|692||Battle of Sebastopolis||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A victory of the Arabs ending a short period of Byzantine supremacy||692|
|War & Enemy:||
Early Byzantine-Muslim Wars
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Sebastopolis (mostly identified with Sebaste in Cilicia, but also, it could be modern Sulusaray)
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Justinian II Rhinotmetos)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||General Leontios||Muhammad ibn Marwan|
|Background story:||After the unsuccessful siege of Constantinople (674-678), the Arabs withdrew and almost immediately they were defeated in Lycia and Anatolia by the forces of Constantine IV. This reverse of fate forced Caliph Muawiyah to seek a truce with Byzantium. According to the treaty the Arabs had to evacuate the Aegean Islands and pay an annual tribute of 50 slaves, 50 horses and 3,000 pounds of gold.
When Justinian II, son of Constantine IV, became emperor, he managed to increase this amount and recaptured partly Cyprus. The stabilization in the East allowed Justinian to turn his attention to the Balkans which were under the control of various Slavic tribes (and Bulgars). Justinian moved troops from Anatolia and in a large-scale military campaign (688-689) was able to dominate in the Balkans again. The subdued Slavs were resettled in Anatolia, where they were to provide a military force of 30,000 men. Emboldened by the increase of his forces in Anatolia, Justinian now renewed the war against the Arabs.
The Byzantine army was reinforced with a special corps of 30,000 Slavs under their leader Neboulos. The Arabs bribed the Slavs and 20,000 of them joined the enemy and turned against the Byzantines. This development caused a disastrous defeat of the Byzantines.
The only number that is known about this battle is the 30,000 Slav auxiliaries who took part in it . Obviously this was not a minor battle.
The defeat also led directly to the revolt of the Armenian patrician Symbatius who subjected southern Armenia to the Arabs.
|Noteworthy:||Emperor Justinian II massacred the remaining Slavs, including women and children, at the Gulf of Nicomedia|
|Aftermath:||After a short break the Arab threat was revived. The Arabs stopped paying the tribute and started to be aggressive again. So one of the rare periods that the Arabs were paying the Byzantines, in exchange for peace, ended.|