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580-582 Capture of Sirmium  (Sremska Mitrovica) ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: The Avars captured the fortress city securing a base to raid the Balkans 580-582
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Wars against Avars & Slavs
Battle Type:
City Capture
The Battlefield Sirmium Location:
Sirmium (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia)
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Tiberius II Constantine) The Enemies
Commander: Khan Baian (Bayan)
Background story: Large scale Slavic settlement in the Balkans began in the late 570s and early 580s, when perhaps 100,000 Slave poured into Thrace and Illyricum. Following sweeping Avar raids along the Danube Valley to the Black Sea, Slav tribes moved across Thrace towards Constantinople.
The Battle:
Avar horseman
In a threat to the Byzantine Empire’s northern border, Avars under the Khan Baian besieged Sirmium, a large fortified settlement south of the Danube, (modern Sremska Mitrovica), then withdrew when Justin II agreed to pay an annual tribute (574). A fresh advance by Baian again besieged the city, which was starved into surrender after two years. Thus, Baian established a base of operations within Byzantine territory from which he could raid the anywhere in the Balkans unhindered. The Avars were finally persuaded to leave the region only when the Romans agreed to pay 80,000 solidi annually.
Aftermath: The Avars dominated the northern Balkans until the Byzantine victory in 601 at Viminacium.