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1084 Battle of Larissa ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: The invading Normans were defeated and left Greece 1084
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Byzantine-Norman War
Battle Type:
Pitched Battle
The Battlefield Larissa Location:
Modern Larissa in Thessaly in central Greece
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Alexios I Komnenos) The Enemies
Commander: Emperor Alexios I Komnenos Bohemond (son of Guiscard)
Forces: Unknown Unknown
Background story: After the capture of Dyrrhachium (1082), the Normans proceeded to take most of northern Greece without facing much resistance. While Robert Guiscard was in Kastoria, he was informed that regions in South Italy were in revolt. He also learned that the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, was at the gates of Rome and besieging Pope Gregory VII, a Norman ally. The byzantine Emperor Alexius I had negotiated with Henry and given him 360,000 gold pieces in return for an alliance. Henry responded by invading Italy and attacking the Pope. Guiscard rushed to Italy, leaving his son Bohemond in command of the army in Greece.
Alexius, desperate for money, ordered the confiscation of all the church's treasure and was able to mustered an army near Thessalonica. Bohemond defeated Alexius in two battles: one near Arta and the other near Ioannina (or Dyrrhachium, again). This left Bohemond in control of Macedonia and nearly all of Thessaly.
The Battle:
Norman warriors
After these victories, Bohemond advanced with his army against the city of Larissa. Meanwhile, Alexius had mustered a new army and with 7,000 Seljuk Turks, he advanced on the Normans at Larissa and defeated them. The demoralized and unpaid Norman army returned to the coast and sailed back to Italy.
Noteworthy: Alexius granted the Venetians a commercial basis in Constantinople and an exemption from trading duties, in return for their aid. This looked like a good idea at the time, but it was a fatal error that contributed to the decline and fall of the Empire.
Aftermath: After this defeat, the Normans lost all their gains in Greece and after the death of Guiscard in 1085, they left Byzantine territory. In the meantime, the Venetians recaptured Corfu and Dyrrhachium for Byzantium.