X When they were on the point of starting on their journey to the Emperor in company with Euphorbenus Constantine Catacalon, Bohemund said that he wanted to move his army because, owing to its having remained for a long time in the same place, there was a frightful stench in it, but he would not like to do even this without their advice. For the Frankish race is unstable like that, and turns to one extreme or the other in the twinkling of an eye; at one moment you can hear one and the same man boasting that he will upset the whole world, and at the next he is desperate and bowed down to the very dust, especially if he comes into contact with firmer characters.

Permission to enter Dyrrachium

The ambassadors would not allow him to move the army more than twelve stades and “If you like ” they said to Bohemund, “we will come with you and examine the site.” Bohemund agreed to f his, so they at once notified the keepers of the passes by letter that they must not make sorties and inflict hurt on them. And Constantine Euphorbenus Catacalon begged Bohemund for permission to enter Dyrrachium and on its being granted, quickly made his way there; then sought out the governor of the city, the Sebastocrator Isaac’s son, Alexius, and reported to him the messages which the Emperor had entrusted to him and the other military chiefs who had accompanied him.

For they were not able to lean forward over the top of the wall because of the contrivance the Emperor had ordered to be placed on the battlements. This contrivance was planks specially prepared without nails for this purpose and skilfully fitted into the battlements of the fort so that if by chance some of the Latins tried to clamber up by ladders, they would not stand firmly when they got on to the battlements, but would slip down, planks and all, and fall inside, as I said above. So Euphorbenus talked to the men of Dyrrachium, and gave them the Emperor’s message, and inspired them with confidence; then he enquired about the condition of the fort and found that things had been arranged in the best possible manner and that in consequence they still had abundant supplies of necessaries and took no account of Bohemund’s machines.

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