digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

This article is about the battle of 324 AD. For the equally momentous battle of 378 AD in which Emperor Valens was killed, see Battle of Adrianople.
Battle of Adrianople
Part of the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy
Constantine-cameo.jpg
Constantine I crowned as a victorious general. 4th century cameo
Date July 3, 324
Location near Adrianople (modern Edirne,  Turkey)
Result Constantinian victory
Belligerents
forces of Constantine
(Western Empire)
forces of Licinius
(Eastern Empire)
Commanders and leaders
Constantine I Licinius
Strength
130,000[1] 165,000[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown 34,000 dead[1]

The Battle of Adrianople was fought on July 3, 324 during a Roman civil war, the second to be waged between the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius; Licinius suffered a heavy defeat.

Background[edit]

The Danubian Provinces of Rome. Adrianople (Hadrianoplis) and the Hebrus River are shown in the Province of Thrace

Constantine had, in a previous war (in 316), defeated Licinius at the Battle of Cibalae and conquered from him all the Balkan Peninsula, with the exception of Thrace.[2] A peace had been arranged but the relationship between the two emperors remained uneasy. By 324 Constantine was ready to renew the conflict and when his army, in pursuit of a raiding Visigothic, or possibly Sarmatian, force, crossed into Licinius' territory an opportune casus belli was created. The reaction of Licinius to this incursion was overtly hostile and this induced Constantine to go on to the offensive. Constantine invaded Thrace in force; his army was smaller than that of Licinius, but it contained many battle-hardened veterans and, as he had control of the Illyrian region, the finest quality of new recruits.[3]

Battle[edit]

Constantine's labarum standard, from an antique silver medal

Licinius encamped his army at Adrianople (Hadrianopolis), the major city of inland Thrace. Constantine advanced eastward from Thessalonica until he came to the Hebrus River, on which Adrianople stands, and set up his own camp. Licinius arranged his battle line, of 200 stades in length,[4] in a strong position between a height overlooking the town and the confluence of the Hebrus with a tributary. The two armies remained in position for a number of days before battle was joined,[4] as both sides were reluctant to chance the crossing of the river against a well-prepared and battle-arrayed enemy.

Eventually, Constantine used a ruse to get his troops across the Hebrus. Having noticed a suitable crossing point where the river narrowed and was overlooked by a wooded hillside, he ordered material and ropes to be conspicuously assembled at another place on the river, well away from his chosen crossing, to give the impression that he intended to build a bridge to cross there.[4] On the wooded hillside he secretly assembled 5,000 foot archers and a force of cavalry. He then led his cavalry over the river crossing at the narrows and fell on the enemy unexpectedly. The surprise attack was a complete success and the remainder of his army then crossed at the same point.[4] What followed, in the words of the historian Zosimus, was "a great massacre": Licinius' army lost about 34,000 dead.[4]

During the onslaught Constantine directed the guard of his overtly Christian standard, the labarum, to move it to any part of the field where his troops seemed to be faltering. The appearance of this talisman emboldened his own troops and dismayed those of Licinius.[5] Constantine, who had been slightly wounded in the thigh,[6] halted his attack at sunset and darkness allowed Licinius and the remains of his force to withdraw to Byzantium, the coast, and the safety of his fleet.[1][4] The battle was one of the largest of the 4th century.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

Licinius – coin portrait

Constantine's effort to start a civil conflict proved successful, as did his campaign against Licinius. Following the battle at Adrianople, Constantine moved to besiege Byzantium. At this point in the campaign, control of the narrow waters separating Thrace and Asia Minor became of the utmost importance to both emperors. Constantine's son Crispus commanded his navy in a struggle with the larger fleet of Licinius. Following Crispus' naval victory in the waters of the Hellespont, Constantine crossed with his army into Bithynia.[7] He met Licinius' army in the final battle of the war at Chrysopolis on the Asiatic shore of the Bosporus. Constantine won an overwhelming victory.[8] Initially, yielding to the pleas of his sister Constantia, Constantine spared the life of his brother-in-law, but some months later he ordered his execution thereby breaking his solemn oath. Licinius was suspected of treasonable actions and the army command pressed for his execution.[9] A year later, Constantine's nephew the younger Licinius also fell victim to the emperor's anger or suspicions.[10] Constantine became the first man to be master of the entire Roman world since the elevation of Maximian as co-emperor by Diocletian in 285.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Grant, p. 46
  2. ^ Odahl, p. 164
  3. ^ Grant, p. 45
  4. ^ a b c d e f Zosimus, II.22.3-7
  5. ^ Odahl, p. 178
  6. ^ Lieu and Montserrat, p. 47
  7. ^ Odahl, pp. 179–180
  8. ^ Odahl, p. 180
  9. ^ Odahl, p. 160
  10. ^ Grant, p. 47–48

References[edit]

Primary source

  • Zosimus, Historia nova, English translation: R.T. Ridley, Zosimus: New History, Byzantina Australiensia 2, Canberra (1982).

Secondary sources

  • Grant, Michael (1993), The Emperor Constantine, London. ISBN 0-7538-0528-6
  • Lieu, S.N.C and Montserrat, D. (Ed.s) (1996), From Constantine to Julian, London. ISBN 0-415-09336-8
  • Odahl, C.M., (2004) Constantine and the Christian Empire, Routledge 2004. ISBN 0-415-17485-6

Coordinates: 41°40′00″N 26°34′00″E / 41.6667°N 26.5667°E / 41.6667; 26.5667


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Adrianople_(324) — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
11 videos found

Battle of Adrianople (Part 1/3)

Battle of Adrianople Part 1 of 3.

19 December 324: Licinius Abdicates As Roman Emperor

Licinius I (Latin: Gaius Valerius Licinianus Licinius Augustus;c. 263 -- 325), was a Roman emperor from 308 to 324. For the majority of his reign he was the ...

The Fall of the Roman Empire, 1950's - Film 7853

Reconstruction of life under the Roman Empire A Roman building. Ruined Roman baths. Roman ruins in Rome. Model of what ancient Rome once looked like. Marcus ...

Battle of Chrysopolis

The Battle of Chrysopolis was fought on 18 September 324 at Chrysopolis (Üsküdar), near Chalcedon (Kadıköy), between the two Roman emperors Constantine I and...

Decisive Battles - Episode 8 - Chalons, 451 A.D.

Flavius Aetius VS Attila the Hun --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the eighth episode of Decisive Bat...

Battle of Ephesus

Battle of Ephesus Spring 498BC Achaemenid Empire vs Ionians, Eretrians + Athenians Achaemenid Commanders: Artaphernes Greek Coalition Commanders: Charopinus ...

Видението на Константин Велики - 312г.

След смъртта на Галерий през 311 г.роденият в град Ниш тракиец Константин e заедно с Максенций (306-312), Максимин Дая (310-313) и Лициний (308-324) един от ...

Veni Vidi Vici - Rome 2 Mod

This is a battle test between two units types for one of my mods named "Veni Vidi Vici" for Rome 2 Total War Download Mod http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfil...

Soldiers Of Rome - [275 - 337 A.D.] Constantine Ⓒ

SOLDIERS OF ROME [272 - 337 A.D.] - PART 4 - Caesar Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus (27 February c. 272 22 May 337), commonly known in Englis...

Time Commanders Season 2 Episode Awesome TRAILER

11 videos found

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Battle of Adrianople (324)" right now.

Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight