Leo of Tripoli

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Leo of Tripoli () was a Greek renegade and pirate serving Arab interests in the early tenth century. Born in the Byzantine Empire to Christian parents, he later converted to Islam and took employment with his former captors as an admiral.

His first Arabic name was Ġulām Zurāfa, meaning "servant of Zurafa." He later took the name Rašiq al-Wardāmī, probably from the Greek Mardaïtes, denoting an origin from the area near Attaleia.

On 31 July 904, Leo sacked Antâliya, the great Byzantine city of Thessalonica, freeing 4,000 Muslim prisoners while capturing 60 ships; an event ostensibly recorded by John Kaminiates. In 907, gathering a fleet from Tarsus and Laodicea, he sailed up the Dardanelles and threatened the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. In May 912, Leo and his fellow Saracen Damian of Tyre defeated Himerios, the logothete of the Drome, in retaliation for an attack on some Cypriot Arabs. Finally, in 924, the imperial navy defeated Leo's fleet off Lemnos.

See also


  • Vasiliev, A. A. Byzance et les Arabes. 1960.
  • Jenkins, R. J. H. by Aly Mohamed Fahmy. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1. (1952), pp. 180-181. University of London.
  • Jenkins, R. J. H. ""......

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