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Battle of Maritsa
Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe
Serbian-Ottoman Wars
The Ottoman advance after the battle of Chernomen.
DateSeptember 26, 1371
LocationMaritsa River (near Chernomen (today Ormenio) in Greece)
Result Decisive Ottoman victory[1]
 Serbian Empire  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Vukašin Mrnjavčević
Uglješa Mrnjavčević
Lala Şâhin Paşa
Gazi Evrenos
20,000[2]-70,000 men[2][3][4][5][6] 800 men[2][7]
Casualties and losses
heavy combat losses[8]
thousands drowned[9]

The Battle of Maritsa, or Battle of Chernomen (Serbian language: Маричка битка, бој код Черномена, Bulgarian language: Битката при Марица, битката при Черномен , Turkish language: Çirmen Muharebesi, İkinci Meriç Muharebesi in tr. Second Battle of Maritsa) took place at the Maritsa River near the village of Chernomen (today Ormenio in Greece) on September 26, 1371 between the forces of Ottoman commanders Lala Şâhin Paşa and Gazi Evrenos and Serbian commanders King Vukašin Mrnjavčević and his brother Despot Jovan Uglješa [10][11][12][13] who also wanted to get revenge of First Battle of Maritsa.


The Serbian army numbered 20,000[2]-70,000[2][3][4][5][6] men. 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[3] Byzantine Greek scholar Laonikos Chalkokondyles[2] and other sources[7] give the number of 800 men, but due to superior tactics, by conducting a night raid on the Serbian camp, Şâhin Paşa was able to defeat the Serbian army and kill King Vukašin and despot Uglješa. Thousands of Serbs were killed, and thousands drowned in the Maritsa river when they tried to regroup for counter-attack.[9][14] Heavy armor became a disadvantage in the river water. After the battle, the Maritsa ran scarlet with blood.[14]


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. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Boskovic, Vladislav (2009). King Vukasin and the disastrous Battle of Marica. GRIN Verlag. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-640-49264-0. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Micropaedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1993. p. 855. ISBN 978-0-85229-571-7. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Grumeza, Ion (2010). The Roots of Balkanization: Eastern Europe C.E. 500-1500. University Press of America. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7618-5134-9. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Julius Emil DeVos: Fifteen hundred years of Europe, O'Donnell Press, 1924, page 110.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Otto Kaemmel: Spamer's Illustrierte Weltgeschichte: mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Kulturgeschichte, O. Spamer, 1902, page 740 (German)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Veiter, Theodor (1971). Volkstum zwischen Moldau, Etsch und Donau: Festschrift für Franz Hieronymus Riedl : Dargeboten zum 65. Lebensjahr. W. Braumüller. p. 294. ISBN 978-3-7003-0007-6. 
  8. Rossos, Andrew, Macedonia and the Macedonians, (Hoover Institution Press Publications, 2008), 40.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gustav Friedrich Hertzberg: Geschichte Griechenlands: Th. Vom lateinischen Kreuzzuge bis zur Vollendung der osmanischen Eroberung (1204-1740), F.A. Perthes, 1877, page 323 (German)
  10. K.Jirecek,History of the Bulgarians,p.382
  11. J.V.A Fine, The Late Mediaeval Balkans, p. 379
  12. L.S Stavrianos, The Balkan since 1453, p.44
  13. Jirecek, Konstantin, Geschichte der Serben, pp. 437-438
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harold William Vazeille Temperley: History of Serbia, H. Fertig, 1917, page 97.


  • 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

Coordinates: 41°43′N 26°13′E / 41.717°N 26.217°E / 41.717; 26.217

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