Siege of Syracuse (877–878)

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Siege of Syracuse
Part of the Muslim conquest of Sicily
(Arab–Byzantine Wars)
MadridSkylitzesFol100vDetail.jpg
The capture of Syracuse, from the Madrid Skylitzes
Date August 877 – 20 or 21 May 878
Location Syracuse, Sicily
Result Aghlabid victory
Belligerents
Byzantine Empire Aghlabids
Commanders and leaders
unknown Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Tamini

The Siege of Syracuse in 877–878 led to the fall of the city of Syracuse, the Roman and Byzantine capital of Sicily, to the Aghlabids. The Aghlabids had tried and failed to take the city soon after their initial landing on the island 50 years earlier, with the Siege of 827-828. Despite their repulse, they had gradually taken over the western and central portions of the island, and in August 877, the Muslim commander Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Tamini led a large force against Syracuse. The city was left largely unsupported by the Emperor Basil I during the siege, and fell on 20/21 May 878. Only a few outposts remained in Byzantine hands thereafter, and the Muslim conquest of Sicily was completed by the fall of Taormina in 902. The siege and capture of Syracuse is narrated in detail by the eyewitness Theodosios the Monk.

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