06.03.

961: Muslim Emirate on Crete Destroyed

961: Muslim Emirate on Crete Destroyed
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Saracen_fleet_against_Crete.jpg

The Muslim emirate on the Mediterranean island of Crete was destroyed on this day in 961. Crete was under Muslim rule almost the entire previous century-and-a-half. Namely, the island had been occupied by conquerors from Andalusia (today part of Spain) in the first half of the 9th century. These conquerors managed to take Crete from the Byzantine Empire, and founded an emirate there.

At the time when Crete was under Muslim rule, some Arab raiders managed to penetrate as far as southern Italy or even the northern Adriatic. They particularly targeted Sicily, which they later also conquered.

In the first half of the 10th century, Crete was under Muslim rule. Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos tried to return it to the Byzantine Empire. However, it was only his successor Romanos II who managed to achieve this. The last Muslim stronghold on Crete was taken on this day. Byzantine forces captured and imprisoned the last local emir,  Abd al-Aziz ibn Shuayb.

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