|1211||Battle of the Antioch on the Meander||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A prestigious victory of the Byzantines against the Seljuk Turks||1211|
|War & Enemy:||
Seljuk Turks (Rum)
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Antioch on the Meander (a few km southeast of Kuyucak, Aydin Province, Turkey)
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Theodore I Laskaris)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Emperor Theodore I Laskaris||Sultan Kaykhusraw I|
|Forces:||2000 including 800 Frank knights||Unknown|
|Losses:||Heavy. The Sultan also was killed.|
|Background story:||Following the fall of Constantinople to the Latins of the 4th Crusade (1204) and the partition of the Byzantine Empire, the Seljuk Sultan of Rum, Kaykhusraw I, had given asylum to the -terrible- former emperor of Byzantium Alexios III (r. 1195–1203). The sultan used the pretext of assisting Alexios back to power to attack Theodore Laskaris who was crowned Byzantine emperor in Nicaea in 1208. This new state was to become known as the Empire of Nicaea, though its emperors always claimed to be the rightful "Emperor of the Romans" (Byzantine emperor).
Having failed to persuade Theodore to abdicate in favor of Alexios, the sultan invaded Theodore’s territory in the spring of 1211.
The Seljuk army was initially victorious with Laskaris' 800 Latin mercenary cavalry bearing the brunt of the casualties due to their impetuous charge; exhausted by the effort in their attack, the Latins were struck in the flank and rear by the Seljuk forces. However, the Seljuk troops stopped the fight in order to plunder the Nicaean camp, allowing Theodore's forces to rally and counter-attack the now disorganized Turks.
Theodore I Lascaris
Theodore sought out Kaykhusraw I and engaged him in single combat, killing him. Sources relate that Laskaris was initially unhorsed by the sultan, but he subsequently brought Kaykhusraw down by hacking at his mount's legs; once the sultan was thrown to the ground, Laskaris killed him with a thrust of his sword.
The Seljuk forces were routed and the former emperor Alexios, Laskaris' father-in-law, was captured and imprisoned, ending his days in enforced monastic seclusion.
|Aftermath:||The Turkish defeat ensured continued Nicaean hegemony of the Aegean coast of Asia Minor|