|1038||Battle of Rometta (Ramietta)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A Byzantine victory against the Arabs of Sicily||1038|
|War & Enemy:||
Arabs (of Sicily)
Norman Conquest of Southern Italy
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Town of Rometta in Sicily 180 km east of Palermo and about 12 km west of Messina
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Michael IV the Paphlagonian)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||General George Maniakes||Unknown|
|Background story:||The great Byzantine commander George Maniakes led a determined attack on Muslim Sicily with a force including Normans from Italy and Varangians under Harald Hardrada of Norway. |
Assisted by discord among the Saracens and strengthened by wide support among Sicilians, the Byzantine forces first captured Messina, then secured a bloody victory at nearby Rometta, and moved on to Syracuse. In a four-year campaign Maniakes swept across the island to threaten Palermo itself.
Maniakes' greatest enemy, however, was not in Sicily but in Constantinople. Intrigues at the Byzantine court led Emperor Constantine IX to recall of Maniakes in 1042 and replacing him by Skleros (brother of his lover). Maniakes revolted but he was killed in a skirmish in Greece. Soon after his departure, the Muslims recovered Sicily.
|Noteworthy:||Harald Hardrada, the chief of the Varangian unit, later became king of Norway.|
|Aftermath:||The Byzantine break was short. The Arabs soon took the island back. Maniakes' successes there inspired the Normans to invade later Sicily themselves.|