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Napolitan Invasions of Ravenna (Magnam Europae)

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Invasions of Ravenna
Date:

897-902

Location:

Southern Italy

Result:

Napolitan Victory; Capture of southern Ravenna

Belligerents

Oriflamme du Christophorus I (893-930) Carolingian Empire

No flag League of Napoli

Commanders

Oriflamme du Christophorus I (893-930) Christophorus I

No flag Atenulf

Strength
Casualties and Losses
  

The Invasions of Ravenna were a series of conflicts centered in and around southern Ravenna between 897 and 902. Fought between the Carolingian Empire and the League of Napoli, these battles ended with a Napolitan victory in 902. The result of this Napolitan victory resulted in the capitulation of all southern Ravennan territory owned by the Carolingian Empire. The League of Napoli controlled southern Italy until 924, when it surrendered to the Carolingian Empire.

Background

The Carolingian invasion of the Papal States in 893 spurred several Italian nations into action against the Carolingian Empire. However, aside from Spoleto, most Italian nations opposed the Carolingian Empire economically and politically rather than militarily. Following the fall of Spoleto, the southern Italian nations formed the League of Napoli in order to effectively fight against a seemingly inevitable Carolingian Invasion. Immediately, the League of Napoli was surrounded on the north and south by the Carolingian Duchy of Ravenna. In 897, the League attempted to secure southern Italy in order to be on better footing against the Carolingians.

Battles

Battle of Calabria

The Napolitans stormed northern Calabria in 897, quickly pushing the Carolingians back to the city of Catanzaro by 898. The recent battle in Spoleto had exhausted and distracted the Carolingian forces, allowing the League of Napoli to make massive gains. As the Carolingians attempted to secure the holdings, Calabria seemed all but lost by 899. In 900, the Napolitans surrounded the last Carolingian holding in Reggio Calabria, the city receiving reinforcements from Sicily. The one-year siege of Reggio Calabria resulted in a Napolitan victory.

Battle of Apulia

While Calabria was difficult for the League of Napoli to conquer, Apulia was a living hell for the infant league. Surrounded on all sides by Carolingian waters, the Carolingians were able to send reinforcements to Apulia. While much of northern Apulia was taken, including the city of Foggia, the League was met at a standstill in 899, even losing some territory to the Carolingians by the end of the year. The Carolingian war effort faltered, however, when Calabria fell in 901. Apulia was captured in 902 by the League of Napoli.

Aftermath

The Napolitan Invasions of Ravenna secured Napolitan dominance in southern Italy for roughly two decades. A force to be reckoned with, the Napolitans used their captured ports to launch subsequent invasions of Italy. Furthermore, the Sicilian Emirate, at war with the Carolingians, offered to aid the League of Napoli as they battled throughout Italy.

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