|Battle of Pelekanon|
|Part of the Siege of Nicaea during the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars|
Map of Ottoman expansion under Orhan
|Byzantine Empire||Ottoman Beylik|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Andronicus III |
| ~4,000 or fewer:|
~2,000 soldiers from Constantinople, and something less than this number from Thrace.
The Battle of Pelekanon, also known by its Latinised form Battle of Pelecanum, occurred on June 10–11, 1329 between an expeditionary force by the Byzantines led by Andronicus III and an Ottoman army led by Orhan I. The Byzantine army was defeated, with no further attempt made at relieving the cities in Anatolia under Ottoman siege.
By the accession of Andronicus in 1328, the Imperial territories in Anatolia had dramatically shrunk from almost all of the west of modern Turkey forty years earlier to a few scattered outposts along the Aegean Sea and a small core province around Nicomedia within about 150 km of the capital city Constantinople. Recently the Turks had captured the important city of Prusa (Bursa) in Bithynia. Andronicus decided to relieve the important besieged cities of Nicomedia and Nicaea, and hoped to restore the frontier to a stable position.
Together with the Grand Domestic John Cantacuzene, Andronicus led an army of about 4,000 men, which was the greatest he could muster. They marched along the Sea of Marmara towards Nicomedia. At Pelekanon, a Turkish army led by Orhan I had encamped on the hills to gain a strategic advantage and blocked the road to Nicomedia.On 10 June, Orhan sent 300 cavalry archers downhill to lure the Byzantines unto the hills, but these were driven off by the Byzantines, who were unwilling to advance further. The belligerent armies engaged in indecisive clashes until nightfall. The Byzantine army prepared to retreat, but the Turks gave them no chance. Both Andronicus and Cantacuzene were lightly wounded, while rumors spread that the Emperor had either been killed or mortally wounded, resulting in panic. Eventually the retreat turned into a rout with heavy casualties on the Byzantine side. Cantacuzene led the remaining Byzantine soldiers back to Constantinople by sea.
The Battle of Pelekanon was the first engagement in which a Byzantine emperor encountered an Ottoman Bey.The battle's effect on morale was more important than the battle itself as the heavily armed and disciplined Byzantines had fled before the lightly-armed and irregular Turks. A campaign of restoration was aborted. Never again did a Byzantine army attempt to regain territory in Asia. The former imperial capitals of Nicomedia and Nicaea were not relieved and the maintenance of Imperial control across the Bosphorus was no longer tenable. The Ottomans conquered Nicaea in 1331 and Nicomedia in 1337, thus building up a strong base from which they eventually swept away the Byzantine Empire as a whole. The inhabitants of Nicaea and Nicomedia were quickly incorporated into the growing Ottoman nation, and many of them had already embraced Islam by 1340. With the capture of these cities and the annexation of the Beylik of Karasi in 1336, the Ottomans had completed their conquest of Bithynia and the north-western corner of Anatolia.
Andronikos III Palaiologos, commonly Latinized as Andronicus III Palaeologus, was the Byzantine emperor from 1328 to 1341. He was the son of Michael IX Palaiologos and Rita of Armenia. He was proclaimed co-emperor in his youth, before 1313, and in April 1321 he rebelled in opposition to his grandfather, Andronikos II Palaiologos. He was formally crowned co-emperor in February 1325, before ousting his grandfather outright and becoming sole emperor on 24 May 1328.
Andronikos II Palaiologos, usually Latinized as Andronicus II Palaeologus, reigned as Byzantine Emperor from 1282 to 1328. Andronikos' reign was marked by the beginning of the decline of the Byzantine Empire. During his reign, the Turks conquered most of the Western Anatolian territories of the Empire and, during the last years of his reign, he also had to fight his grandson Andronikos in the First Palaiologan Civil War. The civil war ended in Andronikos II's forced abdication in 1328 after which he retired to a monastery, where he spent the last four years of his life.
Orhan Ghazi was the second bey of the Ottoman Beylik from 1323/4 to 1362. He was born in Söğüt, as the son of Osman.
Theodore I Laskaris or Lascaris was the first Emperor of Nicaea—a successor state of the Byzantine Empire—from 1205 to his death. Although he was born to an obscure Byzantine aristocratic family, his mother was related to the imperial Komnenos clan. He married a younger daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos in 1200. He received the title of despot before 1203, demonstrating his right to succeed his father-in-law on the throne.
Nicaea or Nicea was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia and is primarily known as the site of the First and Second Councils of Nicaea, the Nicene Creed, and as the capital city of the Empire of Nicaea following the Fourth Crusade in 1204, until the recapture of Constantinople by the Byzantines in 1261.
Nicomedia was an ancient Greek city located in what is now Turkey. In 286 Nicomedia became the eastern and most senior capital city of the Roman Empire, a status which the city maintained during the Tetrarchy system (293–324).
The Battle of Pelagonia or Battle of Kastoria took place in early summer or autumn 1259, between the Empire of Nicaea and an anti-Nicaean alliance comprising Despotate of Epirus, Sicily and the Principality of Achaea. It was a decisive event in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean, ensuring the eventual reconquest of Constantinople and the end of the Latin Empire in 1261.
The Byzantine Empire experienced several cycles of growth and decay over the course of nearly a thousand years, including major losses during the Arab conquests of the 7th century. However, modern historians generally agree that the start of the empire's final decline began in the 11th century.
The siege of Nicaea by the forces of Orhan I from 1328 to 1331, resulted in the conquest of a key Byzantine Greek city by the Ottoman Turks. It played an important role in the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.
The Byzantine–Ottoman wars were a series of decisive conflicts between the Ottoman Turks and Byzantines that led to the final destruction of the Byzantine Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Empire. In 1204 the Byzantine capital of Constantinople was sacked and occupied by the Fourth Crusaders, an important moment of the Christian East–West Schism. The Byzantine Empire, already weakened by misrule, was left divided and in chaos.
The Battle of Bapheus occurred on 27 July 1302, between an Ottoman army under Osman I and a Byzantine army under George Mouzalon. The battle ended in a crucial Ottoman victory, cementing the Ottoman state and heralding the final capture of Byzantine Bithynia by the Turks.
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Palaiologos dynasty in the period between 1261 and 1453, from the restoration of Byzantine rule to Constantinople by the usurper Michael VIII Palaiologos following its recapture from the Latin Empire, founded after the Fourth Crusade (1204), up to the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire. Together with the preceding Nicaean Empire and the contemporary Frankokratia, this period is known as the late Byzantine Empire.
Syrgiannes Palaiologos Philanthropenos was a Byzantine aristocrat and general of mixed Cuman and Greek descent, who was involved in the civil war between Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and his grandson Andronikos III. Loyal only to himself and his own ambitions, he switched sides several times, and ended up conquering much of Macedonia for the Serbian ruler Stefan Dušan before being assassinated by the Byzantines.
The Battle of Antioch on the Meander was a military engagement near Antioch-on-the-Meander between the forces of the Empire of Nicaea and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm. The Turkish defeat ensured continued Nicaean hegemony of the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. The Seljuk sultan, Kaykhusraw I, was killed on the field of battle. The battle took place near the modern town of Yamalak in Kuyucak district in Aydın Province.
The Palaiologan army refers to the military forces of the Byzantine Empire under the rule of the Palaiologos dynasty, from the late 13th century to its final collapse in the mid-15th century. The army was a direct continuation of the forces of the Empire of Nicaea, which itself was a fractured component of the formidable Komnenian army of the 12th century. Under the first Palaiologan emperor, Michael VIII, the army's role took an increasingly offensive role whilst the naval forces of the empire, weakened since the days of Andronikos I Komnenos, were boosted to include thousands of skilled sailors and some 80 ships. Due to the lack of land to support the army, the empire required the use of large numbers of mercenaries.
The Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, sometimes referred to as the Second Palaiologan Civil War, was a conflict that broke out in the Byzantine Empire after the death of Andronikos III Palaiologos over the guardianship of his nine-year-old son and heir, John V Palaiologos. It pitted on the one hand Andronikos III's chief minister, John VI Kantakouzenos, and on the other a regency headed by the Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, the Patriarch of Constantinople John XIV Kalekas, and the megas doux Alexios Apokaukos. The war polarized Byzantine society along class lines, with the aristocracy backing Kantakouzenos and the lower and middle classes supporting the regency. To a lesser extent, the conflict acquired religious overtones; Byzantium was embroiled in the Hesychast controversy, and adherence to the mystical doctrine of Hesychasm was often equated with support for Kantakouzenos.
The Gasmouloi or Vasmouloi were the descendants of mixed Byzantine Greek and "Latin" unions during the last centuries of the Byzantine Empire. As the Gasmouloi were enrolled as marines in the Byzantine navy by Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, the term eventually lost its ethnic connotations and came to be applied generally to those owing a military service from the early 14th century on.
Aplekton was a Byzantine term used in the 10th–14th centuries for a fortified army base and later in the Palaiologan period for the obligation of billeting soldiers.
The Reconquest of Constantinople was the recapture of the city of Constantinople by the forces of the Empire of Nicaea, leading to the re-establishment of the Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty, after an interval of 57 years where the city had been the capital of the Latin Empire installed by the Fourth Crusade in 1204.