On This Day
994 – Major Fatimid victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of the Orontes.
The Battle of the Orontes was fought on 15 September 994 between the Byzantines and their Hamdanid allies under Michael Bourtzes against the forces of the Fatimid vizier of Damascus, the Turkish general Manjutakin. The battle was a Fatimid victory.
In the 990s, the Byzantine Empire and the Fatimids were involved in a war in Syria, which also involved the Byzantine vassal state of Aleppo, controlled by the Hamdanid dynasty. In 993/994, the Fatimid governor of Damascus, the Turkish general Manjutakin, besieged Apamea, and Bourtzes, the Byzantine doux of Antioch, came forth to relieve the city.
The two armies met across two fords on the Orontes River near Apamea on 15 September 994. Manjutakin sent his forces to attack the Byzantines’ Hamdanid allies across one ford while pinning the main Byzantine force down on the other with his Turks and mercenary units. His men succeeded in breaking through the Hamdanids, turned round and attacked the Byzantine force in the rear. The Byzantine army panicked and fled, losing some 5,000 men in the process.
Shortly after the battle, the Fatimid caliphate took control of Syria, removing the Hamdanids from power they had held since 890. Manjutakin went on to capture Azaz and continued his siege of Aleppo.
This defeat led to the direct intervention of Byzantine emperor Basil II in a lightning campaign the next year, and Bourtzes’ dismissal from his post and his replacement by Damian Dalassenos. Basil’s sudden arrival and the exaggeration of his army’s strength circulating in the Fatimid camp caused panic in the Fatimid army, especially because Manjutakin, expecting no threat, had ordered his cavalry horses to be dispersed around the city for pasture. Despite having a considerably larger and well-rested army, Manjutakin was at a disadvantage. He burned his camp and retreated to Damascus without battle. The Byzantines besieged Tripoli unsuccessfully and occupied Tartus, which they refortified and garrisoned with Armenian troops.
681 – Pope Honorius I is posthumously excommunicated by the Sixth Ecumenical Council.
Pope Honorius I (died 12 October 638) was the pope from 27 October 625 to his death. He was active in spreading Christianity among Anglo-Saxons and attempted to convince the Celts to calculate Easter in the Roman fashion. He is chiefly remembered for his correspondence with Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople over the latter’s monothelite teachings. Honorius was posthumously anathematized, initially for subscribing to monothelitism, and later only for failing to end it. The anathema against Honorius I became one of the central arguments against the doctrine of papal infallibility.
Born On This Day
767 – Saichō, Japanese monk (d. 822)
Saichō (最澄, September 15, 767 – June 26, 822) was a Japanese Buddhist monk credited with founding the Tendai school of Buddhism based on the Chinese Tiantai school he was exposed to during his trip to Tang China beginning in 804. He founded the temple and headquarters of Tendai at Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei near Kyoto. He is also said to have been the first to bring tea to Japan. After his death, he was awarded the posthumous title of Dengyō Daishi (伝教大師).
1295 – Elizabeth de Clare, English noblewoman (d. 1360)
Elizabeth de Clare, 11th Lady of Clare (16 September 1295 – 4 November 1360) was the heiress to the lordships of Clare, Suffolk, in England and Usk in Wales. She was the youngest of the three daughters of Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford and Joan of Acre, and sister of Gilbert de Clare, who later succeeded as the 7th Earl. She is often referred to as Elizabeth de Burgh (English: /dˈbɜːr/; d’-BER), due to her first marriage to John de Burgh. Her two successive husbands were Theobald II de Verdun (of the Butler-de Verdun family) and Roger d’Amory.
By Corrie Evanoff, Pocket Collections: How to Maximize the Life of Your Social Battery An introvert’s guide to managing social fatigue.
By Jackson Ryan, CNET: The Ghosts of Antarctica Will Haunt the End of the World As climate change threatens to upend the icy kingdom, we’re writing ghost stories in real time.
By Thacher Schmid, Narratively: An American Tragedy: The Colorful Life and Shocking Death of Ovid Neal III On the dark streets of a college town, two teenagers hoisted a rock and ended a man’s life. His loved ones want to know when we’ll finally value the lives of homeless people.
In an update, Schipper wrote:
“The funds will be used in the following ways: 1) Pay off Piepers 150k restitution 2) Pay off the additional 4k in restitution to the state 3) Remove financial barriers for Pieper in pursuing college/university or starting her own business. 4) Give Pieper the financial capacity to explore ways to help other young victims of sex crimes!”
Lewis addressed the court on Tuesday, reading from a prepared letter.
“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames,” she said. “Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow.”
By John Hamilton, NPR: How a new hard hat technology can protect workers better from concussion
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Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner on Cultivating Creative Talent
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