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Clash between the armies of Bardas Skleros and Bardas Phokas

Clash between the armies of Skleros and Phokas, miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes.

The Battle of Pankalia was fought between the army loyal to the Byzantine emperor Basil II and the forces of the rebel general Bardas Skleros. It took place to the west of Caesarea, in the thema of Charsianon on March 24, 979. In a surprise attack, the emperor's army commanded by Bardas Phokas and reinforced by the Georgian cavalry under Tornikios inflicted a crushing defeat on the rebels. Skleros himself was wounded by Phokas in single combat, but managed to escape to Muslim territory. His army was scattered and the rebellion was soon put down, thus eliminating a major threat to Basil II's early reign.


  • Reuter, T (editor) (1999), The New Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press (UK) ISBN 0-521-36447-7, p. 596.
  • Bradbury, J. (2004), The Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare, Routledge (UK) ISBN 0-415-22126-9, p. 14.

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