Battle of Garigliano (915)

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Battle of Garigliano (915)
date 915
place Lazio
output Christian League victory
Parties to the conflict


Christian League


Pope John X.

The Battle of Garigliano took place in 915 between an army of the Christian League and the Saracens . Pope John X personally led the Christian forces.


In the second half of the 9th century there was a series of raids by the Saracens on the Lazio region . Near the ancient city of Minturnae on the Garigliano River , the Saracens established a base and formed an alliance with the rulers of the city of Gaeta .

However, Pope John X managed to unite the divided principalities into an alliance with the aim of driving the Saracens from their threatening base. The alliance consisted of several southern Italian principalities. Among them were Guaimar II of Salerno, John I of Gaeta and his son Docibilis II of Gaeta, Gregory IV of Naples and his son John II of Naples and Landulf I of Benevento. The King of Italy , Berengar I , sent reinforcements from Spoleto and the Marche , led by Alberic I. The Byzantine Empire sent its troops from Calabria and Apulia under the leadership of the strategos of Bari , Nicholas Picingli. John X himself led the militias from Lazio, Tuscany and Rome .

The battle

The first fighting took place in the north of the Lazio region, where marauding gangs of Saracens were surprised and destroyed. Then the Christians won two more battles at Campo Baccano, on Via Cassia and in the area of Tivoli and Vicovaro . After these defeats, the Saracens withdrew from the cities of Narni and Ciculi to their main base on the Garigliano River. Here they had a fortified structure: Kairuan . The exact location is still unknown today. In June 915 the Christian army began to siege the base. After the Christians had succeeded in pushing the Saracens out of the camp, they withdrew to a nearby hill, from where they were able to repel several attacks led by Alberich and Landulf. After they ran out of supplies over time and the situation slowly became hopeless, the remaining Saracens attempted an escape towards the coast in August to escape to Sicily . However, according to the chroniclers, they were caught and executed.


Berengar was rewarded by the Pope with the crown of the empire. Alberich gained great influence in the city of Rome and John I of Gaeta was able to expand his sphere of influence to Garigliano and received the title of patricius from Byzantium . Then he gave himself the title "Prince".