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"The Siege of Corinth" is a tragic narrative poem first published in 1816. It was inspired by the Ottoman siege of the Venetian-held Acrocorinth in 1715.
The poem is the fifth in the series of Byron's Oriental Romances or Heroic Tales - the other poems being "The Giaour", "The Bride of Abydos", "The Corsair", "Lara" and "Parisina".
In addition to detailing the resistance of the Venetian garrison to the fierce Ottoman onslaught, the poem sees the night before the final attack through the eyes of one of the Ottoman commanders, Alp, a Venetian renegade. In former times, Alp, then known as Lanciotto, had sought the hand of the beautiful Francesca, daughter of Minotti, the current governor of the Christian garrison. His suit refused, and further, being falsely denounced by anonymous accusers, Alp repudiates his nationality, religion, and name and enlists to fight under the banner of Venice's Ottoman enemy.
Francesca appears to Alp the night before the final assault and entreats him to forgive his accusers, return to Christianity and spare the Venetian stronghold.
Public Domain (P)2021 Rob Goll