|324||Battle of Hellespont (Byzantium)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||Destruction of the fleet of Licinius by Constantine’ s fleet||July 324|
|War & Enemy:||
Romans (Civil War)
Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy (306-324 AD)
|The Battlefield|| Location:
At Hellespont, near Gallipoli, at the Turkish straits
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Constantine I the Great)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Crispus (son of Constantine I)||Abantus|
|Background story:||Emperor Constantine renewed the war against Valerius Licinius, Emperor in the East, and defeated his rival at Adrianople, then immediately besieged him in Byzantium. Licinius left a strong garrison in Byzantium but ferried the greater part of his troops across the Bosporus to the Asian shore. Constantine, if he wished to cross to Asia in order to destroy Licinius' means of further resistance, had to gain control of the sea crossings. Licinius' main army was on the Bosporus to cover this crossing point whilst the bulk of his navy was moved to cover the Hellespontine narrows.|
Constantine’s young son Crispus led a force of 80 vessels into the Hellespont. Admiral Abantus opposed him with a superior fleet of 200 ships. However, the size of the Licinian forces worked against them within the confined waters of the strait. Crispus was able to use his more compact squadrons to outmaneuver his opponent's unwieldy armada and sink many of the Licinian warships.
The Sea Battle in Hellespont, Pietro da Cortona (1635)
Abantus then withdrew to the eastern end of the Hellespont to regroup his forces. Crispus augmented his fleet with reinforcements from the Aegean Sea and the two fleets met again on the following day. The second clash was fought near Gallipoli; a storm blew up which, fortuitously for Crispus, wrecked many of the Licinian vessels on the shore. Abantus' ship was sunk and he only managed to save himself by swimming ashore. All but four of the ships of the Licinian fleet were wrecked, sunk or captured. The Constantinian fleet won an overwhelming victory.