Turkish War part 4


So when Tzachas weighed anchor, and without delay sailed straight for Smyrna, Dalassenus overtook him very quickly, and at once attacked and chased him, Ducas too managed to capture the rest of Tzachas’ fleet as it was raising anchor, and thus secured the ships and rescued from the barbarians all the prisoners of war and other captives in them. Dalassenus took a number of Tzachas’ pirate vessels, and had everybody in them, rowers and all, put to death.

And probably Tzachas himself would have been captured too, had he not with native shrewdness foreseen what was coming and boarded one of the lighter boats, and thus, unsuspected and unseen, got safely away. He had imagined something of this kind might happen to him, and had therefore arranged beforehand for some Turks to stand on a certain headland and watch until he either reached Smyrna safely or, if he fell in with the enemy, steered his ship towards them as toward a saf e refuge. Nor did he fail in his object for he anchored his ship there, joined the Turks who were waiting for him, and made for Smyrna.

And in very truth he reached it. Dalassenus returned victorious and joined the Great Duke. After securing Mitylene and seeing that Dalassenus was also returning (home), Ducas dispatched the greater part of the Roman fleet to free the islands still held by Tzachas (for he had previously brought a large number into subjection). Then he took Samos and a few other islands off-hand, and afterwards returned to the capital.

Rhapsomates Cyprus

II Within a few days, the Emperor heard that Calyces had rebelled and seized Crete, and Rhapsomates Cyprus, so he dispatched John Ducas against them with a large fleet. When the Cretans learnt that Ducas had reached Carpathus, which they knew was not far off, they attacked Calyces, murdered him cruelly and then surrendered Crete to the Great Duke. Ducas organized the administration of the island and left an adequate garrison for its protection, and then sailed down to Cyprus.

As soon as he had run his ships ashore, he took Cyrene at first assault, and Rhapsomates informed of this, made great preparations to oppose him. Consequently he left Levcosia, occupied the heights behind Cyrene and fixed his palisades there, but refused battle, for he was ignorant of war and unversed in generalship. For the right thing would have been to fall upon the Romans whilst they were unprepared.

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