The Final Defeat of Bohemond : The Treaty of Devol. (1107-8)

I We were, one and all, astounded at the Emperor’s dignified attitude. But although outwardly he pretended for the sake of those present to receive that message with disdain, yet inwardly he was deeply perturbed by it. Then he decided that he must leave Byzantium again and this although he knew that things at home were not going on well for him; yet he arranged matters in the palace and the Queen of Cities and appointed as guardians the eunuch Eustathius Cymineanus, the Great Drungaire of the Fleet, and Nicephorus, called the son of Decanus.

Afterwards he left Byzantium with a few companions-and those his relations-on the first day of November in the first Indiction and occupied the imperial purple tent at Geranium outside the city. But he was anxious because at his departure the Mother of God had not displayed the usual miracle in Blachernae. For this reason after spending four days in the same place, he took the return journey with his wife at sunset and secretly entered the church of the Mother of God with a few attendants.

After singing the correct hymns and making more than usually lengthy prayers, the customary miracle was shewn and consequently he left the church with high hopes. On the following day he commenced the journey to Thessalonica, and when he reached Chcerobacchi he appointed John Taronites governor of it. This man was of noble birth, had been adopted by the Emperor as a child and served him a long time as under-secretary; he was of a very energetic disposition and an expert in Roman law, and extolled the Emperor’s decrees provided the orders he gave were consonant with His Majesty.

For he had a free tongue and though he never expressed himself impudently when he found fault, yet he was such as the Stagirite commands a dialectician to be. After leaving Choerobacchi the Emperor continually sent letters to Isaac, the Duke of the Fleet, and his fellow-officers, I mean Ducas Exazenus and Hyaleas, to keep a perpetual look-out and prevent boats sailing over to Bohemund from Lombardy. When he reached Mestus, the Empress wished to return to the palace, but the Emperor compelled her to go further; and after they both had crossed the river called Eurus, they pitched their tents at Psyllus.

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