Maurice's Balkan campaigns

Maurice's Balkan Campaigns

Military Conflict
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Maurice's Balkan campaigns

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Maurice's Balkan campaigns were a series of military expeditions conducted by Byzantine emperor Maurice (582-602) in an attempt to defend the Balkan provinces of the East Roman Empire from Avars and Slavs. Maurice was the only Byzantine Emperor, except for Anastasius I, who did his best to implement determined Balkan policies in Late Antiquity, paying adequate attention to the safety of the northern frontier against Barbarian incursions. During the second half of his reign, the Balkan campaigns were the main focus of his foreign policies, as a favourable peace treaty with Persia in 591 enabled him to shift his experienced troops from the Persian front to the region. The refocusing of Roman efforts soon paid off: the frequent Roman failures before 591 were succeeded by a string of successes afterwards.

Although it is widely believed that his campaigns were only a token measure Maurice was in fact well on his way to forestalling the Slavic landfall on the Balkans, nearly preserving the order of Late Antiquity there. His success was only undone over ten years after his overthrow. Retrospectively, these campaigns were the last in the series of classical Roman campaigns against the Barbarians on the Rhine and Danube, effectively delaying Slavic landfall on the Balkans by two decades. With respect to the...
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