For the same reason he did not wish for any close fighting but left the impassable valleys and roads which had no outlet as border-land between the two armies, and then posted all the most loyal officers along the hill-tops with sufficient forces and thus initiated his new plan of campaign, which was that neither his men should be able to reach Bohemund easily nor letters pass or messages be conveyed from Bohemund’s camp to our men, for these are generally the means by which conciliation is effected.

For the Stagirite says that many friendships are dissolved through neglecting friendly greetings. He knew Bohemund to be a man of consummate guile and energy and, although he was quite willing to accept open battle with him, as I have said, yet he never ceased working against him by every other possible means and device.

Opportunity and circumstances permit

For the aforesaid reasons, although he was longing for a fight (for the Emperor, my father, was fond of, and long accustomed to, danger, yet ever let reason be his guide in all matters), he was anxious to overcome Bohemund by other methods. For I hold that a general ought not always to try to gain victory for himself by drawing the sword, but that, when opportunity and circumstances permit, he should occasionally have recourse to wiliness and thus ensure complete victory for himself. For, as far as we know, it is the prerogative of generals not only to deal with swords and fighting but also with treaties. And besides when opportunity offers, it is as well to rout the enemy by playing the rogue with him, and this is what the Emperor seems to have been busy about at that time. For in his desire to sow discord between the Counts and Bohemund and to weaken, or entirely break, their alliance with each other ‘. he staged the following drama.

First he sent for Marinus Sebastus from Naples (he belonged to a family of MaĆ«stromilii; and although he did not always preserve his oath to the Emperor intact, through being beguiled by false words and promises, yet in as far as Bohemund was concerned the Emperor felt confident he could disclose his secret plan to him). At the same time he summoned Roger (a noble Frank) and Peter Aliphas, a man renowned in war who kept his loyalty to the Emperor unbroken throughout. In council with them he sought a plan by which he could so dispose matters with regard to Bohemund as utterly to rout him, and he also asked them who were Bohemund’s most loyal followers and most in sympathy with him.

Read More about One Autumn Night part 6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.