Battle of Adrianople (324)

Battle of Adrianople
Part of the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy
Constantine-cameo.jpg
Constantine I crowned as a victorious general – 4th century cameo
DateJuly 3, 324
Location
Near Adrianople (modern Edirne, Turkey)
ResultConstantinian victory
Belligerents
Forces of Constantine
(Western Empire)
Forces of Licinius
(Eastern Empire)
Commanders and leaders
Constantine ILicinius
Strength
130,000[1]165,000[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown34,000 dead[1]

The Battle of Adrianople was fought on July 3, 324,[2] during a Roman civil war, the second to be waged between the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius; Licinius suffered a heavy defeat.

Background

The Danubian Provinces of Rome. Adrianople (Hadrianoplis) and the Hebrus River are shown in the Province of Thrace

Constantine had, in a previous war (in 316), defeated Licinius at the Battle of Cibalae and conquered from him all the Balkan Peninsula, with the exception of Thrace.[3] A peace had been arranged but the relationship between the two emperors remained uneasy. By 324 Constantine was ready to renew the conflict and when his army, in pursuit of a raiding Visigothic, or possibly Sarmatian, force, crossed into Licinius' territory an opportune casus belli was created. The reaction of Licinius to this incursion was overtly hostile and this induced Constantine to go on to the offensive. Constantine invaded Thrace in force; his army was smaller than that of Licinius, but it contained many battle-hardened veterans and, as he had control of the Illyrian region, the finest quality of new recruits.[4]