Maslama 1

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitE VIII
Dates708 (taq) / 738 (tpq)
PmbZ No.4868
Variant NamesMasalmas
Melitene (Armenia);
Mesopotamia (officeplace);
Amaseia (Helenopontus);
Tyana (Cappadocia);
Akroinon (Phrygia);
Pergamon (Asia);
Abydos (Hellespontus);
Kaisareia (Cappadocia);
Caspian Gates
TitlesEmir (office)
Textual SourcesBar Hebraeus, Chronographia, tr. E. A. W. Budge, The Chronography of Abu 'l-Faraj (London, 1932; repr. Amsterdam, 1976) (history);
Chronicon Anonymi ad annum 1234 pertinens, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot, I = CSCO 81-82 (Paris, 1916-20), II = CSCO 109 (Louvain, 1937) (chronicle);
Chronicon Anonymum ad annum 819 pertinens, ed. Aphram Barsaum (CSCO 81, 1920), trans. J.-B. Chabot, CSCO 109, Scriptores Syri 56 (Louvain, 1937) (chronicle);
Chronicon ad annum Domini 846 pertinens, ed. E. W. Brooks, tr. J.-B. Chabot, CSCO 3-4 (Louvain, 1904); also tr. E. W. Brooks, "A Syriac Chronicle of the Year 846", Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländ (chronicle);
Chronique de Denys de Tell-Mahré, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot (Paris, 1895); tr. A. Palmer, The Seventh Century in West-Syrian Chronicles (Liverpool, 1993), pp. 54-65 (chronicle);
Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio, ed. G. Moravcsik, trans. R. J. H. Jenkins (Washington, D.C., 1967) (history);
Elias Barshinaya, Chronicle (Eliae metropolitae Nisibeni, Opus chronologicum, pars prior, ed. and tr. E. W. Brooks, CSCO 62 and CSCO 63 (1910) (chronicle);
Nicephorus, Breviarium Historiae, ed. C. Mango, Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History; prev. ed. C. de Boor Nicephori ArchiepiscopiConstantinopolitani Opuscula Historica Leipzig 1880 (history);
Nikaia, Second Council of (Seventh Ecumenical Council, a. 787) (Mansi XII-XIII) (conciliar);
Theophanes Confessor, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1883-85, repr. Hildesheim/NewYork, 1980); tr. and comm. C. Mango and R. Scott, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, Oxford 1997 (chronicle);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)

Maslama 1 was the son of the caliph `Abd al-Malik (Abdulmalik 1) and brother of the caliph Walid I (Walid 1): Chron. 1234, §153 (p. 298); brother also of the caliphs Sulayman 4 and Yezid 2: Chron. 1234, §161 (p. 306), §163 (p. 308). Abu Muslim 1 was possibly one of his freed slaves: Chron. 1234, §176 (pp. 323-324).

Maslama 1 was an Arab general, sent with Solyman (probably Sulayman 4, not Sulayman 1) in 708 by the caliph (al-Walid I) to lay siege to Tyana; they defeated a Roman army and eventually took the city by surrender: Nic. Brev. dB 43, Mango 44. According to Theophanes it was Maslama 1 and Abas 1 who attacked Tyana, to avenge the destruction of an Arab army (under Maioumas 1) by Marianos 1; they besieged it during the winter and then defeated an army sent by Justinian II (Ioustinianos 1) under Theodoros 8 and Theophylaktos 4 before eventually the city submitted: Theoph. AM 6201, cf. Chron. 1234, §153 (p. 298) (he besieged Tyana for nine months, then defeated Theophylaktos 4, and finally captured the city; no co-general is named, nor is Theodoros 8).

Maslama 1 was given the rule of Mesopotamia by his brother (Walid 1), in succession to their uncle Muhammad 2, possibly in 708 (year 89 of the Arabs); he compiled a register of persons and land: Chron. 1234, §153 (p. 299). In 712 he captured Amaseia together with other forts and took many prisoners: Theoph. AM 6204, Chron. 1234, §153 (p. 299). In 714 he raided Roman territory and overran Galatia, where he took many prisoners and much booty before returning home: Theoph. AM 6206. In 716 Maslama 1 mounted a major expedition against Constantinople; in advance of his own already large army he sent other forces by land under Sulayman 1 (son of Ma`ud), and Bakthari 1 (Chron. 1234) and by sea under Omar 3; Sulayman 1 decided to await Maslama 1's arrival near Amorion (and while there learned of the enmity between Leo 3 and the emperor Theodosios III (Theodosios 2): Chron. 1234) but by the time Maslama 1 crossed the passes into Asia Minor Sulayman 1's army had scattered; Maslama 1 came to Cappadocia where the inhabitants wanted to submit to him; he now learned of the hostility between the emperor Theodosios III (Theodosios 2) and the strategos Leo 3 and planned to exploit it to overthrow Theodosios 2, install Leo 3 as his successor and exercise control over the Roman empire through him; Maslama 1 therefore ordered his men not to plunder the provinces which were subject to Leo 3; his attempts to win over Leo 3 were frustrated by Leo 3 until Maslama 1 had advanced beyond Leo 3's territory and reached Akroinon; Leo 3 then went to Nikomedeia, seized the son of Theodosios 2 and shortly afterwards succeeded to the throne; Maslama 1 then moved forward into Asia where he wintered (winter 716/717): Theoph. AM 6208, cf. Nic. Brev. dB 52, Mango 52 (in 716 he was put in command of the great expedition mounted by land and sea against Constantinople - ἡγεμόνα τούτοις τινα καταστήσαντες Μασαλμᾶν τῇ σφῶν διαλέκτῷ καλούμενον), Chron. 1234, §157 (pp. 300- 302). Maslama 1 took Pergamon by siege: Theoph. AM 6208, Nic. Brev. de Boor 52-53, Mango 53. At first Maslama 1 welcomed the elevation of Leo 3, thinking that he would soon surrender Constantinople to him: Chron. 1234, §158 (p. 303). After winter was over, Maslama 1 realised that Leo 3 had been misleading him; Maslama 1 therefore advanced to Abydos, transferred his army over into Thrace ("in Haziran of the same year", i.e. June 717: Chron. 1234) and moved against Constantinople, writing to the caliph Sulayman 4 to come with the already prepared fleet; on 15 August 717, after damaging the forts in Thrace, Maslama 1 laid siege to Constantinople on the landward side, and on 1 September Sulayman (probably Sulayman 1, not the caliph Sulayman 4) arrived with the fleet: Theoph. AM 6209 (p. 395), Chron. 1234, §§159-160 (pp. 304-6), cf. Zon. XV 1. 23-24 (from Abydos he crossed to Thrace, plundered it, then lay siege to Constantinople). Maslama 1 continually promised his troops that the city would soon fall and that fresh supplies would soon arrive from the caliph Sulayman 4: Chron. 1234, §159 (p. 305). In 718 the new caliph Omar 2 gave the order for Maslama 1 to withdraw the Arab forces from Constantinople; the date of the retreat was 15 August: Theoph. AM 6210, cf. Mansi XIII 197 τὸν ἀνασκαφον Μασαλμᾶν (mentioned at the Second Council of Nikaia; he was the enemy of Omar 2 who recalled him and his army from Roman soil; he returned to Syria in disgrace having achieved nothing), Chron. 1234, §161 (pp. 306-307) (Omar 2 recalled the army because there was no progress towards capturing Constantinople and the condition of the troops was appalling; see also Anonymus 566).

Maslama 1 was the grandson of Mu`awiya 1; he led an Arab army against Constantinople and besieged the city; the mosque of the Saracens was built at his request in the imperial praitorion: Const. Porph., DAI 21, 12ff.

In 720 Maslama 1 was sent to Persia by the new caliph Yezid II (Yezid 2) to put down the rebellion under Yezid 3; Maslama 1 ended the rebellion and subdued Persia: Theoph. AM 6212, Chron. 1234, §163 (p. 308), and cf. Shaban, Islamic History, I, pp. 136-137 (he was appointed "governor of Iraq and the East"). In the year after this (i.e. 721) Maslama 1, on orders from Yezid 2, issued a decree banning images: Chron. 1234, §163 (p. 308) ("Maslama ordered, by decree of his brother the king, that all images be blotted out, whether in temples or on walls or in houses, and some in books. And he destroyed any statue or image he found, whether of stone or of wood or of bone.") Maslama 1 also arrested the trickster Severus 3 but released him after confiscating his takings and securing a confession of his trickery: Chron. 1234, §163 (p. 308).

In 726 Maslama 1 attacked and captured Kaisareia in Cappadocia: Theoph. AM 6218. This is probably the same event as that recorded in Chron. 1234, §164 (p. 309): "in the year 1027 (725 AD)" Maslama 1 besieged and captured Neokaisareia in Pontos and carried off into captivity "those nobles who had been found in it, for they were the only armed men, and not the people". One of the place names is presumably an error.

In 730 Maslama 1 led an expedition against the land of the Turks; a battle was fought with heavy losses on both sides and Maslama 1 took to flight and withdrew through the mountains of Khazaria: Theoph. AM 6221, Chron. 1234, §164 (p. 310) (and see Dunlop, cited below).

In 731 Maslama 1 attacked the Roman empire and reached Cappadocia, where he captured the stronghold of Charsianon by treachery: Theoph. AM 6222.

In 732 Maslama 1 marched against the Turks (ἐπεστράτευσε Μασαλμᾶς τὴν Τουρκίαν) and reached the Caspian Gates but there took fright and retreated: Theoph. AM 6223.

In the late 730s Maslama 1 was an emir and accompanied the caliph Hisham 1 to Melitene from where they carried away many captives: Chron. 1234, §165 (p. 312). For an account of his campaigns in the East against the Khazars in the Caucasus region, taken from Oriental sources, see Dunlop, Jewish Khazars, pp.60, 67-68, 71, 74-80.

In AH 86 (January/Decemver 705) = 1016 Sel. (704/705) Maslama 1 (Maslama ibn `Abd al-Malik) led an invasion of Roman territory; he captured two fortresses, took many people captive, seized much plunder and returned victorious: Elias, Chron., p. 157, 1-8 = p. 75.

In AH 89 (December 707/November 708) = 1019 Sel. (707/708) Maslama 1 and `Abbas ibn Walid (Abas 1) invaded the lands of the Romans and returned victorious: Elias, Chron., p. 158, 5-9 = p. 76.

In the year 1021 Sel. (709/710) Maslama 1 replaced Muhammad son of Marwan (Muhammad 2) at Gezirtha; he then assembled an army and invaded the lands of the Romans; he laid siege to the fortress of Tarandum (Trnd'), Mysia (Mwsy') and the city of Mystia (Mwsty'), laying them waste and carrying off the inhabitants into captivity: Chron. ad a. 819, p. 14, 25-p. 15, 4 = p. 10, cf. Chron. ad a. 846, p. 233, 13-21 = p. 176ff. (Chabot) = p. 582 (Brooks) (Tryd', Mwsy' and Mwsty').

In AH 95 (September 713/September 714) = 1025 Sel. (713/714; the MS gives the year 1024 Sel.) Salama (sic) ibn `Abd al-Malik (Maslama 1) invaded Armenia at the same time as `Abbas ibn Walid (Abas 2) invaded Roman lands: Elias, Chron., p. 160, 11-15 = p. 77.

In AH 97 (September 715/August 716) = 1026 Sel. (714/715) Maslama 1 invaded the lands of the Romans and captured two cities and three fortresses: Elias, Chron., p. 161, 4-8 = p. 77.

In AH 98 (August 716/August 717) = 1027 Sel. (715/716) Maslama 1 invaded the lands of the Romans and laid siege to Constantinople; he remained there over the winter and his men supplied themselves from crops which they themselves sowed and reaped: Elias, Chron., p. 161, 11-18 = p. 77.

In AH 107 (May 725/May 726) = 1036 Sel. (724/725) Maslama 1 captured the city of Kaisareia (Neokaisareia in Pontus): Elias, Chron., p. 164, 6-9 = p. 78.

In the year 1037 Sel. (725/726) Maslama 1 invaded the lands of the Romans; he captured Neokaisareia in Pontus, laying it waste and carrying off the inhabitants into captivity in Syria; in the year 1039 Sel. (727/728) Maslama 1 invaded the lands of the Turks and was defeated; he then assembled a large number of craftsmen and returned to the land of the Turks; this time he defeated them and built there fortresses and cities: Chron. ad a. 819, p. 16, 28 - p. 17, 7 = p. 12, Chron. ad a. 846, p. 235, 14-20 = p. 178 (Chabot) = pp. 584ff. (Brooks).

In AH 109 (April 727/April 728) = 1038 Sel. (726/727) Maslama 1 invaded Azerbaijan and Armenia and also attacked the lands of the Turks and defeated them: Elias, Chron., p. 164, 18-23 = pp. 78ff.

In AH 110 (April 728/April 729) = 1039 Sel. (727/728) Maslama 1 again invaded the lands of the Turks and again defeated them: Elias, Chron., p. 165, 4-8 = p. 79.

In AH 113 (March 731/March 732) = 1042 Sel. (730/731) Maslama 1 fought a battle with Kaqan, the ruler of the Turks, and killed him: Elias, Chron., p. 166, 1-5 = p. 79.

In AH 121 (December 738/December 739) = 1050 Sel. (738/739) Maslama 1 died: Elias, Chron., p. 168, 1-6 = p. 80.

Maslama 1 invaded the lands of the Romans during the reign of Theodosios Konstantinos (= the emperor Theodosios III, Theodosios 2): Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 156, 10-17 = p. 117.

In the year 1028 Sel. (716/717) Maslama 1 invaded the lands of the Romans; he and Leo 3 allegedly made a pact that in order to avoid too much bloodshed Leo 3 would deliver Constantinople into the hands of Maslama 1; Maslama 1 accordingly advanced towards Constantinople, invaded Europa and attacked the city, but the emperor Theodosius III (Theodosios 2) abdicated and Leo 3, now in the city, was appointed to succeed him and took measures to defend Constantinople; he destroyed the pontoon bridge over the Bosporos and marooned the Arabs under Maslama 1 on the European side; Maslama 1 ordered a vineyard to be planted but his men ran short of bread and were reduced to eating their pack animals and their horses; Maslama 1 complained to Leo 3 about the fulfilment of their pact and Leo 3 explained that more time was needed to win the consent of the leading men in the kingdom; the siege lasted for three years and the famine among Maslama 1's men grew worse, while Maslama 1 continued to protest to Leo 3 and threaten war if he did not fulfil his promise; finally the caliph Sulayman 4 died and the new caliph `Umar (Omar 2) ordered Maslama 1 to abandon the siege and withdraw; Maslama 1 asked Leo 3 for an interview, and he was allowed to enter Constantinople with thirty followers and for three days was shown the principal sights of the city; then Maslama 1 withdrew his forces from Constantinople having accomplished nothing; on the way home a Roman army prepared to attack them near Tyana, judging their health and morale to be at a low ebb, but Maslama 1 gave one of his commanders, `Abbas (Abas 2), permission to take troops against them, and the Romans were ambushed and defeated: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., pp. 156, 26 - 160, 10 = pp. 117-120 = pp. 62-65 (Palmer).

In the year 1032 Sel. (720/721), the first of `Umar (Omar 2) and the fourth of Leo (Leo 3), Maslama 1 laid waste all the frontier territory before withdrawing from the lands of the Romans: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 160, 11-15 = p. 120.

In the year 1042 Sel. (730/731) Maslama 1 went to war against the Turks, also called Huns, who every year were attacking Armenia and the districts of the north; Maslama 1 defeated them and reduced them to begging for peace; in the same year Maslama 1 also destroyed the so-called Gate of the Turks, built by Alexander of Macedon; afterwards he withdrew, sending the pack animals and the workmen (who presumably were employed to destroy the structure) on ahead and following with his troops while guarding against pursuit by the Turks: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., pp. 168, 13 - 169, 7 = p. 127.

In the year 1043 (731/732) Maslama 1 took numerous workmen and rebuilt the Gate of the Turks; he then made a treaty with the Turks not to invade one another's lands, but the Turks ignored this and continued to cross the frontier and cause damage: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 169, 8-19 = p. 127. Later he was sent by Hisham 1 to reinforce Djirah, but could not prevent the massacre of Djirah's troops by the Turks; Maslama 1 himself then engaged the Turks in battle and crushingly defeated them; he next appointed Marwan 2 (the future caliph) as governor of Armenia and returned leaving a large army with Marwan 2: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 170, 5-21 = p. 128.

Maslama 1 was the brother of the caliph Hisham 1: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 171, 6 = p. 129.

In the year 1040 Sel. (728/729) Maslama 1 captured Kaisareia, taking all the inhabitants captive and selling them into slavery, apart from the Jews; because they had surrendered the city to him, he kept them captive but did not sell them: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 171, 6-16 = p. 129.

In the year 1015 Sel. (703/704) Maslama 1 was sent into the lands of the Romans by `Abd al-Malik (Abdulmalik 1) and captured Mopsuestia: Bar Hebr., p. 105 (Maslima).

Under Walid I, Maslama 1 besieged Tuana (Tyana) in Cappadocia, defeated a Roman army and after nine months captured the city; in the year 1022 Sel. (710/711) he captured and garrisoned "Turanda" and also took many other fortresses: Bar Hebr., p. 106.

Early in the reign of Sulayman 4, Maslama 1 captured a fortress in Galatia and took much booty; then, in the year 1026 Sel. (714/715) he subdued the Turkaye and took much booty; in the year 1027 Sel. (715/716) Maslama 1 invaded Asia and captured and plundered Pergamon and Rhodes; in the same year, on Sulayman 4's orders, Maslama 1 assembled a huge army and fleet to attack Constantinople and himself commanded the forces which marched overland; he met the Roman commander Leo 3 and received from him a promise of help in taking Constantinople: Bar Hebr., p. 107. Leo 3 however entered Constantinople and was proclaimed emperor and Maslama 1, learning that he had been tricked, crossed the sea and encamped near Constantinople, with four thousand men; Maslama 1 was attacked by Leo 3's Bulgarian allies and narrowly escaped, to join the main Arab camp opposite the Golden Gate, where he prepared defences in front and behind; Maslama 1 was attacked from front and rear by the Romans and the Bulgars and by the Roman navy on either side, and his men suffered increasing hardship as they remained there during the winter; Maslama 1 encouraged his men to believe that the caliph was sending help, but instead news of the death of Sulayman 4 came; the new caliph Omar 2 sent to learn the facts of the situation and then ordered Maslama 1 to withdraw; Maslama 1 remained obstinate during the winter but in spring the Arabs withdrew, suffering losses on land and on the sea: Bar Hebr., p. 108.

In the year 1039 Sel. (727/728) Maslama 1 again invaded the lands of the Turkaye, but the Arabs failed and fled leaving their valuables behind; in the year 1042 Sel. (730/731) the Turkaye attacked Azerbaijan; Maslama 1 led a large army against them and after heavy losses to both sides the Arabs and the Turkaye made peace: Bar Hebr., p. 110.

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