FYI August 10, 2022

On This Day

1030 – The Battle of Azaz ends with a humiliating retreat of the Byzantine emperor, Romanos III Argyros, against the Mirdasid rulers of Aleppo. The retreat degenerates into a rout, in which Romanos himself barely escapes capture.[1][2]
The Battle of Azaz was an engagement fought in August 1030 near the Syrian town of Azaz between the Byzantine army, led by Emperor Romanos III Argyros (r. 1028–1034) in person, and the forces of the Mirdasid Emirate of Aleppo, likewise under the personal command of Emir Shibl al-Dawla Nasr (r. 1029–1038). The Mirdasids defeated the much larger Byzantine army and took great booty, even though they were eventually unable to capitalise on their victory.

Aleppo had long been a flashpoint between Byzantium and its Arab neighbours, with the Byzantines claiming a protectorate over the city since 969. In the aftermath of a defeat inflicted on the Byzantine governor of Antioch by the Mirdasids, Romanos launched a campaign against Aleppo. Despite his own inexperience in military matters, Romanos decided to lead the army in person, leading contemporary Byzantine chroniclers to point to a quest for military glory as his primary motivation, rather than the preservation of the status quo. At the head of his army, estimated some 20,000 strong by modern historians, Romanos arrived in Antioch on 20 July 1030. The Mirdasids sent envoys with peace overtures including the payment of tribute, but Romanos, confident of success, rejected them and detained the ambassador. Although his generals urged him to avoid action in the hot and dry Syrian summer, Romanos led his forces forward. The Mirdasid army was considerably smaller, 700–2,000 men according to the sources, but comprised mostly Bedouin light cavalry, which enjoyed superior mobility against their heavily-armoured opponents.

The two armies clashed at Azaz, northwest of Aleppo, where the Byzantines set up camp. The Mirdasids ambushed and destroyed a Byzantine reconnaissance force, and started harassing the imperial camp. Unable to forage, the Byzantines began suffering from thirst and hunger, while an attack on the Mirdasid forces was defeated. Finally, on 10 August, the Byzantine army commenced its withdrawal to Antioch, but it soon collapsed into a chaotic affair. The Arabs used the opportunity to attack the disordered Byzantines, routing them; Emperor Romanos himself only escaped thanks to the intervention of his bodyguard. The scattered remnants of the imperial army gathered at Antioch. Romanos returned to Constantinople, but his generals managed to recover the situation afterwards, putting down Arab rebellions and forcing Aleppo to resume tributary status shortly after in 1031.

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Born On This Day

941 – Lê Hoàn, Vietnamese emperor (d. 1005)
Lê Hoàn (10 August 941 – 18 March 1005), posthumously title Lê Đại Hành, was a Vietnamese king and the third ruler of Dai Viet kingdom, ruling from 981 to 1005. He first served as the generalissimo commanding a ten-thousand man army of the Dai Viet court under the reign of Đinh Bộ Lĩnh. Following the death of Đinh Bộ Lĩnh in late 979, Lê Hoàn became regent to Đinh Bộ Lĩnh’s successor, the six-year-old Đinh Toàn. Lê Hoàn deposed the boy king, married his mother, Queen Duong Van Nga, and in 980 he became the ruler. He commanded the Viet army fended off a northern invasion in 981, then led a seaborne invasion of the southern Champa kingdom in 982.

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FYI

 
 
NASA: Astronomy Picture of the Day
 
 

Guillermo Paz: RIP Nichelle Nichols – In Memoriam Video

 
 
Guillermo Paz: RIP Bill Russell – In Memoriam

 
 
 
 

By Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine: Why Birds Survived, and Dinosaurs Went Extinct, After an Asteroid Hit Earth Paleontologists think that beaks may have given birds an advantage over other creatures.
 
 
 
 
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Ideas

By DonnaCohn: Tool for Making Soil Blocks (3D Printed)
 
 
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Recipes

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The Kitchen Garten: How to Get Started Freezer Preserving
 
 
Just the Recipe: Paste the URL to any recipe, click submit, and it’ll return literally JUST the recipe- no ads, no life story of the writer, no nothing EXCEPT the recipe.
 
 
DamnDelicious
 
 


 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

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