|740||Battle of Akroinos (Acroinum)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A crushing -and rare- Byzantine victory against the Arabs||740|
|War & Enemy:||
Early Byzantine-Muslim Wars
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Akroinon or Akroinos in Phrygia, Asia Minor (modern Afyon , Turkey)
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Leo III)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Emperor Leo III||Abdallah al-Battal & al-Malik ibn Shu'aib|
|Background story:||Following the disastrous Battle of Sebastopolis, the Byzantines had largely confined themselves to a defensive strategy, while the Muslim armies regularly launched raids into Byzantine-held Anatolia. The raids were taking place on a regular basis every summer. After 720, one or two campaigns would be launched, sometimes accompanied by a naval attack or followed by a winter expedition. These were no longer aimed at permanent conquest but rather large-scale raids, plundering and devastating the countryside and only occasionally attacking forts or major settlements.
Progressively, these raids became more important and were led by some of the Caliphate's most prominent leaders. During these expeditions, In 738 and 739, the Arabs had some successes including the capture of the town of Ancyra. For the year 740, Caliph Hisham assembled the largest expedition of his reign, placing it under his son Sulayman ibn Hisham. This army was the largest in recent decades, consisting of three separate divisions with 90,000 men in total.
One of the 3 divisions, 20,000 strong under Abdallah al-Battal and al-Malik ibn Shu'aib, was confronted at Akroinon by the Byzantines.
Leo who was a successful general before becoming emperor, led himself his army in the battle. His son, and future emperor, Constantine V, was there too. Details of the battle are not known, but the Emperor secured a crushing victory: both Arab commanders fell, as well as the larger part of their army. About 6,800, however, resisted and managed to conduct an orderly retreat .
|Noteworthy:||In the Muslim world, the memory of the defeated Arab commander, Abdallah al-Battal , was preserved, and he became one of the greatest heroes of Arab and later Turkish epic poetry as Sayyid Battal Ghazi .|
|Aftermath:||Akroinon was a major success for the Byzantines, as it was the first large-scale victory they had scored in a pitched battle against the Arabs. The victory gave Leo time to consolidate his power and rebuild the walls of Constantinople.|