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363 Battle of Samarra ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: A skirmish without winner that caused the death of emperor Julian 26 June 363
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Sassanid Persians
Later Roman-Persian Wars
Battle Type:
The Battlefield Samarra Location:
Samarra, Iraq
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Julian the Apostate) The Enemies
Commander: Emperor Julian Merena
Forces: Unknown Unknown
Background story: After the victorious battle of Ctesiphon, Julian had to retreat realizing that Ctesiphon was too strongly defended to be taken while his army was running out of supplies. So decision was taken to retreat to the north. The Sassanid army , implemented a scorched earth policy while harassing Romans all their way back to Roman Mesopotamia.
The Battle:
Julian the Apostate
After a few days of retreating through the enemy territory, despite inflicting the Persians heavy losses in the battle of Maranga, the Roman army was attacked near Samarra. The Persians hit first against the rear guard of the Roman column. Then they fell on the center and the left wing of the Romans.
Julian hastened to rally his forces against the Persians, without wearing his body armor. He managed to raise their morale and reverse the possibility of collapsing but his personal guard was dispersed during the fighting and Julian was fatally hit on his back by a spear. After receiving medical treatment, he returned to the battlefield. The battle continued indecisively until nightfall. Julian died from his wound, in his tent, a few hours later.
Noteworthy: According to ecclesiastical tradition, dying Julian took his hand full of blood and cast it into the air saying: Thou hast vanquished man of Galilee !
Aftermath: The Roman troops elected Jovian as the new Emperor, who in order to extract his army negotiated a humiliating settlement with the Persians, granting them 5 provinces of northern Mesopotamia (including the city of Nisibis)