Byzantine Empire Macedonian dynasty
Battle of Marash
Byzantine vs Arabs
953 Jan 1

Battle of Marash

Kahramanmaraş, Turkey

The Battle of Marash was fought in 953 near Marash (modern Kahramanmaraş) between the forces of the Byzantine Empire under the Domestic of the Schools Bardas Phokas the Elder, and of the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla, the Byzantines' most intrepid enemy during the mid-10th century. Despite being outnumbered, the Arabs defeated the Byzantines who broke and fled. Bardas Phokas himself barely escaped through the intervention of his attendants, and suffered a serious wound on his face, while his youngest son and governor of Seleucia, Constantine Phokas, was captured and held a prisoner in Aleppo until his death of an illness some time later. This debacle, coupled with defeats in 954 and again in 955, led to Bardas Phokas' dismissal as Domestic of the Schools, and his replacement by his eldest son, Nikephoros Phokas (later emperor in 963–969).