Úvodná fáza byzantsko-normanskej vojny a byzantská porážka v bitke pri Dyrrachiu (1081)

Title in English The initial phase of the Normano-Byzantine war and Byzantine defeat in the battle of Dyrrachion (1081)


Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Vojenská história
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field History
Keywords history o warfare; Byzantium; Alexios Komnenos; Normans; Robert Guiscard; Dyrrachion; battle
Description In the present article Marek Meško describes the initial phase of the first Byzantine war against the Normans, as well as the battle of Dyrrachion, which took place on 18th October 1081. These events represent the most crucial moments at the beginning of the reign of Alexios I Komnenos who only rose to power in early April 1081. While desperately struggling against invasion of the Norman host led by a very capable and intelligent military leader Robert Guiscard count of Apulia and Calabria, the young Byzantine emperor had to overcome many internal difficulties of political, military and economic nature. Finally, in August 1081 he was able to lead almost the whole Byzantine field army from Constantinople through Thessalonica towards Dyrrachion besieged by the Normans. The battle itself ended in a heavy defeat of Byzantine forces which, however, had enjoyed numerical superiority at the beginning of this encounter. The analysis takes into account detailed depiction of a composition and number of opposing forces, as well as other factors (e.g. mindset of Robert Guiscard and aims of Alexios Komnenos before the battle, topographical layout of the battleground) which influenced the final outcome. Also the description of the battle itself contains new approaches that are confronted at times with traditional narratives of this decisive battle that can be found in historical sources and secondary literature.
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