|Battle of Kapetron|
|Part of the Byzantine-Seljuq wars|
Kingdom of Georgia
|Great Seljuq Sultanate|
|Commanders and leaders|
Liparit IV Baghvashi
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Kapetron or Kapetrou was fought between the Byzantine-Georgian armies and the Seljuq Turks on September 10 or September 18, 1048. It was the culmination of an Anatolian expedition of İbrahim Yinal, a uterine brother of the sultan Toğrül.
The emperor Constantine IX sent to the Georgian warlord Liparit, whom the Byzantines had aided in his struggle against the Georgian king Bagrat IV, to unite against the advancing Seljuqs; but ordered defensive strategy till the arrival of Georgian reinforcements.
Prelude and description
The battle was preceded by the complete destruction of Arzen or Artze, a vibrant commercial center in the Byzantine-administered thema of Iberia (near the modern-day Erzerum, Turkey), by the Seljuq forces. A combined Byzantine-Georgian army of 50,000, under the command of Aaron, Katakalon Kekaumenos and Liparit, met the Seljuqs head-on at Kapetrou (modern-day Hasan Kale). In a fierce nocturnal battle, the Christian allies failed to achieve any serious success, and Ibrahim Yinal was able to safely leave the Byzantine territory, laden with spoils and captives, including the Georgian commander Liparit. The emperor later sent ransoms to Toğrül who refused them, however, and released Liparit on condition that he would never again fight the Seljuqs.
The devastation left behind by the Seljuq raid was so fearful that the Byzantine magnate Eustathios Boilas described, in 1051/52, those lands as "foul and unmanageable... inhabited by snakes, scorpions, and wild beasts." The Arab chronicler Ibn al-Athir reports that Ibrahim brought back 100,000 captives and a vast booty loaded on the backs of ten thousand camels.
- Paul A. Blaum (2005). Diplomacy gone to seed: a history of Byzantine foreign relations, A.D. 1047-57. International Journal of Kurdish Studies. (Online version)
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