Pelagonia, Battle of

Pelagonia, Battle of
   Decisive battle fought in 1259 on the plain of Pelagonia, near Kastoria (qq.v.). The army of the Empire of Nicaea (q.v.), led by John, the brother of Michael VIII Palaiologos (q.v.) won a decisive victory over coalition forces from Michael II Komnenos Doukas of the Despotate of Epiros (qq.v.), Manfred of Sicily (qq.v.), and William II Villehardouin of the principality of Achaia (qq.v.). As soon as the battle began the coalition forces began to desert. John's Cuman (q.v.) archers carried the day. William II Villehardouin was captured and all of Manfred's 400 knights surrendered. Michael VIII Palaiologos (q.v.) was now able to concentrate on the recovery of Constantinople (q.v.) without fear of attack from the West. In addition, William II's ransom included handing over to Michael VIII three key fortresses of Frankish Achaia (q.v.): Mistra, Monemvasia (qq.v.), and Maina.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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