|601||Battle of Viminacium (Battle of Kostolac)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A Byzantine victory with heavy losses for the Avars||601|
|War & Enemy:||
Wars against Avars & Slavs
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Near the town of Kostolac on the Danube river, in Serbia
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Maurice (Mauricius))||The Enemies|
|Commander:||General Priscus||Khan Baian|
|Background story:||The Avars arrived in Europe in the late 550s. Although their identity would not last, they had a serious impact on the events in medieval Balkans. They were a nomadic Turkic group that had lost a war against other nomads further east, and settled in the Carpathian basin, subjugating the many small Slavic tribes. They had crushed the Gepid Kingdom and pushed the Lombards into Italy.|
After several campaigns to stabilize the Danube frontier, Emperor Maurice sent General Priscus to confront the Avars (who had been raiding the Balkans for 20 years) under Khan Baian in their homeland, north of the Danube. A series of engagements in the Tisza Valley saw Priscus defeat the Avars, including a major victory at Viminacium (modern Kostalac, Serbia). The Byzantine infantry withstood repeated charges from Avar cavalry, who were beaten off with heavy losses.
The death of Maurice in a coup (602) helped secure a temporary peace.
|Aftermath:||It was the first success of the Byzantines against the Avars. It was also a blow to the prestige of the Avars who until then had a reputation of being invincible.|