|Battle of Tzirallum|
| War between Licinius and Maximinus Daya|
Part of Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy
Roman Empire in 311, with the territories of the tetrarchs
|Date||April 30, 313|
|Place||Near Tzirallum, present-day Çorlu ( Turkey )|
|Outcome||Victory of Licinius|
|Forces in combat|
The Battle of Tzirallum was an armed conflict that occurred on April 30, 313, [ 3 ] during the civil war between the Roman emperors Licinius ( r. 308-324) and Maximino Daya (r. 305-313). This confrontation took place in the Sereno Field (in Latin , Serenus Campus ) or Ergeno Field (in Latin, Ergenus Campus ), near the town of Tzirallum, currently associated with the city of Çorlu , in the province of Tekirdağ , in Turkey.. Classical sources place the battlefield between 18 and 36 Roman miles from Perinto (today Marmara Ereğlisi ). [ 3 ]
The Battle of Tzirallum was the result of a series of armed clashes between Licinius and Maximinus Daya, motivated by the former's secret agreements with Emperor Constantine I (r. 306-337). The result was a quick and resounding victory for Licinius, despite his considerable numerical disadvantage. With this defeat, Maximino Daya was forced to flee to Nicomedia - the eastern capital - but when he passed through the Cilician Gates he was attacked again by the Licinian forces. Maximinus Daya was killed in Tarsus , which guaranteed Licinius full control of the eastern part of the Roman Empire . [ 2 ]
On March 1, 293, the Roman Emperor Diocletian ( r. 284-305) created a system of government that was called the tetrarchy or "government of four." [ 4 ] In this way, the Roman Empire was divided into two parts, each ruled by an Augustus (major emperor) and a Caesar (minor emperor). The rulers of the tetrarchy were more or less sovereigns of their own regions, and traveled with their own imperial courts and armies, [ 5 ] in addition, they were linked by ties of blood and marriage: Diocletian and Maximiano(r. 285-305; 310) presented themselves as brothers, and that same year, both formally adopted Galerius (r. 293-311) and Flavio Constancio (r. 293-305) as sons. These relations implied a line of succession: Galerio and Flavio Constancio would become august to the departure of Diocleciano and Maximiano. At that time, Maximian's son Maxentius (r. 306-312) and Constantius's son , Constantine (r. 306-337) would become Caesars and prepare for their future duties. [ 6 ]
On May 1, 305, the two major emperors abdicated in ceremonies held in Mediolano and Nicomedia , allowing both Constantius and Galerius to be elevated to august. [ 7 ] The brand new Augustus in turn named the new Caesars: Valerius Severus (r. 305-307) under Constantius in the West, and Maximinus Daya (r. 305-313) under Galerius in the East. [ 8 ] [ 9 ]
On October 28, 306, Maxentius - Maximiano's son - proclaimed himself princeps and co-governed with his father. The following year, Maxentius assumed the title of Augustus and began to offend the other aspirants to the throne. [ 10 ] [ 11 ] In 308, Galerius convened the conference of Carnuntum , where they agreed to appoint the official Flavio Valerio Licinio (r. 308-324) as emperor of the West, in order to dethrone Maxentius not However, Licinius refrained from intervening. [ 12 ]Maximiano tried to monopolize power, for which he tried to overthrow his own son but failed in the attempt, after which he managed to flee to the court of his son-in-law Constantine in search of his support. [ 10 ] [ 13 ]
In 310 Maximian was involved in a plot to remove his son-in-law, but upon Constantine's return from a campaign against the Franks, he captured his father-in-law and forced him to commit suicide. [ 13 ] [ 14 ] In 311, Maxentius demanded revenge for the death of his father and declares war on Constantine. That same year, the Augustus from the East, Galerius, passed away, and consequently, the provinces under his command were divided between Caesar Maximino Daya (r. 305-313) and Licinius , to the detriment of Maxentius . [ 11 ] [ 2 ]
In the autumn of 312, while Constantine was facing Maxentius in Italy , Maximinus Daya (r. 305-313) was busy campaigning against the kingdom of Armenia . When he returned to Palestine Syria in February 313, he discovered that, after Maxentius' death at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge , Constantine and Licinius had agreed an alliance during their meeting in Mediolanum (now Milan ) and, to secure this agreement, the Constantino's sister, Flavia Julia Constancia , married Licinius. [ 15 ] Determined to take the initiative, Maximino gathered seventy thousand men and traveled toBithynia , but nevertheless, his army was seriously decimated by bad weather. [ 2 ]
In April 313, Maximinus Daya crossed the Bosphorus to the city of Byzantium (present-day Istanbul ), which was defended by Licinian troops, and took it after an eleven-day siege, and headed for Heracleia (present-day Marmara Ereğlisi ), which he captured after an eight-day siege, [ 16 ] to immediately move his forces eighteen miles from the city. With a smaller army, possibly around thirty thousand soldiers, [ 1 ] Licinius reached the city of Adrianople (modern Edirne) while Maximinus besieged Heracleia, and he made his way to a camp eighteen miles later. Both armies finally met near Tzirallum, currently identified with the town of Tzouroulon (now Çorlu ). [ 17 ]
Lactantius , a 4th century Christian author and advisor to Constantine, is the main source on this battle. According to his work De mortibus persecutorum , when the armies met on the eve of combat, Maximin made an oath to Jupiter that if he were to win, he would extinguish and erase the name of the Christians . Meanwhile, an angel of the Lord would have appeared in a dream to Licinius, who told him to get up immediately to say a prayer to God., which would ensure victory. Licinio, once awakened, hurried to one of his secretaries and dictated the sentence, to be sung as they heard in the dream: [ 3 ]
Supreme God, we beg you; Holy God, we beg you;
We entrust everything well to you;Listen, Holy God Supreme.
We entrust our security to you;
To you we entrust our empire.
For you we live, for you we are victorious and happy.
Holy Supreme God, hear our prayers;
We extend our arms to you.
Copies of this prayer were distributed to the top commanders, who, in turn, taught them to their soldiers. Licinio wanted to start the battle in the calends of May (May 1), to defeat his rival on the eighth anniversary of his reign as Caesar , but Maximino Daya precipitated the conflict a day before these so that he could triumph on his anniversary. The armies approached and placed themselves in sight of each other and at that moment the Licinian soldiers put their scutum down, took off their helmets and followed the example of their commanders, extended their hands to the sky and repeated the prayer sung by the emperor, to later prepare to fight full of impetus. [ 18 ]
Licinius and Maximinus Daya approached for a conference: after a brief period of fruitless negotiations, in which both emperors tried to win the loyalty of the opposing army, the fight was inevitable. The trumpets sounded and the soldiers advanced, the Licinian troops took the lead and, according to Lactantius, the frightened men of Maximinus were not able to draw their swords or throw their darts , and finally fell massacred by the soldiers of Licinius without opposing endurance. [ 19 ]
After taking heavy casualties, Maximino Daya shed his imperial garb and disguised himself as a slave in order to escape to Nicomedia . Believing that he would still have a chance to win, he attempted to stop Licinius' advance at the Cilician Gates by establishing fortifications there. However, the Licinian army was able to cross over and force Maximinus to retreat to Tarsus , where Licinius continued harassment by land and sea. The war between them ended with the death of Maximinus in July or August 313, and with the murder of his wife and children. [ 2 ]
- Kohn, 2013, p. 398.
- DiMaio, 1996d.
- Lactancio, 1871, p. 205.
- Southern, 2001, p. 145.
- Corcoran, 2006, pp. 45-46.
- Barnes, 1981, pp. 8-9.
- Potter, 2004, p. 342.
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- Southern, 2001, p. 152.
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- Barnes, 1981, pp. 34-35.
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- Lactancio, 1871, p. 204.
- Foss et al ., 2012 .
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- Lactancio, 1871, p. 206.
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