|1390||Capture of Philadelphia||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||The Turks took the last Byzantine outpost in Asia with the help of Byzantium||1390|
|War & Enemy:||
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Modern Alasehir, in Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Turkey
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: John VII Palaiologos)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Sultan Bayezid I|
|Background story:||After the capture of Nicomedia by the Ottoman Turks in 1337, the city of Philadelphia was the last city in Asia Minor that remained -for several decades- Christian and Byzantine.
Philadelphia had evaded the fate of other Byzantines cities in Anatolia due to its remote location up in the Lydian hills, its strong fortifications and by paying tribute to the numerous bands of Turks and other fanatical Muslims who were pillaging Anatolia during the 14th century.
In other words, Philadelphia, although still free, had agreed to pay the capital tax (Jizya) that, according to the Islamic law, was imposed on non-Muslim conquered states.
In theory, Philadelphia was still part of the Byzantine Empire, but being away from the sea and in the middle of a vast Turkish-occupied territory, it was virtually independent and, at the time of its capture, more under the influence of the state of the Knights of Rhodes.
In the Byzantine civil war of 1376-1379 the Ottoman Turks helped the Byzantine Emperor John V Palaiologos to regain his throne. But Byzantium was now a vassal state under the Ottomans and John V’s son Manuel (later Emperor Manuel II) was sent as an honorary hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I at Prousa. During this period Manuel was forced to witness and even participate in the destruction of many Greek cities by the Turks.
The Byzantines, in exchange of Turkish support in the Civil War, had also agreed to hand over Philadelphia to the Turks, since 1378. Apparently, the Philadelphians ignored this arrangement and refused surrender. In 1390, Sultan Bayezid summoned the two leaders of the civil war, John VII and Manuel II and ordered them to accompany the besieging Turkish force.
The co-emperors submitted to the degradation, and Philadelphia surrendered when it saw the imperial banner hoisted among the horse-tails of the Turkish pashas above the camp of the besiegers. The humiliation of the empire could go no further than when the heir of Justinian and Basil Bulgaroktonos took the field at the behest of a Turkish Emir, in order to extinguish the last relics of freedom in his own country.
|Noteworthy:||The city is best known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation.|
|Aftermath:||The last Byzantine outpost in Asia Minor was lost. The fall however, was of little strategic consequence, since Byzantine sovereignty in Anatolia was gone long ago.|