Table of Contents
Battle of Pelekanon: Background
After Orhan became the Bey the Ottomans, he started his campaign to annex the northwestern side of Anatolia. Therefore, he began the siege of the city of Nicaea in 1328 CE. By the Spring of 1329, the Ottomans had passed Nicomedia (İzmit).
Threatened by the Ottoman advance, the Byzantine emperor Andronikos III was compelled to lead an army against Orhan to relieve the cities. On the morning of the third day of his campaign, he reached Pelekanon, where he found Orhan encamped with his light-armed and irregular troops.
Emperor is wounded
After a day of aimless engagements, the Byzantine emperor made the decision to retreat his army back to the camp at Pelekanon. While they were in the process of withdrawing, the Turks pursued their rear guard, and the emperor, while fending off their attack, sustained a wound in his thigh.
There was no capable leader in the Greek camp who could replace the emperor. Therefore, Andronikos, the emperor, chose to sail to Constantinople without attempting to restore the honour of his military. The Battle of Pelekanon was the first encounter between a Byzantine Emperor and an Ottoman Bey/Sultan.
Historian George Finlay writes, “Insignificant as it really was, its moral effect was incalculable; the heavy-armed and disciplined Greeks had fled before the light-armed and irregular Turks; and the spirit of the Greek emperor and of the Greek nation was broken.”
Last updated on October 6th, 2023 at 12:04 am
Sarim Ashrafi is the founder and editor-in-chief of Islamic Chronicles. With an unwavering love for Islamic history, he weaves captivating narratives that transport you through the rich tapestry of the Islamic world.