|743||Battle of Sardis||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||Victory of Constantine V against the usurper emperor Artabasdos||May 743|
|War & Enemy:||
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Modern Sart (Sartmahmut before 2005) in Turkey's Manisa Province, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Constantine V Kopronymos)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Emperor Constantine V||Usurper emperor Artabasdos|
|Background story:||The Armenian Artavasdus (hellenized as Artabasdos or Artabasdos) was governor of the Armenic theme and had helped Leo, the governor of the Anatolic theme, to overthrow the new Emperor Theodosius III, in 717. This agreement was sealed with the engagement of Leo's daughter Anna to Artabasdos, and the marriage took place after Leo III (the Isaurian) ascended the throne.
Artabasdos was awarded the rank of kouropalates ("master of the palace") and became count of the Opsikion theme. In June 741 or 742, after the accession of Leo's son Constantine V on the throne, Artabasdus resolved to seize the throne and attacked his brother-in-law while the latter was traversing Asia Minor to fight the Arabs on the eastern frontier. While Constantine fled to Amorion, Artabasdos seized Constantinople amid popular support and was crowned emperor.
Artabasdos abandoned his predecessor's religious policy of Iconoclasm and restored Orthodoxy. He was also recognized by Pope Zacharias. However, Constantine was able to gain the support of the Anatolic and Thracian themes and counter-attacked.
The inevitable clash came in May 743, when Artabasdus led the offensive against Constantine but was defeated in Sardis. Later the same year Constantine defeated Artabasdos’ son Nicetas, and on November 2, 743 Artabasdos' reign came to an end as Constantine V entered Constantinople and apprehended his rival.
|Aftermath:||Artabasdus and his sons were publicly blinded and relegated to the monastery of Chora on the outskirts of Constantinople .|