Turkish War part 6


The island also needed a military governor, so he appointed Philocales Eumathius as Stratopedarch, assigning the protection of it to him, and gave him ships of war and cavalry with which to guard Cyprus, both by land and sea. Butumites conducted Rhapsomates and the other ‘Immortals’ who had joined him in rebellion and returned with them to Ducas, and thus made his way to the capital.

III Such were the events which took place in the islands, I mean Cyprus and Crete.

Tzachas, however, was too fond of war, and too energetic to be able to keep quiet, and therefore attacked Smyrna after a short interval and took possession of it. And once again he began carefully to equip pirate-ships,’dromons,’ biremes and triremes, and other kinds of lighter vessels, still in pursuit of his former aim.

Most glorious Sultan Clitziasthlan

On being informed of this the Emperor did not delay or hesitate, but determined to defeat him utterly by land and sea. So he elected Constantine Dalassenus ‘Thalassocrator’ and sent him on this occasion with the whole fleet to oppose Tzachas. He also ihought it would be useful to rouse the Sultan to anger against him; and his letter to the latter ran as follows: “Most glorious Sultan Clitziasthlan, you know that the rank of Sultan is yours by heredity.

Now your kinsman by marriage, Tzachas, is preparing war to all seeming against the Roman Empire, and calls himself Emperor, but this is only a transparent pretence. For he is too worldly wise and well informed not to see that the Roman Empire is not for him, and that it would be impossible for him ever to grasp its sceptre. His whole mischievous device is really planned against you.

It is your duty therefore not to bear with him, and not be dilatory, but rather to wake up if you do not wish to be deprived of your kingdom. I for my part will, with God’s help, drive him out of the countries under the Roman jurisdiction, and in my affection for you, I adjure you, on your side, to take thought for your kingdom and power, and bring that man into subjection, either by peaceful methods, or, if he rejects those, then by the sword.”

Whilst these preparations were made by the Emperor, Tzachas travelled to Abydos with his troops overland and besieged it with engines and various stone-throwing machines. He had not got his pirate ships with him for they were not yet fully equipped. Dalassenus, a man ever keen for adventure and full of courage, kept along the road leading to Abydos with his troops.

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