Byzantines capture Melitene
The fall of Melitene, miniature from the Skylitzes Chronicle.
934 Jan 1

Byzantines capture Melitene

Malatya, Turkey

In 933, Kourkouas renewed the attack against Melitene. Mu'nis al-Muzaffar sent forces to assist the beleaguered city, but in the resulting skirmishes, the Byzantines prevailed and took many prisoners and the Arab army returned home without relieving the city. In early 934, at the head of 50,000 men, Kourkouas again crossed the frontier and marched toward Melitene. The other Muslim states offered no help, preoccupied as they were with the turmoil following Caliph al-Qahir's deposition. Kourkouas again took Samosata and besieged Melitene. Many of the city's inhabitants had abandoned it at the news of Kourkouas's approach and hunger eventually compelled the rest to surrender on 19 May 934. Wary of the city's previous rebellions, Kourkouas only allowed those inhabitants to remain who were Christians or agreed to convert to Christianity. Most did so, and he ordered the remainder expelled. Melitene was fully incorporated into the empire, and most of its fertile land was transformed into an imperial estate (kouratoreia).