Byzantine Empire Macedonian dynasty

Bardas Skleros loses to Bardas Phokas
Clash between the armies of Skleros and Phokas, miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
979 Mar 24

Bardas Skleros loses to Bardas Phokas

Emirdağ, Afyonkarahisar, Turke

Basil recalled from exile Bardas Phokas the Younger, a general who had revolted in the previous reign and been interned in a monastery for seven years. Phokas proceeded to Sebastea in the East, where his family demesnes were situated. He came to an understanding with David III Kuropalates of Tao, who pledged 12,000 Georgian horsemen under the command of Tornikios to Phokas' aid.

Skleros instantly left Nicaea for the East and defeated Phokas in two battles, but the latter was victorious in a third. The Battles of Pankaleia, Charsianon, Sarvenis were fought in 978 or 979 between the army loyal to the Byzantine emperor Basil II, commanded by Bardas Phokas the Younger, and the forces of the rebel general Bardas Skleros.

On March 24, 979, the two leaders clashed in single combat, with Skleros cutting the right ear of Phocas' horse with his lance before sustaining a grave wound to the head. The rumour of his death put his army to flight, but Skleros himself found shelter with his Muslim allies. Thereupon the rebellion was subdued without difficulty.

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Last Updated: : Tue Apr 23 2024