Talk:Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081)

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Featured articleBattle of Dyrrhachium (1081) is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 2, 2008.
Article milestones
October 20, 2007Good article nomineeListed
October 24, 2007WikiProject A-class reviewApproved
November 2, 2007WikiProject peer reviewReviewed
December 23, 2007Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article

Isaac Asimov?[edit]

Isn't there a better source than Isaac Asimov? I'm sure he's a great science fiction author but I can't imagine he made any major contributions to Byzantine studies. Wouldn't his book just be summaries of other standard books, a tertiary source at best? Adam Bishop 01:01, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

OK. I'll remove him and try and find another source to replace him with. Also Iw ould like your opinion on were or not to add Venice to the combatants and if the siege should be considered as part of the battle. Thanks. Kyriakos 02:18, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Comments from Scartol[edit]

Actually, Asimov – in addition to being a grandmaster of SF – was one of the only authors (maybe the only one) to write one book in every major dewey decimal category. So while I don't know about his expertise on the Byzantines per se (and there are certainly more precise sources we can use), I wouldn't dismiss him out of hand, just because he had skills on the SF mic (as the kids say).

But I didn't come here to discuss that; I'm here to copyedit. So let's get to it!


  • …the Normans were paid with land, so they were powerful enough to challenge and defeat the Pope at the Battle of Civitate. I don't understand the connection. Please clarify.
  • This gave Robert an excuse to intervene by claiming his daughter had been mistreated but was delayed by a revolt in Italy. A bit unclear. Was Robert delayed? Was his daughter? Maybe say "his intervention was delayed…"?
  • During this period, a pretender claiming to be Michael VII arrived in Italy, claiming he had escaped the monastery. What monastery? Did I miss the antecedent here?
  • …he heard of Alexios successful coup. I'm feeling really dense. What coup?


  • The fleet set off towards the Byzantine Empire the end of May in 1081. Whose fleet?
  • After the Venetian use of Greek fire, the Norman line scattered, and the Venetian sailed in Dyrrhacium's harbour. The Venetian fleet? A boat? Clarify.


  • According to Comnena, Alexios had around 20,000 men; historian John Haldon puts the army's size between 18,000 to 20,000 men. Do you need to refer to the historians by name here? Wouldn't it be enough to give the number as between 18,000-20,000 and give their names in the citation only? (I'm of the opinion that it's best to refer to secondary authors only when necessary in the main text.)
  • This consisted of Thracian and Macedonian tagmata… This is a huge sentence. I don't know if you can split it up (I don't feel qualified to do so), but if possible you should try.

Initial moves

  • The Varangian had been ordered to march a bit in front of the main line and behind them a strong division of archers. It's not clear where the archers are – behind the Varandian? Behind the main line? (I've tried to specify; please correct if I'm wrong.)

Normans rally

  • the Varangians attacked the Norman knights, who were driven away after their horses panicked. They soon became separated from the main force… The "they" is unclear here. Which does it refer to, the Varangians or the Norman knights?
  • I took out the bit about "showing no mercy". It's a tad POV.

Byzantine collapse

  • Alexios' vassal, King Constantine Bodin of Zeta, betrayed him and was followed by the Turks who had been lent to him by the Seljuk Sultan Süleyman I bin Kutalmish. Did the Turks do something? This sentence is unclear.
  • This charge broke the Byzantine lines and caused them to route. Is "route" a history term with which I'm unfamiliar? Or is this the wrong word?


  • I would integrate the info from the blue box into the article. It looks clunky and it would work better (IMO) as a paragraph.

More to come! I hope this is useful. Nice work on the article and good luck with future work. – Scartol · Talk 15:48, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I have to sign this again or SineBot will sign it for me. Curse you, SineBot! – Scartol · Talk 17:42, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

GA on hold[edit]

The article reads nicely but there are some issues that need to be addressed before it passes its GA nomination.

  • The lead could use some expansion to adequately summarize the whole article. It would be a good idea to mention here some of the historical context of the battle as well as its consequences, summarizing the relevant parts of the article.
  • There are several instances in which years have been wikilinked even though they are not part of complete dates (dates with a month, day and year). As those links don't seem to add much context to the article, they should be delinked.
  • In the "Background" section:
  • The word "Lombard" links to a disambiguation page, that needs to be fixed.
  • In the sentence Instead of money, the Normans were paid with land, so they were powerful enough to challenge Papal authority and in 1054, they defeated the Pope at the Battle of Civitate, it is not clear why should Normans fight the Pope. I think the sentence needs to be reworded for clarity and the word "so" removed or replaced.
  • The phrase They found their leadership is unclear, it needs to be rewritten. Also this sentences seems to be redundant with the following one as both mention how the Hauteville became leaders of the Normans and their dominion over most of Southern Italy.
  • The sentence During this period, a pretender claiming to be Michael VII arrived in Italy, claiming he had escaped the monastery where he had been exiled to seems irrelevant for this article. What's the importance of this pretender for the battle?
  • In the sentence The results of these attempts remain unknown, but he fell under Alexios' charm and as he was returning to Italy he heard of Alexios successful coup against Botaneiates, it is unclear whether "he" refers to Robert or to his ambassador.
  • In the "Prelude" section:
  • "Ragusa" links to a a disambiguation page, that needs to be fixed.
  • It seems wrong to refer to Ragusa as "a people", please reword.
  • The Venetian fleet is described as been comprised of 14 warships and 45 other ships. Where those 45 other ships really unarmed? If not, they could be counted as warships. If they were, what was their purpose?
  • Also, no source is provided for the number of Venetian ships.
  • In the "Siege of Dyrrhachium" section:
  • The sentence Alexios, meanwhile, was in Thessalonica with his army; when he heard that the situation in Dyrrhachium was getting desperate, he advanced in full force against the Normans is somewhat unclear. Preceding paragraphs tell how the siege was going bad for Normans and pretty well for Byzantines. Then, all of the sudden, in this sentence, the situation in Dyrrhachium is described as desperate. That needs some explaining.
  • "Seljuk Sultan" needs to be wikilinked to the relevant article. I guess it refers to the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm but I'm not sure.
  • In the "Battle" section:
  • "Orchid" links to an article on the flower. I'm sure that's not what you meant.
  • In the "Aftermath" section:
  • It is not clear why Robert returned to Italy when the Pope was attacked as he is described as fighting the Pope at the beginning of this article.

Let me know when you're done with this or if you have any question. Good luck, --Victor12 17:55, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, I think I have addressed all of your points. If you can see anything else that can be improved from the edits that I have made or any issues I have not addressed properly please tell me. Thanks. Kyriakos 13:50, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Great work! I believe the article currently meets all GA criteria and I've promoted it accordingly. I reduced the lead to three paragraphs because four was too long for an article this long, see WP:LEAD for further details. I hope you keep improving the article for a future FAC nomination. With that in mind, I think the main area for improvement is prose, enlisting the help of the League of Copyeditors might be a good idea. A second area of improvement is sources, the article could use info from a couple of extra books, specially books on the Normans as currently all sources seem to be from the Byzantine side of the story. Congratulations again, --Victor12 19:58, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Errors in map[edit]

Thera are errors in the map in infobox of this article. The seljuk sultanate of rum never spread so far to east and south, and sultan Suleyman I took Antioch by 1084. In 1081 it was still in byzantine hands.--Krzychu (talk) 18:29, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that there is something wrong with the map. The map supposedly shows the political divisions of 1084, one of which is the Emirate of Sicily. The text says that the Emirate of Sicily was ended in 1072 (or 1071, as stated in the article Emirate of Sicily). It seems that the date attributed to the map is incorrect. (talk) Eric —Preceding undated comment added 16:53, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

EU date format[edit]

Since this article is about European history, it should follow European date formatting (day month year) rather than the current one (month day year). NerdyNSK (talk) 01:15, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

The dates are formatted. To make them appear in any other configuration, go to your "my preferences" tab, and change the format under the "Date and time" subtab. GeeJo (t)(c) • 16:24, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
This only applies to registered users, and anonymous users would see the "MM-DD-YYYY" version which not correct because this article is about EU history and it should be shown by default in the EU date format ("DD-MM-YYYY"), not the other way around. People who prefer the MM-DD format can register and see it in that format, but the default format shown to anonymous users for EU articles should be the EU format. NerdyNSK (talk) 01:03, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Best infobox map[edit]

Which map do you find more appropriate for the infobox, Image:1080.png or the current Image:Italy and Illyria 1084 v2.svg? NerdyNSK (talk) 01:07, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Probably 1084 as the 1080 is incorrect. The Byzantines didn't told Anatolia at the time. Kyriakos (talk) 05:15, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Isn't there evidence of the Komnenoi reclaiming portions of Anatolia during the 1080s prior to their "complete" restoration of Byzantine rule in most of Asia Minor during the 1170s? I think more accurate maps need to be produced (if possible). Deucalionite (talk) 18:44, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


The map is incorrect. There were no principalities of Serbia on that teritory stated. That teritory is Kingdom of Doclea, Princedom of Doclea became independent in 1042 from Byzantine Empire after the Battle at Bar, and later it expanded, taking Rascia and Bosnia. In 1077. it was recognised as kingdom by the Pope. This map is accurate: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 20 June 2011 (UTC)