Turkish War part 9


As he had lost most of his men, and could no longer offer any resistance, John made his way to the capital. Thereupon Bolcanus grew bold, as no opponent was left, and devastated the surrounding lands and towns; laid the country outside Scopia in ruins and even burnt some of it. As if this was not enough, he even seized Polobus, and proceeding to Branea laid that all waste, carried off a tremendous amount of plunder from it and then returned to his own country.

V These tidings were too bad to be borne by the Emperor, who at once armed himself again, and certainly required no urging, not even from the flute-player Timotheus, for whose Orthian march Alexander waited. The Emperor, I say, armed himself and called to arms all the soldiers who were in the capital, and took in haste the road leading straight to Dalmatia. He wished to rebuild the forts which had just been ruined, to put matters on their former footing and to exact abundant retribution from Bolcanus for the evil he had done.

Forty stades distant from Constantinople

So he started from the capital, reached Daphnutium (an old town about forty stades distant from Constantinople), and there halted waiting for those of his kinsmen who had not yet arrived. The next 41ay Diogenes Nicephorus came, full of anger and haughtiness ; but, as usual, he wore a mask, and had put on, as one might say, a fox-skin, for he assumed a cheerful countenance and pretended to be behaving frankly with the Emperor. And his tent he did not have pitched at the usual distance from the Emperor’s sleeping-tent, but close to the slope leading to the Emperor’s.

Now Manuel Philocales noticed this, for none of Diogenes’ schemings ever escaped him, and as if struck by lightning he stood there all shrivelled up. He collected his wits with difficulty, at once went in to the Emperor and said, ” This act does not seem free from suspicion to me, and I am oppressed by the fear that an attempt will be made on your Majesty’s life at night. I will make some excuse or other, and arrange to make him move from that spot.” But the Emperor with his habitual imperturbability refused to allow Philocales to do this, and when the latter continued to urge him, he said, “Let it be, we must not let the man have any grievance against us.

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