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Millennium: 1st millennium
838 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar838
Ab urbe condita1591
Armenian calendar287
Assyrian calendar5588
Balinese saka calendar759–760
Bengali calendar245
Berber calendar1788
Buddhist calendar1382
Burmese calendar200
Byzantine calendar6346–6347
Chinese calendar丁巳年 (Fire Snake)
3535 or 3328
    — to —
戊午年 (Earth Horse)
3536 or 3329
Coptic calendar554–555
Discordian calendar2004
Ethiopian calendar830–831
Hebrew calendar4598–4599
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat894–895
 - Shaka Samvat759–760
 - Kali Yuga3938–3939
Holocene calendar10838
Iranian calendar216–217
Islamic calendar223–224
Japanese calendarJōwa 5
Javanese calendar734–736
Julian calendar838
Korean calendar3171
Minguo calendar1074 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−630
Seleucid era1149/1150 AG
Thai solar calendar1380–1381
Tibetan calendar阴火蛇年
(female Fire-Snake)
964 or 583 or −189
    — to —
(male Earth-Horse)
965 or 584 or −188
Map of the Byzantine–Arab War (837–838)

Year 838 (DCCCXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


By place[edit]

Byzantine Empire[edit]

  • July 22Battle of Dazimon: Caliph Al-Mu'tasim launches a major punitive expedition against the Byzantine Empire, targeting the two major Byzantine fortress cities of central Anatolia (Ancyra and Amorium). He mobilises a vast army (80,000 men) at Tarsus, which is divided into two main forces. The northern force, under commander Al-Afshin, invades the Armeniac Theme from the region of Melitene, joining up with the forces of the city's emir, Umar al-Aqta. The southern, main force, under Al-Mu'tasim, passes the Cilician Gates into Cappadocia. Emperor Theophilos attacks the Abbasids, inflicting 3,000 casualties, but is later heavily defeated by a counter-attack of 10,000 Turkish horse archers. Theophilos and his guard are encircled, and barely manage to break through and escape.[1][2][3]
  • AugustSiege of Amorium: The Abbasids besiege the Byzantine fortress city of Amorium, which is protected by 44 towers, according to the contemporary geographer Ibn Khordadbeh. Both besiegers and besieged have many siege engines, and for several days both sides exchange missile fire. However, a Muslim prisoner defects to Al-Mu'tasim, and informs him about a place in the wall which has been badly damaged by heavy rainfall. The Abbasids concentrate their hits on this section, and after two days manage to breach the city wall. After two weeks of repeated attacks, the Byzantine defenders surrender. The city is sacked and plundered, 70,000 inhabitants are slaughtered, and the survivors are sold as slaves.
Miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes depicting the Arab siege of Amorium in 838



Abbasid Caliphate[edit]

  • A conspiracy is discovered, led by General 'Ujayf ibn 'Anbasa, to assassinate Al-Mu'tasim while he is campaigning, and place his nephew Al-Abbas ibn al-Ma'mun on the throne. A widespread purge of the army follows, which cements the leading role of the Turkish slave-soldiers (ghilman) in the Abbasid military establishment.
  • Babak Khorramdin, an Iranian military leader, is executed by order of al-Mu'tasim.[6]
  • The Yezidi rise up against the Abbasids (approximate date).[7]

By topic[edit]





  1. ^ Treadgold 1997, p. 441.
  2. ^ Haldon 2001, p. 80.
  3. ^ Kiapidou 2003, Chapter 1.
  4. ^ Charles-Edwards, pp. 428–31; Padel, "Cornwall", Davies, p. 342; Stenton, p. 235.
  5. ^ Annals of Inisfallen, 838. Seán Mac Airt, The Annals of Innisfallen Dublin: 1951 available at UCC Celt Website.
  6. ^ The Golden Age of Islam by Maurice Lombard, p. 152. ISBN 1-55876-322-8.
  7. ^ M. Th. Houtsma, 1993, E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936: Volume 4 - p. 1136, Brill.