|782||Battle of Nicomedia||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||Invasion of a huge Arab army and victory at the outskirts of Constantinople||782|
|War & Enemy:||
Abbasid invasions of Asia Minor
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Near Nicomedia, modern Izmit in northwestern Minor Asia at the Marmara sea
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Irene of Athens)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Staurakios, John Lachanodrakon||Harun al-Rashid|
|Forces:||Much smaller army||95,793 men|
In retaliation for the sack of Hadath in 779, Arab forces captured Samalu, then Caliph al-Mahdi sent his teenage son Harun al-Rashid and General Yazid ibn Mayzad al-Shaybani on a second expedition into Byzantine Anatolia. It was the largest army sent against Byzantium in the second half of the 8th century: it allegedly comprised 95,793 men, some two times the total Byzantine military establishment present in Anatolia.
Victory at Nicomedia enabled Harun to reach the Bosporus, while secondary forces raided western Asia Minor and defeated the Byzantine forces there. As Harun did not intend to assault Constantinople and lacked ships to do so, he turned back but during his march along the valley of the Sangarius River, east of Nicaea, he was surrounded by the forces of the tagmata under Anthony in his rear and of the Bucellarians under their general Tatzates to his front. The defection of the Armenian general Tatzates, however, allowed Harun to regain the upper hand. The Abbasid prince sent for a truce and detained the high-ranking Byzantine envoys, who included Empress Irene's chief minister, Staurakios. This forced Irene to agree to a three-year truce and pay a heavy annual tribute.
|Aftermath:||The Arabs were dangerously close to Constantinople now.|