To this Bohemund replied, “Enough of this talk. If you have brought me any other message from the Emperor, let me hear it.” And the ambassadors said, “The Emperor who desires your safety and that of the army under you sends you this intimation by us. You are aware that after much labour you have neither succeeded in subduing the town of Dyrrachium nor have you gained any advantage for yourself or the men under you. Therefore if you do not wish to bring about your own and your people’s destruction, come to our Majesty without fear and explain what it is you wish and listen on the other hand to our wishes.
Then if our opinions should happily coincide, thanks be to God; but if not, I will restore you to your own camp unharmed. Moreover all those of your people who desire to go and worship at the Holy Sepulchre, shall be safely conveyed by me; whereas those who choose to return to their country, shall be gratified by liberal presents from me and be free to depart to their home.” Then he replied to them, ” Now I really feel that the Emperor has sent me men fit to give and render reason. I beg therefore to be fully assured by you that I shall be received with due honours by the Emperor.
Obeisance to the Emperor
The nearest of his blood-relations must come to meet me six stadesfrom the town, and when I approach the imperial tent, directly I enter the door, he must rise from his seat and receive me honourably. He must also not make any reference to our former treaties nor put me on my trial but I must have full liberty to say as much as I like and what I like. In addition to this the Emperor must take my hand and seat me at the head of his couch; I must make my entry with two soldiers and not bend my knee or my neck in the slightest as sign of obeisance to the Emperor.” When they heard this proposal the above-named ambassadors would not accept the idea of the Emperor rising from his throne, but dismissed the request as superfluous; not only did they reject that but also Bohemund’s saying that he could not bend his knee or neck in obeisance to the Emperor.
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