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List of Byzantine wars

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Title: List of Byzantine wars  
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Subject: Byzantine army, Byzantine Empire, Hetaireia, Byzantine military manuals, Domestic of the Schools
Collection: Byzantine Empire-Related Lists, Lists of Wars by Country, Wars Involving the Byzantine Empire
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List of Byzantine wars

This article is part of the series on the military of the Byzantine Empire, 330–1453 AD
Structural history
Byzantine army: East Roman army, Middle Byzantine army (themes • tagmata • Hetaireia), Komnenian-era army (pronoia), Palaiologan-era army (allagia) • Varangian Guard • Generals
Byzantine navy: Greek fire • Dromon • Admirals
Campaign history
Lists of wars, revolts and civil wars and battles
Strategy and tactics
Tactics • Siege warfare • Military manuals • Fortifications (Walls of Constantinople)

This is a list of the wars or external conflicts fought during the history of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire (330–1453). For internal conflicts see the list of Byzantine revolts and civil wars.


  • 5th century 1
  • 6th century 2
  • 7th century 3
  • 8th century 4
  • 9th century 5
  • 10th century 6
  • 11th century 7
  • 12th century 8
  • 13th century 9
  • 14th century 10
  • 15th century 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • Sources 14

5th century

6th century

7th century

  • 602–628: Final Byzantine-Persian war.
  • 626: Avar siege of Constantinople.
  • 633–642: Beginning of the Muslim conquests. Fall of Syria (634–638) and Egypt (639–642).
  • 645–656: Renewed war with the Caliphate, loss of Cyprus and most of Armenia. The Muslim onslaught towards Constantinople was halted following the outbreak of the First Fitna.
  • 647–709: Umayyad conquest of North Africa.
  • 668–678: Renewed attacks on the Byzantine Empire by Muawiyah, leading to the First Arab Siege of Constantinople. Following its failure, a truce was agreed, providing for payment of tribute, men and horses to the Empire.
  • 680–681: Constantine IV's campaign against the Bulgar khan Asparukh ends in defeat, forcing the Empire to recognize the establishment of Bulgaria in Moesia.
  • 686–688: Successful Byzantine offensive established Byzantine control over Armenia and Caucasian Iberia, followed by favourable peace agreement with the Umayyad Caliphate, in return for the withdrawal of the Mardaites into the Empire.
  • 688–689: Balkan campaign of Justinian II secured the coast between Thrace and Macedonia. Many Slavs were captured and resettled in imperial territory. Over 30,000 were incorporated into the Byzantine army.
  • 688/689: Byzantine offensive into Syria and Lebanon leads to a new truce, and the withdrawal of more Mardaites.
  • 692–718: Almost constant war with the Arabs in various fronts. The defeat at the Battle of Sebastopolis and internal instability led to the gradual loss of Armenia and Cilicia, and despite some successes by Heraclius the Byzantines generally maintained a defensive stance against the annual Arab raids into Anatolia. Carthage fell in 697. Recovered soon after, it was again lost in 698, marking the end of Byzantine North Africa. From 712 on, the Arab raids penetrated ever deeper into Anatolia, with the final objective of mounting an assault on Constantinople. The repulsion of the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople (717–718) was a major Byzantine success, and halted Arab attacks against the Empire for a few years.

8th century

  • 708: War with Bulgaria ends in defeat at Anchialus.
  • 720–740 : Annual Arab raiding expeditions (ṣawā'if) against Byzantine Anatolia resume. Stiffening Byzantine resistance leads to the victory at Akroinon at 740.
  • 741–752: Campaigns of Constantine V against the Arabs, who were embroiled in civil war, leading to the recovery of all of Armenia and Cyprus.
  • 755–767: War with the Bulgars. Constantine V defeats the Bulgar khan Telets, leading to the conclusion of a favourable peace treaty in 767.
  • 772–775: War with the Bulgars under Telerig, launched as a pre-emptive strike by Constantine V.
  • 775–783: War with the Abbasids. After the death of Constantine V in 775, Arab raids resumed. After a heavy defeat at Germanicopolis in 779/780, the Abbasids launched a series of major invasions under Harun al-Rashid, which led to the conclusion of a truce in 783.
  • 780–783: Raids by the Bulgars under Kardam, leading to an agreement of non-aggression in exchange for annual payments.
  • 783: Expedition of Staurakios against the Sclaviniae of Greece.
  • 791–792 and 796: Campaigns against the Bulgarians under Constantine VI end in defeat at the Battle of Marcellae.
  • 797–798: Large-scale invasion by Harun al-Rashid leads to the resumption of annual payments to the Caliphate in return for peace.

9th century

  • 803–809: War with the Abbasids, resulting from Nikephoros I's cessation of annual tribute payments. The Arabs under Harun al-Rashid achieved significant early successes, but the outbreak of a revolt in Khorasan facilitated a Byzantine counter-offensive in 807–809. A truce in 809 restored the territorial status quo.
  • 808–817: Wars with the Bulgars, beginning with the Bulgarian capture of Sofia. A large-scale retaliatory campaign ended in the disastrous battle of Pliska (811), following which Krum of Bulgaria raided Eastern Thrace and secured a major victory at Versinikia. Following his death in 814, Leo V the Armenian defeated the Bulgars at Mesembria and secured a 30-year peace.
  • 827–902: Muslim conquest of Sicily.
  • 830–841: War with the Abbasids, with large-scale invasions launched by caliphs al-Ma'mun and al-Mu'tasim. Despite a crushing defeat at the Battle of Dazimon and the sack of Amorium in 838, Emperor Theophilos was able to conclude a truce in 841 without territorial losses, although raids by the Muslim border emirates continued.
  • 830s: Rus' raid in Paphlagonia.
  • ca. 844–878: Wars with the Paulicians of Tephrike end with the destruction of the Paulician state and its incorporation into the Empire.
  • 851–863: War with the Abbasids and their clients. Successful Byzantine raids in Syria, Mesopotamia and Egypt are checked by a series of Muslim invasions of Anatolia in 860. Another invasion in 863 sees the complete annihilation of the Muslim army at the Battle of Lalakaon.
  • 860: Rus' raid against Constantinople.
  • 852, 855–856: Short wars with Bulgaria, ending in the recovery of several cities in northern Thrace.
  • 871–885: Campaigns led by Basil I in person against northern Mesopotamia (871–873) are followed by a series of expeditions against the Muslims in Sicily and Southern Italy. The final loss of Sicily could not be averted, but the Arabs are driven from Southern Italy and Dalmatia, laying the foundations of the Catepanate of Italy.
  • 889–897: War with Bulgaria under Tsar Simeon erupts over trade rights. It ends with a Bulgarian victory after the Battle of Bulgarophygon. The Byzantines agree to pay tribute and restore the market for Bulgarian goods to Constantinople.

10th century

11th century

12th century

13th century

14th century

15th century

See also



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