The territorial expansion of the two Mediterranean states that since mid 15th century were being conformed in the extremes of their limits will cause one the most interesting historical processes of the Modern Age. Spanish and Ottomans, apart from their self-appointment as defenders of their respective religious faiths, had formed empires wishing to introduce themselves to their contemporaries as universal monarchies. The existence of a religious, political, and military competitor would cause the birth of a myth that will mark the ideology and thought of each state for centuries. Curiously, the Ottomans acquired power once they managed to get rid of the Byzantines -orthodox christians- present in their territory, in a similar way as Spain had just managed to subdue the Nasrids in 1492 with the conquer of the city of Granada.
Although they are two different political and cultural realities, both extremes of the Mediterranean began an ideological and military confrontation that will influence the life in this sea along the 16th and 17th century. The Battle of Lepanto or the Battle of Preveza are the two of the most important military events starring both opponents, confrontations that took place over the decks of the flat boats navigating the Mediterranean, although both the Ottoman Empire and Hispanic Monarchy were more feared for the military power of their land armies. This conflict, regardless of its peculiarities, generates one of the most rich cultural worlds that Europe has lived in its history along the last centuries. East and West, confronted along these centuries in a bloody war, nevertheless fostered the creation of a new culture extending its artistic manifestations to both sides of the Mediterranean. New societies were created where men and religions got mixed, such is the case of the cities devoted to marque, whose influence will be felt in most of the Spanish literature of these decades, with Miguel de Cervantes being one of the most significant examples.
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