October 7th 1571. Over three hundred ships of the Holy League overtake the Turkish fleet, moored in the Bay of Lepanto. "The battle at this point was so bloody and terrible that the fire and sea seemed joined as one." Did the harquebusier Cervantes, the day before battle, find a moment to glance across the bay to the island of Ithaca and recall his beloved Homer and the tenacious Ulysses? Come the day, "Don Quixote will be quite simply, a man from La Mancha transfigured into an Homeric hero."