Battle of Maritsa

Battle of Maritsa
Battle of Maritsa
Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe
Serbian-Ottoman Wars
The Ottoman advance after the battle of Chernomen.
Date September 26, 1371
Location Maritsa River (near Chernomen, today Ormenio in Greece)
Result Decisive Ottoman victory[1]
House of Mrnjavčević  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Vukašin Mrnjavčević
Despot Uglješa
Lala Şâhin Paşa
~ 70,000 Much smaller
Casualties and losses
heavy losses[2] Unknown

The Battle of Maritsa, or Battle of Chernomen, took place at the Maritsa River near the village of Chernomen (today Ormenio in Greece) on September 26, 1371 between the forces of the Ottoman sultan Murad I's lieutenant Lala Şâhin Paşa and the Serbian army numbering some 70,000 men under the command of the self-proclaimed king of the Serbs and the Greeks Vukašin Mrnjavčević and his brother despot Uglješa.[3][4][5][6]

Despot Uglješa wanted to make a surprise attack on the Ottomans in their capital city, Edirne, while Murad I was in Asia Minor. The Ottoman army was much smaller, but due to superior tactics (night raid on the allied camp), Şâhin Paşa was able to defeat the Serbian army and kill King Vukašin and despot Uglješa. Macedonia and parts of Greece fell under Ottoman power after this battle.

The battle was a part of the Ottoman campaign to conquer the Balkans and was preceded by the Ottoman capturing of Sozopol and succeeded by the capture of the cities of Drama, Kavála and Serrai in modern Greece. The battle preceded the later 1389 Battle of Kosovo, and was one of many in history of the Serbian-Turkish wars.


  1. ^ Sedlar, Jean W., East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500, (University of Washington Press, 1994), 385.
  2. ^ Rossos, Andrew, Macedonia and the Macedonians, (Hoover Institution Press Publications, 2008), 40.
  3. ^ K.Jirecek,History of the Bulgarians,p.382
  4. ^ J.V.A Fine, The Late Mediaeval Balkans, p.379.
  5. ^ L.S Stavrianos, The Balkan since 1453, p.44
  6. ^ K.Jirecek, Geschichte der Serben, p.437-438


  • Rossos, Andrew, Macedonia and the Macedonians, Hoover Institution Press Publications, 2008.
  • Sedlar, Jean W., East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500, University of Washington Press, 1994.
  • Stavrianos, L. S. The Balkans Since 1453, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000.
  • Turnbull, Stephen R. The Ottoman Empire 1326-1699, Osprey Publishing, 2003.

External links

Topcu arma.jpg Military history of the Ottoman Empire portal

Coordinates: 40°43′50″N 26°2′6″E / 40.73056°N 26.035°E / 40.73056; 26.035

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