalusian historian and descendent of Gothic Princess Sara, states that Ibn Faruq of Granada sailed from Kadesh into the Atlantic, landed in the Great Canary Islands, and went west to Capraria and Pluitana islands.
|1002|| Venetians take Bari from the Muslims. |
|1005|| The Pisans inflict a heavy defeat on the Muslims in the strait of Messina.|
|1006|| Byzantines, with Pisan aid, repel a Muslim attack. |
|1009|| Muslims again march through Calabria and occupy Cosenza.|
|1011|| Muslims sack Pisa.|
|1012|| Mujahid ibn Abdullah of Denia, with a Muslim fleet from Spain, attacks Pisa (the event is also dated in 1015). Since about 1010, Mujahid looked to establish himself in the Mediterranean with the conquest of the Balearic Islands. |
|1016|| Muslims besiege Salerno. |
|1020|| Muslims in alliance with the Apulian Rayca occupy Bisgnano in Italy. |
|1021|| After seven years of battle, the Pisans and Genoese defeat Mujahid.|
|1029|| Muslims from Sicily with Rayca raid the southern coast of Italy attacking the castle of Obbiano.|
|1031|| Muslims raiding Italy occupy Cassano.|
|1032|| The Byzantines and the Ragusans defeat a Muslim fleet in the Adriatic. Another fleet from North Africa suffers defeat off the west coast of Greece.|
|1074|| The Zirids send a flotilla to attack Nicotra in Calabria in response to Norman incursions in Sicily. The Normans repulse this attack. |
|1084|| Benavert raids the coast of Calabria and the suburbs of Reggio. He takes the monastery of Rocca d'Asino and all its priests captive. This prompts the Norman conflict with the Muslims to take on the aura of a crusade. |
|1088|| Count Roger occupies Butera and exiles the Muslim inhabitants to Calabria.|
|1113|| Zirid ships raid Naples and Salerno.|
|1122|| The Banu Maymun, clients of the Almoravids, sack Nicotra in Calabria.|
|1145|| A bishop from the Outremer (the independent Crusader states in the Middle East) tells the Pope about a wealthy and powerful Christian monarch from the east who has come to aid in the fight against Islam.The Prester John legend enters history with this rumor. The basis for this mythical figure may stem from the victory of the Qara-Khitai people in Central Asia over the Muslim Seljuk Turks in 1141.|
|1177|| Pope Alexander III sends an embassy to the mythical Prester John; it will never return.|
|1202|| The Fourth Crusade is summoned. This one ironically is not carried out against the Muslims but the Christian-held Constantinople. This event agitates bitter feelings between the Greek Orthodox and Catholic realms. The dispute will prove detrimental when the Ottomans rise and Europe is split. |
|1218|| Egypt becomes the target of the Fifth Crusade backed by Italian states seeking commercial dominance. This crusade was marked by heavy naval engagements and failed to achieve its goal. |
|1223|| Frederick II sends another military force to Sicily to crush Muslim opposition. Frederick II begins resettling the Muslim rebels on mainland Italy in a Muslim colony known as Lucera. Some evidence suggests that transfers may have started after the rebellion in 1222.|
|1237|| Frederick II uses the Muslims of Lucera in his military campaigns in Northern Italy. |
|1239|| A leopard keeper is known to exist in the Muslim colony of Lucera; by 1280, up to six Muslim leopard keepers are employed in the colony.|
Muslims of Lucera are among the troops that advance against Frederick's Milanese enemies.
|1240|| Muslims work as camel keepers in Lucera.|
|1243|| Pope Inncocent IV receives Abdullah, brother of Ibn Sab'in, as envoy of the Almohad ruler. |
|1245|| At the Council of Lyons, called by the Pope, Frederick II is criticized for his support for Muslims (which include accusations of taking Muslim concubines), especially his stand on the colony at Lucera. |
|1254|| Giovanni Moro abandons the Hohenstaufen cause and joins Pope Innocent IV.|
|1255|| Pope Alexander IV sends an army against Manfred, son of Frederick II who recently came into conflict with the papacy following the slaying of a papal auxiliary, and his base with the Muslims at Lucera.|
|1260|| Manfred becomes King of Sicily. |
|1264|| Pope Urban IV calls a crusade against Manfred and the Muslims of Lucera (due to their support of Manfred).|
|1265|| A month after being consecrated, Pope Clement IV also calls a crusade against Manfred and his Muslim supporters. The Pope will also preach crusades against the Muslims of Spain and Africa.|
The Pope and other European monarchs receive embassies from the Ilkhans (the Mongol dynasty of Persia) proposing collaboration against the Mamluks of Egypt.
|1266|| Charles of Anjou, brother of Louis IX defeats Manfred, the last Hohenstaufen, at the Battle of Benevento. Receiving papal support to take possession of the Kingdom of Sicily the previous year, Charles of Anjou now becomes King Charles I. Charles I levies heavy taxes on Lucera but permits the practice of Islam. |
|1268|| Muslims rebel in Lucera upon the arrival in Italy of Conradin, Frederick's grandson. |
|1269|| The Muslim rebels in Lucera surrender. Many Muslims become fugitives all over Italy.|
|1270|| Muslims in Lucera find employment in falconry.|
Charles I orders that all Muslim fugitives must be returned to the colony.
|1273|| Ibrahim, captain of the Muslim forces for the Angevins, leads his group to parts of Achaea.|
Leone, a Lucerine Muslim, becomes the captain of the Angevins' Muslim forces in Durazzo. A month later, Musa replaces him as commander of the 200 Muslim stationed.
|1275|| The Muslim knight Riccardo, real name Abu Abdullah, gathers 100 archers from the colony at Lucera to fight in the Angevin campaigns in Durrazo, Albania.|
Ibrahim replaces Musa as commander of the Muslims at Durazzo.
|1276|| Charles I reissues the laws prohibiting Muslims from leaving Lucera. Around this time, Christians from Provence are settled in Lucera.|
|1277|| Charles I grants Musa tax immunity for his service in Durazzo.|
|1278|| Riccardo and Leone select fifty Lucerine laborers to work on the castle at Melfi in Italy.|
|1279|| Charles I orders that fifty-three of the best Muslim archers from Lucera are to be selected to go to Durazzo. |
|1280|| Charles I orders 300 Muslim crossbowmen, under Riccardo, to report to Brindisi for eventual shipping off to Durazzo. They will participate in the unsuccessful siege of Berat's castle.|
|1282|| Charles orders 100 horses to be supplied to the 100 Muslim crossbowmen fighting in the royal army in Sicily. 500 Muslim foot soldiers are recruited for the army.|
|1283|| The Aragonese bring war onto the Calabria region of Italy. Leone, the Muslim knight, leads Muslim soldiers for the royal army in Nicotera in Calabria throughout the 1280s. In this year Musa is ordered to recruit Muslim archers for the army.|
|1284|| Musa, Suleiman, and Salem serve as the captains for the Muslim forces during the siege of Scalea in Italy.|
|1285|| Charles I dies at Foggia.|
|1289|| Charles of Salerno is crowned King of Sicily. He continues the employment of Muslim soldiers as well as Muslim tentmakers and weapons manufacturers.|
Riccardo ascends to the position of captain of the city of Lucera, the only Muslim to hold that position. This same year he is accused of committing crimes against the king's property among other things. Charles II orders his property and possessions seized. Profit from Riccardo's property is used for the War of Sicilian Vespers.
|1294|| The judge Pietro Spitaneta, an exile of Benevento, returns to his city with 1,000 Muslims causing unrest in the region.|
|1295|| Charles II issues a letter to the Muslims of Lucera affirming that he does not want them unjustly disturbed.|
|1296|| Charles II grants the Muslim knight Abd al-Aziz the tenement of Tertiveri. The conditions upon the land grant are similar to the fiefdoms granted to Christian nobles. |
|1298|| The Muslim knight Abd al-Aziz receives a lease for lands from the monastery of Santa Sofia ofBenevento.|
Muslims in Lucera become famous for tentmaking; tents are sent to Lucera for repair and experts were sent from Lucera to Naples.
|1300|| Under the orders of Charles II, Giovanni Pipino, count of Altamura, leads a successful assault on Lucera. The colony is dismantled and many of the inhabitants are enslaved. The mosque is destroyed and no Islamic architecture remains.|
|1302|| Charles II permits the establishment of 200 Muslim hearths in the land of Civitate.|
|1304|| Muslim slaves from Lucera are sought as fugitives.|
|1315|| Muslim slaves left from the dismantled Lucera colony are still known to escape and become fugitives.|
|1328|| Robert the Wise, son of Charles II, orders officials to track down Muslims still residing in southern Italy to tax them for the defense of the kingdom.|
|1344|| Venice negotiates a five-year dispensation from the papacy's sanction against trade in Syria and Egypt as long as no arms or war materials are traded. By the next year, the Republic will open service to Alexandria. |
|1348||The Black Plague reaches Europe devastating populations all over the continent. It is believed that Genoese ships brought the plague over from Caffa, a city on the Black Sea, which Genoa owned at the time. A couple of years earlier, the Golden Horde (Mongol rule in Russia) besieged the city by catapulting infected bodies over the walls of the Crimean city thereby spreading the disease to the population. Caffa proved to have a very profitable slave market where Eastern slaves (mostly Tartars but also Circassians, Armenians, and many others) of both Muslim and Christian origin were brought to Italy.|
|1363|| Following the expansion of Italian trade in the East and the devastating effects of the Black Plague, the Priors of Florence issue a decree on 2nd March to allow the importing of foreign slaves, provided they were not Christian (a provision that did not always hold true). In addition to the ethnic variety brought in from the Caffa markets, slaves from Africa and the Middle East were brought over to serve in the households of Tuscany. By the end of the 15th century, with the loss of the Black Sea markets and the decline of markets in the Levant, this importation of Eastern slaves steadily comes to an end.|
|1397|| In Florence, the incomplete Registro degli schiavi reports that between 1366 and 1397, registered slave traders in the city sold 274 Tatars (majority female), 30 Greeks, 8 Turks, 4 Circassians, 13 Russians, 5 Bosnians or Slavs, 1 Cretan, and some Arabs or Saracens. |
|1400|| Tamerlane, Muslim conqueror from Central Asia, invades Syria and captures Damascus. He disrupts the Damascene trade in pottery and glass in the Mediterranean as part of his policy is to transfer craftsmen to his capital of Samarkand. Ceramics and glassware from Damascus were in demand in many European states, but after its capture and destruction, the industries will never completely recover. Trade in the Mediterranean shifts in favor of Europe. The Venetians employed Syrian techniques of making and painting glass over a century ago into their own craft.|
|1442|| The Mamluk sultan sends the doge of Venice ambassadorial gifts including scarce Chinese porcelain, which will become popular among many of the elite of the Mediterranean. |
|1453|| Constantinople falls to the Ottomans, under Muhammad II, ending the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople is renamed Islampul and eventually the modern Istanbul. A wave of fear grips much of Europe, especially Italy as this is perceived as the fall of Eastern Christian power. Muhammad reportedly had been surprised at the reaction in Italy, given his close relations with some Italian powers and the notion that both Italian and Turks shared a common. Trojan heritage which should have taken pride in a defeat over Greeks. |
|1454|| Venice signs a commercial treaty with the Ottomans.|
|1461|| The Pope publishes his controversial Epistola ad Mahometem, in which he claims the Ottomans are greater than the current Christian rulers and if the Sultan accepts Christianity, the Pope would invest him as successor to the Emperors of Rome.|
|1471|| Scholars have concluded that Venetian diplomatic exchanges with Persian ruler Uzun Hasan between now and 1474 bring Persian artisans, and their influence in various crafts, such as Mahmud al-Kurdi to Venice. |
|1478|| Bernardo Bandini Baroncello flees to Istanbul after murdering Giuliano de' Medici in the "Pazzi Conspiracy." Muhammad II orders the arrest and extradition back to Florence of Bernardo, where he is tried for murder and executed. In appreciation, Lorenzo de' Medici, brother of Giuliano, commissions Bertoldo di Giovanni to make a portrait medal of the Sultan.|
|1479|| Gentile Bellini, sent by the Doge of Venice to Muhammad II, goes to Istanbul where he will paint his famous portrait of the Ottoman ruler. |
|1480|| Ottoman sultan Muhammad II lands in southern Italy and captures Otranto. His death impedes plans of a conquest of Rome. |
|1487|| Egyptian Mamluk Sultan Qait Bay dispatches an embassy to Florence to negotiate a commercial treaty. Among the gifts is a giraffe, among the earliest seen in Europe. The negotiations include discussions about moving Jem Sultan from France.|
In Ancona, officials arrest two agents of Sultan Bayazid. It is believed they may have been assassins sent to rid the Sultan of his brother Jem in France. Their fate is unknown.
|1488|| Ferdinand of Spain sends Innocent VIII a gift of 100 Moors. The Pope distributes the exotic slaves among nobility and cardinals. |
|1489|| Jem Sultan arrives in Rome to the court of Pope Innocent VIII.Jem Sultan develops friendly relations with many at the court especially the pope's son Franceschetto Cibo. Jem rejects an offer by the pope to convert to Christianity. A few days after his arrival, Jem discovers a Turkish assassin sent to kill him. Cibo had the man tortured into confession. |
|1490|| The Pope has Cristoforo Castracano, also known as Macrino and cousin of Boccolino Guzzoni, drawn and quartered. After being removed by the Pope from his fief in Marche de Ancona, Macrino seeks refuge with Bayazid II agreeing to assassinate Jem. In Venice, Macrino is arrested and given to the Pope. Under torture, Macrino admitted to a number of assassins being sent to kill Jem.|
Mustafa Pasha, an Ottoman envoy, meets Innocent VIII to negotiate terms regarding Jem. Mustafa and Jem arranged a meeting where Jem received a letter from his brother. While Mustafa was still in Rome, an envoy from Sultan Qait Bay came to Rome to attempt to pay the pope to have Jem sent to Cairo. The Pope kindly declined after he already accepted payment from Bayazid II.
|1492|| Jem witnesses part of a festival celebrating the Spanish conquest of Granada from the Moors. In a letter to the Pope, King Ferdinand of Spain stated that King Ferrante of Naples covertly assisted the Muslims of Spain during their last hours. |
|1493|| Ottoman envoy Kasim Bey, Chasimpueg in Italian chronicles, arrives in Rome to provide payment for Jem's upkeep to the new Pope Alexander VI. Kasim Bey and Jem have a chance to meet and speak with each other.|
In Ferrara, Ercole I d'Este hires Sabadino Moro (also known as Sabadino Negro), from Cairo, to manage a carpet shop. Sabadino will stay on until 1530.
Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzani al-Fasi (also al-Hassan al-Wazzan), the future Leo Africanus, is born in Spain to a middle class family. His family will soon moved to Fez where he received most of his education. From here he would journey throughout North, West, and Central Africa recording his travels.
|1494|| Twelve Turks attended the ceremony of investiture and coronation of Alfonso II as King of Naples. During Mass, the Turks were excused.|
A dispatched Ottoman embassy, including Kasim Bey, is attacked and robbed in Ancona. Citizens of Ancona rescue Kasim so as to divert wrath of an Ottoman attack. Diplomatic letters fall into the hands of the Pope's enemies.
|1495|| Jem Sultan leaves Rome with French King Charles VIII after over 5 years with the papacy. In Naples, Jem becomes progressively sick and eventually succumbs to an illness, possibly pneumonia, despite attempts by Charles's physicians to help.|
|1496|| An Ottoman envoy comes to Gaeta to discuss payment for Jem's body.While attempting to depart, French troops arrest the Ottoman diplomat and records do not say what became of him. |
|1499|| An Ottoman ship lands on the port of Lecce with the message that if King Federigo of Naples does not turn over Jem's remains, the kingdom would suffer an attack. The King acquiesced and Jem's remains were turned over to the Ottoman envoys. Upon receiving the body of Jem, Bayazid II confirmed friendly relations between Naples and the Ottoman Empire.|
|1500|| The Ottoman navy, under Kamal Rais, defeats the Venetians at the second Battle of Lepanto, also known as Modon. This success allows the Ottoman cavalry to cross the Julian Alps into Italy as far as Vicenza.|
Italian artisans integrate Muslim geometric patterns into their ceramics.
|1504|| Leonardo da Vinci enters into negotiations with Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II to construct a 350-meter bridge over the Bosphorus. Bayazid soon drops the plan.|
|1506|| Sultan Bayazid invites Michelangelo to perform the bridge construction, but negotiations fall through.|
|1507|| Taghri Berdi, a Mamluk ambassador, concludes a treaty in Venice. Taghri Berdi –a man of unclear origin, although likely Spanish Christian or Jewish–aided in the negotiation in 1489 between the Republic and Mamluks concerning Cyprus. Of the 20 treaties between Venice and Mamluk Egypt, this is the only one where the Mamluks sent a representative to the Republic. |
|1514|| The first known instance of the printing of an Islamic book in the West occurs: an Arabic book on the times of prayers printed in Italy under the patronage of the Pope Leo X.|
King Manuel of Portugal sends to Rome gifts and samples of his conquests including a white elephant from India and its two Muslim handlers, a black "moor", and al-Farab, a "Saracen." Al-Farab would stay on to attend the elephant until its death 2 years later.
|1518|| Christian corsairs capture a ship with al-Hasan al-Wazzan on board near Tunis. With Africanus is a draft in Arabic of his book The History and Description of Africa and the Notable Things Therein Contained. The corsairs take him to Rome where Pope Leo X receives him. Soon the Pope frees the captive and baptizes him as Giovanni Leoni (Yuhanna al-Asad, in Arabic), but he becomes known as Leo Africanus.|
|1521|| Leo Africanus stays at Campo Marizio quarter in Rome. A census taken a few years later reveals the names of numerous courtesans such as Maria the Moor. |
|1525|| Leo Africanus completes his correction of Johannes Gabriel's attempt at Latin translation of the Quran. |
|1526|| Leo Africanus finishes his book on his account of his travels in Africa.|
|1533|| Khairuddin Barbarossa raids Sicilian and Italian coasts.|
|1535|| Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici dies. His court included a highly diverse troop including Turkish and Moorish Horsemen, Mongol archers, black African wrestlers, and Indian divers. On his death, this mourning group carried the cardinal on their soldiers from Itri to Rome.|
|1537|| Suleiman the Magnificient declares war on Venice. The island of Corfu and the land around Taranto experience attacks.|
A Venetian printing house publishes an Arabic Quran with intent to sell to Ottoman lands. Due to the numerous errors, most copies were destroyed.
|1538|| Under Admiral Khairuddin Barbarossa, the Ottoman navy defeats a coalition force of Spanish, Venetian, and papal fleets under Andrea Doria at the Battle of Prevesa. Barbarossa then captures the coastal Italian cities of Reggio, Citraro, Sperlonga, and Fondi.|
|1539|| Venice sues for peace with the Ottomans.|
|1543|| Pope Paul III founds the College of Neophytes to assist converts from Islam and Judaism in Rome.|
|1547|| In Venice, Andrea Arrivabene published the first Quran in Italian |
|1550|| Leo Africanus's The History and Description of Africa and the Notable Things Therein Contained is published in Italian. It is held as one of the best accounts of the region until the 19th century. He wrote other works including The Epitome of Muslim Chronicles, The Faith and Law of Muhammad according to the Malikite School of Law, and the collective biographies On Some Illustrious Men among the Arabs (with On Some Illustrius Men among the Jews). |
|1552|| Leo Africanus dies. Many believe he died in Tunis where he returned to Islam.|
|1599|| Uruch Beg, son of a Persian nobleman and one of four secretaries to the Persian ambassador, leaves Isfahan with Sir Anthony Sherley for the countries of Europe.|
|1600|| The journey of Uruch Beg and the Persian ambassador Husayn Ali Beg takes them to Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Prague, and throughout Italy including Rome.|
|1601|| Three members of the party of Husayn Ali Beg covert to Christianity during the ambassador's stay in Rome. The embassy moves on to Spain.|
|1645|| The Ottomans begin an attack on the Venetian island of Candia in retaliation for the capture of a Turkish merchant fleet.|
John Evelyn witnesses the conversion of a Turk and a Jew to Christianity in Rome.
|1854|| Muhammad Ali ben Said, an African slave, enters the service of Russian aristocrat Nicholas Trubetzkoy. With his master, Muhammad (also known as Nicholas Said) will tour Germany, London, Paris, and Italy. In Germany, Said attends a conference with many European leaders leading him to ponder about the plight of his people back in Africa. In 1860, he will set sail for America where he will eventually join the Union army in the Civil War.|
|1929|| King Amanullah of Afghanistan abdicates and is exiled to Italy.|
|1944|| Goums, Moroccan regiments in the French army, play a significant part in the Allies' capture of Rome. Prized for their mobility in mountainous terrain and clad in their striped djellaba-s (long traditional dresses) accompanied by a supply train of 4000 mules, the Goums traversed the thought-to-be impregnable Aurunci Massif range. Despite distinguishing themselves in battle, many Goums are cited for atrocities against Italian civilians—an incident of rape from this will provide the backdrop for a future Sophia Loren movie. Goums will go on to serve in liberating Marseilles with Algerian counterparts in Germany; they previously participated in campaigns in Sicily. Following the War, they will serve in Indochina.|