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1031 Battle of Edessa ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: The Byzantines took the city, in the first success of General Maniakes 1031
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Arabs (Marwanids)
Later Byzantine-Muslim Wars
Battle Type:
City Capture
The Battlefield Edessa Location:
Modern Sanliurfa, Southeastern Turkey
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Romanos III Argyros) The Enemies
Commander: General George Maniakes Unknown
Forces: Unknown Unknown
Background story:
The Battle:
The seizure of Edessa
Soon after the crashing defeat of the Byzantines in Azaz, near Aleppo, the young commander George Maniaces, using clever tactics, managed to destroy a detachment of 800 Arabs. This incident made emperor Romanos III Argyros to appoint Maniakes chief commander of the armies on the Eastern Front. In 1032, Maniakes led a force against Edessa (modern Urfa in southeastern Turkey), which was yielded to him by the Marwanid Emir of Mayyafariqin (Martyropolis). When the Arab leader tried to retake the city, Maniakes defeated and repulsed him. Aleppo remained a Christian possession for the next 50 years.
Noteworthy: A valuable Christian relic was found in Edessa: an apocryphal letter from Jesus Christ to the ruler of the city. The relic was sent to Constantinople and contemporary Greeks got a great thrill out of it. Maniaces became extremely popular.
Aftermath: Maniakes became governor of the territory and, for some years, continued to fight successfully against Islam on the eastern frontier. Later he was sent to Sicily where he recaptured part of the island.