Battle of Anchialus (763)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2012)|
|Battle of Anchialus|
|Part of the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars|
|Bulgarian Empire||Byzantine Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Unknown||9,600 cavalrymen &
|Casualties and losses|
Origins of the conflict
After the success in the battle of the Rishki Pass (759) the Bulgarian Khan Vinekh showed surprising inaction and desire for peace which cost him the throne and his life. The new ruler, Telets, was a firm supporter for further military actions against the Byzantines. With his heavy cavalry he looted the border regions of the Byzantine Empire and in 16 June 763, Constantine V came out of Constantinople with a large army and a fleet of 800 ships, with 12 cavalrymen on each.
The energetic Bulgarian Khan barred the mountain passes and took advantageous positions on the heights near Anchialus but his self-confidence and impatience incited him to go down to the lowlands and charge the enemy. The battle started at 10 in the morning and lasted until sunset. It was long and bloody but in the end the Byzantines were victorious although they lost many soldiers, nobles and commanders. The Bulgarians also had heavy casualties and many were captured, while Telets managed to escape.
Constantine V entered his capital in triumph and then killed the prisoners. The fate of Telets was similar: two years later he was murdered because of the defeat. The Byzantines failed to use the strategic advantage which they had and the prolonged wars in the 8th century ended in 792 at the Marcelae with a great Bulgarian victory and reestablishment of the treaty of 718.
- Nicephorus. Opuscula historia, p.69-70