Battle of Litosoria
Part of the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars
Solidus-Leo III and Constantine V-sb1504.jpg

Leo III the Isaurian, with Constantine V, AV Solidus. Constantinople mint.
DateOctober 774
Result Byzantine victory
Bulgarian Kingdom Byzantine Empire
Commanders and leaders
Telerig of Bulgaria Constantine V
12,000 [1] 60,000 [1]
Casualties and losses
Heavy Heavy

The Battle of Litosoria[2] or Lithosoria[3] (Bulgarian: Битка при Литосория)[4] occurred between the Byzantines and Bulgars in the fall of 774 at an unknown place named Litosoria. It was located in the border area between both states,[5] in the region of Zagore,[6] probably north of the line Kirklareli - Vize in modern Turkey.[7] The result was a Byzantine victory.

After an unsuccessful campaign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine V earlier that year, the Bulgar Khan Telerig decided to strike back to the southwest and sent a small raiding army of 12,000 to capture Berzitia.

The Byzantine emperor was informed of the raid in due time by his spies in Pliska and gathered an enormous force. The Byzantines surprised the Bulgarian army, and after a long fight they managed to defeat them due to their great superiority in troops.

Constantine V was eager to follow up his success and led another campaign against the Bulgars, but once again it failed. However, Telerig learned during this event that all his plans were known to Constantine through a network of spies within his government. He decided to eliminate them once and for all and sent a message to Constantine, stating that he was going to flee in exile to Constantinople. In exchange, Telerig asked the emperor to reveal the spies to his associates in Pliska for their own safety. As Telerig was not the first ruler to flee to Constantinople, Constantine revealed his information and sent the Bulgarian government the list of spies; however, Telerig deceived him and did not travel to Constantinople. When Telerig learned of their names, he executed them all and eliminated the Byzantine spy network within his government.[8]


  1. ^ a b Йордан Андреев, Милчо Лалков, Българските ханове и царе, Велико Търново, 1996, c. 41
  2. ^ Michael Palairet, Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 1, From Ancient Times to the Ottoman Invasions), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, ISBN 1443888435, p. 174.
  3. ^ Dennis P. Hupchick, The Bulgarian-Byzantine Wars for Early Medieval Balkan Hegemony: Silver-Lined Skulls and Blinded Armies, Springer, 2017, ISBN 3319562061, p. 59.
  4. ^ Златарски, В. История на българската държава през средните векове, том I, част 1, Изд. "Наука и изкуство", София 1970, стр. 304.
  5. ^ Panos Sophoulis, Byzantium and Bulgaria, 775-831, Volume 16 of East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450-1450, BRILL, 2011, ISBN 9004206957, pp. 94-95.
  6. ^ Ilse Rochow, Byzantium in the 8th century in the view of Theophanes: source critical-historical come to the Jahven 715-813, Volume 57 of Berlin Byzantine works, Akad.-Verlag, 1991, ISBN 3050007001, p. 215.
  7. ^ Karl Krumbacher, Byzantinische Zeitschrift, Volumes 65-66, Walter de Gruyter & Co, G.G. Teubner, 1971, p. 392.
  8. ^ John V.A. Fine, Jr. (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans: "A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century", p. 77. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3