Battle of Adrianople (324)
The Battle of Adrianople was fought on July 3, 324, during a Roman civil war, the second to be waged between the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius. Constantine had, in a previous war, defeated Licinius at the Battle of Cibalae and conquered from him all the Balkan Peninsula, with the exception of Thrace. A peace had been arranged but the relationship between the two emperors remained uneasy. By 324 Constantine was ready to renew the conflict and when his army, in pursuit of a raiding Visigothic, or Sarmatian, crossed into Licinius' territory an opportune casus belli was created; the reaction of Licinius to this incursion was overtly hostile and this induced Constantine to go on to the offensive. Constantine invaded Thrace in force. Licinius encamped his army in a strong position near the major city of inland Thrace. Constantine advanced eastward from Thessalonica until he came to the Hebrus River, on which Adrianople stands, set up his own camp. Licinius arranged his battle line, of 200 stades in length, in a strong position between a height overlooking the town and the confluence of the Hebrus with a tributary.
The two armies remained in position for a number of days before battle was joined, as both sides were reluctant to chance the crossing of the river against a well-prepared and battle-arrayed enemy. Constantine used a ruse to get his troops across the Hebrus. Having noticed a suitable crossing point where the river narrowed and was overlooked by a wooded hillside, he ordered material and ropes to be conspicuously assembled at another place on the river, well away from his chosen crossing, to give the impression that he intended to build a bridge to cross there. On the wooded hillside, he secretly assembled a force of cavalry, he led his cavalry over the river crossing at the narrows, fell on the enemy unexpectedly. The surprise attack was a complete success and the remainder of his army crossed at the same point. With his position on the river outflanked, Licinius' withdrew his forces and took up a defensive position on higher ground. However, this gave Constantine the initiative once more, his attack was again successful.
What followed, in the words of the historian Zosimus, was "a great massacre": Licinius' army, according to Zosimus, received losses of 34,000 dead. During the onslaught, Constantine directed the guard of his overtly Christian standard, the labarum, to move it to any part of the field where his troops seemed to be faltering; the appearance of this talisman dismayed those of Licinius. Constantine, wounded in the thigh, halted his attack at sunset and darkness allowed Licinius and the remains of his force to withdraw to Byzantium, the coast, the safety of his fleet; the battle was one of the largest of the 4th century. Though Zosimus attributes the success of the Constantinian forces to the courage and martial prowess of Constantine himself, whom he alleges to have led the cavalry in person in the charge which broke Licinus' defenses, other contemporary accounts ascribe his success to the discipline of the troops and Constantine's felicitas, his'good fortune'. Constantine's effort to start a civil conflict proved successful, as did his campaign against Licinius.
Following the battle at Adrianople, Constantine moved to besiege Byzantium. At this point in the campaign, control of the narrow waters separating Thrace and Asia Minor became of the utmost importance to both emperors. Constantine's son Crispus commanded his navy in a struggle with the larger fleet of Licinius. Following Crispus' naval victory in the waters of the Hellespont, Constantine crossed with his army into Bithynia, he met Licinius' army in the final battle of the war at Chrysopolis on the Asiatic shore of the Bosporus. Constantine won an overwhelming victory. Yielding to the pleas of his sister Constantia, Constantine spared the life of his brother-in-law, but some months he ordered his execution, thereby breaking his solemn oath. Licinius was suspected of the army command pressed for his execution. A year Constantine's nephew the younger Licinius fell victim to the emperor's anger or suspicions. Constantine became the first man to be master of the entire Roman world since the elevation of Maximian as co-emperor by Diocletian in 285.
Primary source Zosimus, Historia nova, English translation: R. T. Ridley, Zosimus: New History, Byzantina Australiensia 2, Canberra. 1814 English translation at WikisourceSecondary sources Grant, The Emperor Constantine, London. ISBN 0-7538-0528-6 Lieu, S. N. C and Montserrat, D. From Constantine to Julian, London. ISBN 0-415-09336-8 Odahl, C. M. Constantine and the Christian Empire, Routledge 2004. ISBN 0-415-17485-6 Stephenson, P. Constantine: Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor, London Syvanne, I. Military History of Late Rome 284-361 Pen and Sword, Barnsley Yorks
Siege of Adrianople (1912–13)
The Battle of Adrianople or Siege of Adrianople was fought during the First Balkan War, beginning in mid-November 1912 and ending on 26 March 1913 with the capture of Edirne by the Bulgarian 2nd Army and the Serbian 2nd Army. The loss of Edirne delivered the final decisive blow on the Ottoman army and brought to a close the First Balkan War. A treaty was signed in London on 30 May; the city was kept by Turkey in the Second Balkan War. The victorious end of the siege was considered an enormous military success because the defenses of city were developed by leading German siege experts and were dubbed'undefeatable'; the Bulgarian army, after 5 months of two bold night attacks, took the Ottoman stronghold. The victors were under the overall command of General Nikola Ivanov, the commander of the Bulgarian forces on the Eastern sector of the fortress was General Georgi Vazov, brother of the famous Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov and General Vladimir Vazov. One early use of an airplane for bombing took place during the siege: the Bulgarians dropped special hand grenades from one or more airplanes in an effort to cause panic among Turkish soldiers.
Many young Bulgarian officers and professionals who took part in this decisive battle of the First Balkan War played important roles in the politics, culture and industry of Bulgaria. The final battle consisted of two night attacks. Preparations for the battle included covering all metal parts of the uniforms and weapons with tissue, in order to eliminate any shine or noise; the several armies that took part in the siege were put under joint command, creating a prototype of a front. Some light artillery pieces towed by horses followed the advancing units, playing the role of infantry support guns. Attempts were made to perturb all Ottomans' radio communications to isolate and demoralize the besieged. Beginning on 24 March 1913 the external fortifications were captured in one night, in the next night the fortress itself fell into Bulgarian hands. Early in the morning of 26 March 1913 the commander of the fortress, Mehmed Şükrü Pasha, surrendered to the Bulgarian army and thus ended the siege of Odrin.
After the surrender, large parts of the city the houses of Muslims and Jews, were subjected to looting for three days. However, it is disputed who carried out the looting; the Bulgarian achievements up to this point were summarized by a British war correspondent: "A nation with a population of less than five million and a military budget of less than two million pounds per annum placed in the field within fourteen days of mobilization an army of 400,000 men, in the course of four weeks moved that army over 160 miles in hostile territory, captured one fortress and invested another and won two great battles against the available armed strength of a nation of twenty million inhabitants, stopped only at the gates of the hostile capital. With the exception of the Japanese and Gurkhas, the Bulgarians alone of all troops go into battle with the fixed intention of killing at least one enemy." There were a large number of journalists who reported on the Siege of Adrianople, whose accounts provide rich details about this event.
Serbian units involved were the 2nd army under command of general Stepa Stepanović and heavy artillery dispatched because the Bulgarians lacked heavy artillery. Serbian forces under the command of General Stepa Stepanović arrived on 6 November 1912. In the place Mustafa Pasha, General Stepanović reported to the supreme commander General Nikola Ivanov; the Serbian Second army was formed from the Timok Division without the 14th Regiment, the Second Danube Division reinforced with the 4th reserve regiment and the Second Drina artillery division. There was a total of 47,275 Serbian troops with 72 artillery guns, 4,142 horses and oxen and 3,046 cars; the arrival of the Serbian soldiers improved the morale of the Bulgarian troops at Odrin. Both Serbian divisions were sent to the front; the Timok Division strengthened by a Bulgarian regiment occupied the north-western sector between the rivers of Maritsa and Tundzha. Its sector was 15 km long; the Danube Division occupied a 5 km long stretch of the western sector between the Maritsa and Arda rivers.
A combined brigade was formed from the Timok Cavalry Regiment and the Bulgarian guard Cavalry Regiment to scout the Maritsa valley. Zang Tumb Tumb, a poem about the battle, by Italian Futurist writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. David Johnson. "Splendid Fellows, Splendidly Led". Military History magazine. Archived from the original on 2001-08-22. Retrieved 2007-06-02
Edirne known as Adrianople, is a city in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne in the region of East Thrace, close to Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1369 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's fourth and final capital between 1453 and 1922; the city's estimated population in 2014 was 165,979. The city was founded as Hadrianopolis, named after the Roman emperor Hadrian; this name is still used in the modern Greek language. The Turkish name Edirne derives from the Greek name; the name Adrianople was used in English until the Turkish adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1928 made Edirne the internationally recognized name. Bulgarian: Одрин, Albanian: Edrenë, Macedonian: Одрин / Eдрене, Slovene: Odrin and Serbian: Једрене / Jedrene are adapted forms of the name Hadrianopolis or of its Turkish version; the area around Edirne has been the site of numerous major battles and sieges, from the days of the ancient Greeks.
The vagaries of the border region between Asia and Europe gives rise to Edirne's historic claim to be the most contested spot on the globe. In Greek mythology, son of king Agamemnon, built this city as Orestias, at the confluence of the Tonsus and the Ardiscus with the Hebrus; the city was founded eponymously by the Roman Emperor Hadrian on the site of a previous Thracian settlement known as Uskadama, Uskodama or Uscudama. It was the capital of the Bessi, or of the Odrysians. Hadrian developed it, adorned it with monuments, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, made it the capital of the Roman province of Thrace. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, Emperor Valens was killed by the Goths in 378 during the Battle of Adrianople. In 813, the city was temporarily seized by Khan Krum of Bulgaria who moved its inhabitants to the Bulgarian lands north of the Danube. During the existence of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, the Crusaders were decisively defeated by the Bulgarian Emperor Kaloyan in the Battle of Adrianople.
In 1206 Adrianople and its territory was given to the Byzantine aristocrat Theodore Branas as a hereditary fief by the Latin regime. Theodore Komnenos, Despot of Epirus, took possession of it in 1227, but three years was defeated at Klokotnitsa by Emperor Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. In 1361, the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Murad. Murad captured Adrianople in 1369; the city became "Edirne". Murad moved the Ottoman capital to Edirne. Mehmed the Conqueror was born in Edirne, where he fell under the influence of some Hurufis dismissed by Taş Köprü Zade in the Şakaiki Numaniye as "Certain accursed ones of no significance", who were burnt as heretics by a certain Mahmud Pasha; the city remained the Ottoman capital for 84 years until 1453, when Mehmed II took Constantinople and moved the capital there. Edirne is famed for its many mosques, domes and palaces from the Ottoman period. Under Ottoman rule, Edirne was the principal city of the administrative unit, the eponymous Eyalet of Edirne, after land reforms in 1867, the Vilayet of Edirne.
Sultan Mehmed IV left the palace in Constantinople and died in Edirne in 1693. During his exile in the Ottoman Empire, the Swedish king Charles XII stayed in the city during most of 1713. Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, lived in Edirne from 1863 to 1868, he was exiled there by the Ottoman Empire before being banished further to the Ottoman penal colony in Akka. He referred to Edirne in his writings as the "Land of Mystery". Edirne was a sanjak centre during the Ottoman period and was bound to, the Rumeli Eyalet and Silistre Eyalet before becoming a provincial capital of the Eyalet of Edirne at the beginning of the 19th century. Edirne was occupied by imperial Russian troops in 1829 during the Greek War of Independence and in 1878 during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878; the city suffered a fire in 1905. In 1905 it had about 80,000 inhabitants, of. Edirne was a vital fortress defending Ottoman Constantinople and Eastern Thrace during the Balkan Wars of 1912–13, it was occupied by the Bulgarians in 1913, following the Siege of Adrianople.
The Great Powers–Britain, Italy and Russia–forced the Ottoman Empire to cede Edirne to Bulgaria at the end of First Balkan War, which created a political scandal in the Ottoman government in Istanbul, leading to the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état. Although it was victorious in the coup, the Committee of Union and Progress was unable to keep Edirne, but under Enver Pasha, it was retaken from the Bulgarians soon after the Second Balkan War began, it was occupied by the Greeks between the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920 and their defeat at the end of the Greco-Turkish War known as the Western Front of the larger Turkish War of Independence, in 1922. According to the 2007 census, Edirne Province had a population of 382,222 inhabitants; the city is a commercial centre for woven textiles, silks and agricultural products
Battle of Adrianople
The Battle of Adrianople, sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between an Eastern Roman army led by the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens and Gothic rebels led by Fritigern. The battle took place in the Roman province of Thracia, it ended with the death of Emperor Valens. Part of the Gothic War, the battle is considered the start of the process which led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. A detailed account for the leadup to the battle from the Roman perspective is from Ammianus Marcellinus and forms the culminating point at the end of his history. In AD 376, displaced by the invasions of the Huns, the Goths, led by Alavivus and Fritigern, asked to be allowed to settle in the Eastern Roman Empire. Hoping that they would become farmers and soldiers, the Eastern Roman emperor Valens allowed them to establish themselves in the Empire as allies. However, once across the Danube, the dishonesty of the provincial commanders Lupicinus and Maximus led the newcomers to revolt after suffering many hardships.
Valens asked Gratian, the western emperor, for reinforcements to fight the Goths. Gratian sent the general Frigeridus with reinforcements, as well as the leader of his guards, Richomeres. For the next two years preceding the battle of Adrianople there were a series of running battles with no clear victories for either side. In 378, Valens decided to take control himself. Valens would bring more troops from Syria and Gratian would bring more troops from Gaul. Valens left Antioch for Constantinople, arrived on the 30th of May, he appointed Sebastianus, newly arrived from Italy, to reorganize the Roman armies in Thrace. Sebastianus marched towards Adrianople, they ambushed some small Gothic detachments. Fritigern assembled the Gothic forces at Beroe to deal with this Roman threat. Gratian had sent much of his army to Pannonia. Gratian recalled his army and defeated the Lentienses near Argentaria After this campaign, with part of his field army, went east by boat; the former group arrived at Sirmium in Pannonia and at the Camp of Mars, 400 kilometers from Adrianople, where some Alans attacked them.
Gratian's group withdrew to Pannonia shortly thereafter. After learning of Sebastian's success against the Goths, of Gratian's victory over the Alamanni, Valens was more than ready for a victory of his own, he brought his army from Melantias to Adrianople. On 6 August, reconnaissance informed Valens that about 10,000 Goths were marching towards Adrianople from the north, about 25 kilometers away. Despite the difficult ground, Valens reached Adrianople where the Roman army fortified its camp with ditch and rampart. Richomeres, sent by Gratian, carried a letter asking Valens to wait for the arrival of reinforcements from Gratian before engaging in battle. Valens' officers recommended that he wait for Gratian, but Valens decided to fight without waiting, ready to claim the ultimate prize; the Goths were watching the Romans, on 8 August, Fritigern sent an emissary to propose a peace and an alliance in exchange for some Roman territory. Sure that he would be victorious due to his supposed numerical superiority, Valens rejected these proposals.
However, his estimates did not take into consideration a part of the Gothic cavalry that had gone to forage further away. Valens' army may have included troops from any of three Roman field armies: the Army of Thrace, based in the eastern Balkans, but which may have sustained heavy losses in 376–377, the 1st Army in the Emperor's Presence, the 2nd Army in the Emperor's Presence, both based at Constantinople in peacetime but committed to the Persian frontier in 376 and sent west in 377–378. Valens' army included units of men accustomed to war, it comprised seven legions — among which were the Legio I Maximiana and imperial auxiliaries — of 700 to 1000 men each. The cavalry was composed of Scholae. However, these attacked precipitately, while peace negotiations were going on, precipitately fled. There were squadrons of Arab cavalry, but they were more suited to skirmishes than to pitched battle. Ammianus Marcellinus makes references to the following forces under Valens: Legions of Lanciarii, Mattiarii.
The Notitia Dignitatum lists both as legiones palatinae. Some claim. However, mattiarii may refer to mace-armed infantry. Valens is referred to as seeking protection with the Lanciarii and Mattiarii as the other Roman forces collapsed, they were unable to hold off the Goths. A battalion of Batavians. Scutarii and archers; as one or both were under the command of Bacurius the Iberian, these may have been allied auxiliary troops from Caucasian Iberia rather than Roman. He refers to the following officers: Ricimer, Frankish Comes of Gratian's Domestici sent to assist Valens in 376, he offered to act as a hostage to facilitate