Again and again I managed to effect a settlement between them, but Michael was so obsessed with the idea that he must never oppose his mother, that even the thought of meeting her face to face would cause him to blush. He insisted on humiliating himself altogether. Such was the position, with the whole matter still undecided, when the Caesar arrived in the city, at Eudocia’s invitation, and lent his support to my scheme. He was strongly in favour of joint-rule by the family.

26. This trouble had not completely died down before another howling tempest broke over our heads, and on the self-same day. The commander-in-chief of the enemy forces, when he perceived that the Roman emperor had fallen into his hands, instead of exulting in his triumph, was quite overcome by his own extraordinary success. He celebrated his victory with a moderation that was beyond all expectation. Offering his condolences to the captive, he shared his own table with him, treated him as an honoured guest, gave him a bodyguard, loosed from their chains those prisoners he cared to name and set them free.

Signalize the good fortune

Finally, he restored liberty to Romanus himself also, and after making a treaty of friendship and after receiving from him assurances on oath that he would loyally abide by the agreements they had made, sent him back to Roman territory, with as numerous an escort and bodyguard as anyone could wish for.**271 Actually, this proved to be the beginning of trouble, the main cause of a multitude of disasters. The emperor, having obtained more concessions than he had thought possible, was under the impression that he would now recover his throne without any difficulty, and to signalize the good fortune that had followed on his defeat, he wrote a letter in his own handwriting to the empress, telling her of all his adventures.

27. Immediately there was wild confusion in the palace, with comings and goings everywhere. Some professed astonishment at the news, others would not believe it. Eudocia found herself in an embarrassing position. She was unable to decide what to do next. When I myself arrived in the midst of the turmoil there was general demand that I should advise on the best policy.

My beloved emperor (Michael) was particularly insistent and joined the others in urging me to speak. I declared, therefore, that it was no longer necessary to receive Romanus in the Empire: he should be outlawed and instructions should be forwarded to every place in the Roman dominions that his reign was over. The moderate element were convinced that this policy was in our best interests, but the opposition favoured a different plan.

Read More about The Conpiracy of Aston part 20

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