On his way Cantacuzenus came to a small fortress, called Mylus’ fort, and immediately set up siege-engines and besieged it. And the Romans approached the walls unconcernedly, some threw fire on the gates and burnt them down, while others climbed up the wall and reached the battlements. Directly the Franks encamped on the other side of the river Buses noticed this, they ran towards Mylus’ fort. Cantacuzenus’ scouts (who were barbarians as I have explained) saw them, ran back to him in disorder and did not inform him privately of what they had seen but began shouting it out from afar and telling of the Franks’ advance.

Cantacuzenus certainly

When the soldiers heard of the Franks’ approach-although they had scaled the walls and burnt down the gates, and were on the point of capturing the fort-they were panic-stricken and each ran off to find his horse, but such was their terror and confusion of mind that they jumped on to each other’s horses. Cantacuzenus certainly made strenuous efforts and kept riding up to the terrified men and shouting, “Be men! ” or quoting the poet’s words “Remember ‘impetuous valour.`” But as he could not persuade them, he cleverly stilled their excitement by saying, ” We must not leave our siege-engines for the enemy to use against us, but rather set fire to them and then retreat in good order.”

At once then the soldiers did as he ordered with a very good will, and burnt not only the siege-engines but also their boats on the river Buses to prevent the Franks finding easy means of crossing it. Then he retired a little and coming upon a plain bounded on the right by the river called Charzanes, and on the left by marshy, swampy country, ht used both these as defences and fixed his palisades there.

The Franks we mentioned came down to the river’s bank and saw the burnt boats, and being disappointed in their expectations went back. When Bohemund’s brother, Guido, learnt from them what had happened, he changed his route, and picking out the bravest of his soldiers, sent them forward to Hierico and Canina.

They reached the valleys which the Emperor had appointed Michael Cecaumenus to guard, and availing themselves of the nature of the ground, attacked the Romans boldly and routed them completely. For if the Frank meets his enemy in a confined space, he becomes invincible, just as on the plains be is easily captured.

Read More about A King in Disguise part 2

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