Moslem Conquests

623 to 838
Moslem conquests in Syria and Persia at the expense of the Byzantine Empire.

Noteable Battles

623  
Battle of Ohud (Mohammed's War with the Koreish ) Koriesh victory
Fought 623, between 950 Moslems, under Mohammed, and 3,000 Koreish of Mecca, under Abu Sophian. The latter were victorious, 70 Moslems being slain, and the Prophet himself wounded, but Abu Sophian did not feel himself strong enough to follow up his victory by an attack upon Medina.
  
623  
Battle of Bedr (Mohammed's War with the Koreish ) Moslems victory
Fought in 623, and notable as the first military exploit of Mohammed, who, with only 313 followers, routed a force of 950 Koreish, who had been sent out to meet and protect a caravan of 1,000 camels, with which was their chief, Abu Sophian. After his victory, Mohammed pursued and captured the caravan.
  
625  
Siege of Medina (Moslem Conquest of Africa ) Moslems victory
Siege was laid to this town in 625 by 10,000 Koreish, under Abu Sophian. It was defended by Mohammed with 3,000 Moslems, and during the space of 20 days several half-hearted assaults were easily repulsed. At the end of this time Abu Sophian withdrew, and the Koreish made no further attempt to interfere with the progress of Mohammedanism.
  
629  
Battle of Honain (Moslem Conquest of Egypt ) Moslems victory
Fought 629, between 12,000 Moslems, under Mohammed, and a force of pagan Arabs, 4,000 strong. The Moslems were lured into the valley of Honain, and were assailed by stingers and archers from the surrounding heights. They were, however, rallied by the Prophet, and totally routed the Pagans, who submitted to the rule of Mohammed.
  
629  
Battle of Muta (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought 629, between the Moslems, under Zaid, and the troops of the Emperor Heraclius. Zaid was slain, and so successively were Jaafar and Abdallah, who followed him in the command, but the banner of the prophet was then raised by Khaled, who succeeded in repulsing the onslaught of the Imperial troops, and on the following day led the Moslems undefeated from the field. This is the first battle between the Mohammedan Arabs and a foreign enemy.
  
632  
Siege of Bosra (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
This strong fortress was besieged, 632, by 4,000 Moslems under Serjabil. A sortie of the garrison nearly caused their destruction, but they were rescued by the arrival of 1,500 horse under Khaled. After a brief interval, the whole of the garrison marched out of the city to give battle, but were defeated by Khaled with a loss to his troops of 250 men only, and the city was shortly afterwards betrayed by Romanus, the Governor.
  
633  
Siege of Damascus (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
This city was besieged by the Moslems under Khaled in 633, and was defended by a large garrison of Greeks and Romans. The city made an obstinate defense, and the defenders succeeded in sending a demand for succour to Werdan, the general of Heraclius. Werdan's approach drew Khaled away from the place, and as he was retiring he was attacked by the garrison, whom he defeated with enormous loss. He then marched against Werdan, defeated him, and returned to prosecute the siege. After a gallant defense, the city, 70 days later, was taken by storm.
  
633  
Battle of Aiznadin (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought July 13, 633, between 45,000 Moslems under Khaled and 70,000 Imperial troops under Werdan. The Imperialists were routed with great slaughter, leaving Khaled to prosecute the siege of Damascus. The Moslems only admit a loss of 470.
  
636  
Battle of Cadesia (Invasion of Persia ) Moslems victory
Fought 636, between 30,000 Moslems under Said, the lieutenant of the Caliph Omar, and 120,000 Persians under Rustam. Throughout the first day the Persians, superior in numbers, but far inferior in warlike qualities, sustained the attacks of the Moslems without losing ground, but on the following day Rustam was slain, and his followers, losing heart, were driven headlong from the field, with fearful slaughter. The Moslems lost 7,500 in the battle.
  
636  
Battle of Yermuk (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought November, 636, between 140,000 Imperial troops, under Manuel, the General of Heraclius, and 50,000 Moslems, under Khaled. The Moslem attack was thrice repulsed, but they returned to the charge, and after a long and sanguinary engagement, drove their opponents from the field with enormous loss. The Moslems lost 4,030 killed.
  
637  
Siege of Jerusalem (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Early in 637 Jerusalem was besieged by the Moslems, at first, under Abu Obeidah, and later by the Khalif Omar. After a defense of four months, during which scarcely a day passed without a sortie or an assault, the city was surrendered by the Patriarch Sophronius.
  
637  
Battle of Nehavend (Invasion of Syria ) Moslems victory
Fought A.D. 637 between the Moslems, under Said, the lieutenant of the Caliph Omar, and a Persian army, 150,000 strong. The Persians were utterly routed, this being the last stand made against the conquering Moslems.
  
637  
Battle of Jalula (Invasion of Persia ) Moslems victory
Fought 637, between the Moslems, under Said, and the Persians, under Yezdegerd. Yezdegerd fled from the field, and his troops discouraged, were totally routed with heavy loss.
  
638  
Siege of Aleppo (Mohammed's War with the Koreish ) Moslems victory
This place was besieged by the Moslems under Abu Obeidah and Khaled in 638, and the city almost immediately surrendered, but the garrison retired to the citadel, where under Youkinna it maintained a stubborn defense for five months, and caused heavy loss to the besiegers. At last the citadel was taken by surprise, and Youkinna became a convert to Mohammedanism. This was the last serious resistance offered in Syria to the invading Moslems.
  
638  
Siege of Memphis (Moslem Invasion of Egypt ) Moslems victory
In 638, Amron, lieutenant of the Caliph Omar, with 8,000 Moslems, invested the city, and after a siege of seven months, in the course of which the besiegers were nearly overwhelmed by the rising of the Nile, the place was taken by assault. On the site of the Moslem encampment were laid the foundations of Old Cairo.
  
638  
Siege of Alexandria (Moslem Invasion of Europe ) Moslems victory
This city, the capital of Egypt, was besieged by the Moslems, under Amrou, in 638, and after a defense of fourteen months, in the course of which the besiegers lost 23,000 men, surrendered, leaving the victors undisputed masters of Egypt.
  
647  
Battle of Tripoli (Moslem Conquest of Africa ) Moslems victory
Fought 647, between the invading Moslems, under Abdallah, and 120,000 Imperial troops and African levies, under the Prefect, Gregory. The Moslems gained a signal victory, Gregory being among the slain.
  
657  
Battle of Siffin (Ghuzni Invasion-Second ) Moawiyeh victory
A series of actions extending over a hundred days, in 656, between the Moslems, under the Caliph Ali, and the adherents Moawiyeh, the son of Abu Sophian, a pretender to the Caliphate. In the course of these engagements Ali lost 25,000, and Moawiyeh 45,000 men, but the latter was undefeated, and the sanguinary conflict was ended by an unsatisfactory compromise.
  
665  
Battle of Bassorah (Invasion of Asia Minor ) Moslems victory
Fought in 665 between the Caliph Ali, at the head of 29,000 Moslems, and the rebel Arabs in superior force, under Telha and Zobin. The rebels were defeated with heavy loss, Telha and Zobin being slain, and Ayesha, the widow of the prophet, who had espoused their cause, captured. This victory is known to Moslems as the Day of the Camel, 70 men, who in succession held the bridle of the camel on which Ayesha was mounted, being killed in the fight which raged round her.
  
668  
Siege of Constantinople (Muslim Civil Wars ) Byzantines victory
This city was besieged in 668, by the Saracens under Sophian, the lieutenant of the Caliph Moawiyeh. The Moslem fleet passed the Hellespont unopposed, but their attack upon the city was met with a most determined resistance. After keeping the field from April to September, Sophian retired into winter quarters, but renewed active operations during the following and five succeeding summers, without success, until, in 675, he finally abandoned the siege, having lost in its progress over 30,000 men.
In 716, the Saracens again laid siege to the city, with 120,000 men under Moslemeh, brother of the Caliph Solyman. A fleet of 1,800 sail co-operated with the land forces, but was destroyed by the Greek fire ships, and thus obtaining the command of the sea, the citizens were relieved from all fear of famine, and repulsed all Moslemeh's assaults. After a siege of 13 months, the Saracens withdrew, after a defeat at the hands of a Bulgarian relieving army, in which they lost 22,000 men.
  
694  
Battle of Utica (Moslem Conquest of Arabia ) Moslems victory
Fought 694 between 40,000 Moslems, under Hassan, and a large force of Greeks and Goths in the Imperial service. The Imperialists were defeated and driven out of Africa, and Hassan followed up his victory by the destruction of Carthage, which thenceforth ceased to exist, except as an obscure village.
  
804  
Battle of Mount Taurus (Invasion of Asia Minor ) Moslems victory
Fought 804, between the Moslems, under Harroun-al-Raschid, and the Greeks, under the Emperor Nicephorus I. The Greeks were totally defeated, with a loss of 40,000 men, and Nicephorus, wounded in three places, with difficulty escaped from the field.
  
838  
Siege of Amorium (Invasion of Persia ) Moslems victory
Fought 838, between the Moslems under the Caliph Motassem, and the Greeks under Theophilus. Thirty thousand Persian horsemen, serving under the Emperor, succeeded in breaking the Moslem line, but the Greeks themselves were overthrown by the Moslems, and the day ended in a complete rout of the Imperial army. Motassem then laid siege to Amorium and after a defense of 55 days, which cost the besiegers 70,000 men, the gates were opened by treachery, and 30,000 Christians were massacred.
  

Story Links
Book Links
Mohammed  in  Famous Men of the Middle Ages  by  John H. Haaren
Harun-Al-Rashid  in  Famous Men of the Middle Ages  by  John H. Haaren
Mohammed as Conqueror  in  The Story of the Crusades  by  by E. M. Wilmot-Butxton
Spread of Islam  in  The Story of the Crusades  by  by E. M. Wilmot-Butxton


Image Links


A battle between the forces of Harun al-Rashid and Constantine VI
 in Harun Al-Rashid, Caliph of Bagdad

Combat between mussulmans and Byzantiums under
 in Harun Al-Rashid, Caliph of Bagdad

Kehama's archers shooting at Ladurlad
 in Stories of the Magicians

Pilgrims marching through the desert to Mecca
 in Famous Men of the Middle Ages

Mohammed at the Battle of Badr
 in  Mohammed

The Meccan attack on Medinah
 in  Mohammed

Mohammed destroying the idols of the Kaabah
 in  Mohammed

Capture of Mecca by Mohammed
 in European Hero Stories