“You know very well how often I have been deceived when trusting to your oaths and promises. And did not the divine law of the gospel command Christians to forgive each other all offences, I should not have opened my ears to your proposals yet it is better to be deceived than to offend God and to transgress divine laws. For this reason only I do not reject your request.

If you yourself too really desire peace and detest the foolish and impracticable task you have undertaken and no longer wish to find pleasure in shedding the blood of Christians, not for the sake of your own country or on behalf of Christians, but simply and solely for your own gratification, then, as the distance between us is but short, come here yourself with as many soldiers as you please. And whether our respective wishes coincide, as the result of an agreement, or whether they do not, in either case, as I have said, you shall return to your own camp unharmed.”

Neapolitan Marianus and Roger Francus

IX On receiving this letter Bohemund asked that hostages from among the noblemen should be given to him, on the condition that they should be free but guarded by his Counts in his camp until he himself returned; for otherwise he would not dare to come to the Emperor.

Thereupon the Emperor summoned the Neapolitan Marianus and Roger Francus, renowned for his bravery, prudent men with long experience of Latin customs, and Constantine Euphorbenus (he had both physical and moral courage and had never failed in any of the tasks assigned him by the Emperor) and a certain Adralestus who knew the Frankish language. These men, as has been said, he sent to Bohemund with the admonition to try in every possible way to persuade him to go to the Emperor of his own free will in order to acquaint him with what he wished and asked of him.

And if his demands were pleasing to the Emperor, he would naturally obtain them; but if not, then he would return to his own camp unharmed. After giving them these instructions the Emperor sent them off, and they took the road leading to Bohemund. When he heard of their approach he was afraid they might notice the collapse of his army and speak about it to the Emperor, so he rode out and met them at some distance from the camp.

They rendered the Emperor’s message to him as follows: “The Emperor says that he has not at all forgotten the oaths and promises which were made not only by you yourself, but by all the Counts who passed through his kingdom at that time. And now you can see clearly that your transgression of these oaths has not resulted in any good to yourself.”

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