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1014 Attack on Thessalonica ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: A failed Bulgarian attempt to attack Thessaloniki July 1014
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Conquest of Bulgaria
Battle Type:
Surprise Attack
The Battlefield Thessalonica Location:
Modern Thessaloniki, Northern Greece
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Basil II Bulgaroktonos) The Enemies
Commander: Theophylactus Botaniates Nestoritsa
Forces: Unknown Unknown
Background story: In the summer of 1014 the Byzantine Emperor Basil II launched his annual campaign against Bulgaria. From Western Thrace via Serres he reached the valley of the Strymon river where his troops were halted in Kleidion by a thick palisade guarded by an army under the command of Tsar Samouil.To divert the attention of the enemy the Bulgarian leader sent a large force under his general Nestoritsa to the south to attack the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire, Thessaloniki.
The Battle:
Nestoritsa reached the vicinity of Thessalonica. On the fields to the west of the city he was confronted by a strong army led by the local governor, Theophylactus Botaniates and his son Michael. The son of the governor charged the Bulgarians but was surrounded. In the fierce battle there, the Bulgarians had many casualties and pulled back under the cover of archers. A second attack of Michael and the Byzantine cavalry resulted in a complete defeat for Nestoritsa's troops and they fled. After he had secured Thessalonica, Botaniates join Basil's army at Kleidion.
Aftermath: Later in that summer, Botaniates was defeated in the gorges to the south of Strumitsa and was killed there by Samouil's son Gavril Radomir. Nestoritsa, who survived the defeat, surrendered to Basil II four years later, in 1018.