Victory over the Turks part 23

This was only in the power of the Onlv begotten Son, who for our sakes became man and lived this life here below for the sake of men. But what was possible, that the Emperor did; he gave servants to every maimed man and the same care to the halt as to the healthy. So that anybody who wishes to understand this new city which my father had built from the foundations, would see that the city was fourfold, or rather multifold, for there were people below, people above and people waiting on the two lots of them. But who could estimate the number of those who were fed daily, or the daily expense, or the care bestowed on each individual? for I attribute to him the things that lasted after him.

For he assigned to them benefits from land and sea, and he provided them with as much relief from pain as possible. One of the most prominent men acts as guardian of this populous city, and its name is the Orphanage. And it is called the Orphanage because of the Emperor’s kindness to

Victory over the Turks part 22

For as this church was on the highest spot in the city it stood out like a citadel. And the new city was laid out in a certain number of stades (someone may remember how many) both in length and breadth; and all round in a circle were a number of houses, dwellings for the poor and which shews even more his humane nature-residences for mutilated men. Here you could see them coming along singly, either blind, or lame, or with some other defect. You would have called it Solomon’s porch on seeing it full of men maimed either in their limbs or in their whole bodies.

This ring of houses is two-storied and semi-detached, for some of these maimed men and women live up above twixt earth and sky, while others creep along below on the ground-floor. As for its size, anyone who wants to visit them would begin in the morning and only complete the round in the evening. Such is this city and such are its inhabitants. They have no plots of ground or vineyards or any of those things o

Victory over the Turks part 21

And if anyone died, the same procedure took place, and the Emperor would be at the side of the dying man, and the priests were summoned to sing the hymns for the dying and administer the sacraments to the dying. And after the rites for the dead had been duly performed and not until the dead had been put in the earth and buried, was the army allowed to move even a step. And when it was the Emperor’s time for lunch he invited the men and women who were labouring under illness or old-age and placed the greater part of the victuals before them and invited those who lunched with him to do the same.

Theatrical preparations

And the meal was like a complete banquet of the gods for there were no instruments, not even flutes or drums or any disturbing music at all. In this way he made himself a source of supply to such persons and when he reached Damalis (it was the evening), he did not wish to make a brilliant entry into the city, nor did he allow any regal pomp o

Victory over the Turks part 20

On this occasion the vessel of light could be seen as the begetter of darkness and obscurity. But he could still see a little ray of light, and confided this to his nurse and also to his wife when he was led back- and arrived in Iconium. By some means this fact came even to the ears of Masut and deeply vexed the barbarian’s soul, and overcome with rage he ordered Elegmus (one of the high-born satraps) to strangle him with a bow-string. To this sad end came the Sultan Saisan through his imprudence in not listening to the Emperor’s suggestion. But the Emperor continued his journey to the capital, and kept his army in the same perfect order all the way.

Posterity by any historian

VII Anyone hearing the word ‘line of battle’ and ‘phalanx’ or ‘captives’ and ‘booty’ or again ‘general’ and’ captains,’ will think he is hearing about the things which every historian and poet mentions in

Victory over the Turks part 19

He had indeed sent scouts ahead to look round and see whether any enemies had come out foraging. The scouts met Masut already approaching with a large army and after conversing with him, they agreed to his designs upon Saisan, and returned and assured the latter that they bad not seen anyone. Saisan believed their report and was journeying on unconcernedly when the barbarian forces, of Masat met him. Running out from the rank a man called Gazes, the son of [407] the satrap Asan Catuch, whom Saisan bad killed some time before, struck him with his spear. Saisan turned round quickly and snatched the spear from Gazes’ hands, saying, “I did not know that even women bear spears against us now,” and then he fled taking the road back to the Emperor.

Very near Philomelium

But he was checked by Pucheas, who had long ago joined Masut’s party though pretending to be Saisan’s friend, and now came forward and suggested a better plan. But in real

Victory over the Turks part 18

Sultan’s bastard brother

On the morrow the Emperor again interviewed the Sultan called Saisan and after completing the treaty with him in the usual manner, made him a present of a very laTge sum of money and after giving his satraps gifts too he sent them away well satisfied. In the interval the Emperor had heard that the Sultan’s bastard brother, Masut, was aiming at the sovereignty and had plotted Saisan’s assassination . . . since some satraps had got round him, as nearly always happens. So the Emperor advised him to wait a little until he found out more details of the plot, and then through knowing what had happened, he would go away forewarned. But the Sultan disregarded the Emperor’s advice and with full confidence in himself adhered to his decision.

Now the Emperor did not wish to appear to have forcibly detained the Sultan who had come to him of his own will, and thus incur censure, so he yielded to the barbarian’s decision

Victory over the Turks part 17

Turks in Asia

Later he halted in a suitable spot and with all his kin and a goodly number of soldiers on either side he stood in front of them with his relations and connections to left and right and close to them a select band of soldiery, all mail-clad, and the fiery gleam that shone from their weapons illuminated the air more than the rays of the sun. And meanwhile the Sultan had approached with all his subject satraps, at the head of whom came Monolycus, as he surpassed all the Turks in Asia in age, experience and courage, and the Sultan met the Emperor in the plain between Augustopolis and Acronium.

When the satraps espied the Emperor from a distance they got off their horses and offered the obeisance usually made to Kings. The Sultan several times attempted to dismount, but the Emperor would not allow it, the other however jumped down quickly and kissed the Emperor’s foot, who gave him his hand and begged him to mount one of the noblemen’s hor

Victory over the Turks part 16

Romans acting on the Emperor’s advice

On hearing this the Emperor formed the army into two divisions and ordered one half to keep watch inside the camp and keep sober, and the other half to arm themselves and leave the camp and go to meet the barbarians who were coming and engage them in battle. And throughout the night the barbarians surrounded the army and made many sallies round about the foot of the hills, and discharged showers of arrows against the army; but the Romans acting on the Emperor’s advice protected themselves without breaking the line. When day dawned, they marched on in the same formation and again placed the booty and all the baggage and the prisoners with the women and children in the centre of the formation, and journeyed to Ampus. And there a serious and terrible battle awaited them.

For the Sultan had again collected his forces and now encircled the army and attacked it from every side; yet he did not manage to break through t

Victory over the Turks part 15

VI When Nicephorus saw that the battle had become a hand-to-hand contest, he dreaded a defeat and therefore wheeled round with all his troops and hastened to their aid. Hereupon the barbarians turned their backs and with the Sultan Clitziasthlan himself they fled at full speed and hurried back to the hills. Many fell in the battle on that occasion, but more were captured; and the survivors all scattered.

The Sultan himself in desperate fear escaped with only his cupbearer and climbed up to a chapel built on a mountain top, round which very tall cypresses stood in rows, as he was hard pressed by three Scythians and the son of Uzas who were pursuing him; there he turned off in another direction, and, as he was not known to his pursuers, he himself escaped, but the cupbearer was seized by the Scythians and offered to the Emperor as a great prize. The Emperor rejoiced at this signal victory and in having prevailed over his enemies, but was vexed that the Sultan himself had not

Victory over the Turks part 14

When day dawned Monolycus with the same intention ordered the Turks to do the same as before. In the meantime Clitziasthlan, the Sultan, arrived, and when he saw the perfect order of the army, he marvelled, but like a young man jeered at the old man, Monolycus, for having deferred battle with the Emperor. Monolycus replied, ” I, because I am old or cowardly, have put off a close engagement with him up to the present ; but if you are so courageous, go yourself and have a try; the proof will lie in the result.”

Andronicus Porphyrogenitus

Accordingly Clitziasthlan’ at once attacked the rear, ordered some other satraps to attack the Emperor from the front, and yet others he bade open the battle on either flank. Now the Cxsar Nicephorus’ Bryennius who held the right wing, noticed the battle in the rear, and longed ardently to go to the assistance of the men at the back, but as he did not wish to prove his inexperience or his youth he restrain

Victory over the Turks part 13

V As he proceeded further, the barbarians did not shew themselves, but Monolycus followed him and lay in wait for the army with a large force on either side of the road. While the Emperor was crossing the plain between Polybotum and the lake we just mentioned, a detachment of the barbarian army, without baggage, all light-armed, bold men, who had lain in wait for the army on both sides, suddenly appeared to them from the heights.

Romans the impression

And the archsatrap, Monolycus, then saw this new formation for the first time. He was an old man, very experienced in wars and military [402] science, and when he beheld this new arrangement of the army he was struck dumb with surprise and asked the name of the general in command. He divined that the Emperor Alexius and no other must be the leader of the army and that new formation. And he wanted to attack, but did not dare; nevertheless he ordered them to raise the cry, ‘to battle!’ With the intention

Victory over the Turks part 12

As Lebunes could see no path which was not held by a number of Turks, he threw himself recklessly into the midst of them, pushed his way through and got safely to the Emperor. When the latter heard the news about Burtzes and found out fairly accurately the number of Turks, he realized that Burtzes required a large number of reinforcements, so he speedily got under arms himself and ordered the army to do likewise.

The rear by Cecaumenus

Then with the army drawn up in phalanxes he advanced against the barbarians in good order. The front wing was held by Prince [Michael], the right by Bryennius, the left by Gabras and the rear by Cecaumenus. As the Turks stood awaiting them at a distance, Nicephorus, the Empress’ nephew, who was young and longing to fight, rode on ahead of the line and taking with him a few more devotees of Ares, engaged the first man who attacked him and received a wound in the knee, but struck the man who wounded him in the chest with his

Victory over the Turks part 11

Now Bardas, the descendant of Burtzes, whilst following the road we have already mentioned, saw a strong body hastening to join Monolycus by crossing the bridge at Zompi, consequently he at once got under arms, engaged them in battle in the plain of Amorium and defeated them severely. But other Turks coming from an easterly direction and hurrying to Monolycus fell upon Burtzes’ encampment before he had returned and carried off all the beasts of burden that were there and the soldiers’ baggage.

To prevent anything worse happening

As Burtzes was returning victorious and bringing much plunder with him, he met one of the Turks coming from the camp and learnt from him how the Turks had stolen everything in his encampment and gone off with all the booty, so he meditated what he had better do. Although he wished to pursue the Turks, who journey very swiftly, yet he could not do so, because the horses were worn out. So he renounced the pursuit and to preven

Victory over the Turks part 10

He found the fort, I mean Cedrea, full of spoil but did not waste any time over that for he was annoyed as huntsmen are when they lose the prey which was almost in their grasp. So without delay he turned his horse’s head and marched to Polybotum. This he attacked unexpectedly and killed barbarians beyond number, then collected all the booty and captives and encamped close by awaiting the Emperor’s arrival. Stypiota did the same when he reached Poemanenum and returned to the Emperor, who himself arrived at Cedrea towards sunset. Immediately some soldiers came to him and said there were an immense number of barbarians in the small towns situated quite near of the once celebrated hero, Burtzes.

Directly the Emperor had heard their report, he repared for action. He instantly summoned a descendant of 1he famous Burtzes, Bardas by name, and George Lebunes, and a Scythian called Pitican in his native tongue, brought up the troops under them to a sufficiently strong fo

Victory over the Turks part 9

For he knew from very long experience that the Turkish battle-order did not agree at all with that of other nations, for with them “shield did not rest upon shield, and helmet upon helmet and man upon man ” as Homer says, but the Turks’ right and left wing, and centre were quite disconnected and the phalanxes stood as if severed from each other. Consequently if you attacked the right or left wing, the centre would swoop down upon you and all the rest of the army posted behind it, and like whirlwinds throw the opposing body into confusion. Now for their weapons of war:-they do not use spears much, as the Franks do, but surround the enemy completely and shoot at him with arrows, and they make this defence from a distance.

When he pursues, he captures his man with the bow; when he is pursued he conquers with his darts; he throws a dart and the flying dart hits either the horse or its rider, and as it has been dispatched with very great force it passes right

Victory over the Turks part 8

In other matters I have declared my love for my father and by so doing have sharpened the spears and whetted the swords of the ill-disposed against myself, as all those know who are acquainted with the facts of my life. But in shaping my history I would certainly not betray the truth. There is a time for shewing love to a father (and at such time I have shewn courage) and another time when truth is the main consideration and now since that time has fallen my way, I cannot regard it lightly. But if, as I have said, this time also combines to shew me fond of my father, I do Dot fear men’s censure for having suppressed the truth. However my story must now go back to its subject.

Straight for Iconium

As long as the Emperor pitched his tent there (in Nicomedia) he had nothing else to do besides enrolling recruits in the army and training them carefully in the art of stretching the bow, wielding the spear, riding on horseback, and making various formations. He

Victory over the Turks part 7

. . . and then we handle the war in a different way and endeavour to conquer the enemy without fighting. And the chief virtue of a general is to know how to obtain a victory without danger; for ‘by skill,’ as Homer says, I one charioteer prevails over another.’ For even the proverb derived from Cadmus disparages a victory fraught with danger, to me it has always seemed best to carry out some wily, yet strategic, move even during the battle itself, whenever one’s army is not adequate compared with the strength of one’s opponents.

Anyone who likes can gather from history that a victory is not always achieved in the same way, or by the same means, but that from olden days down to the present it is gained by various efforts, hence we conclude that victory is indeed one and the same, but that the means by which generals obtain it, are diverse and varied in nature. For some of our former celebrated generals seem to have conquered their enemies by sh

Victory over the Turks part 6

For these reasons he made for Nicomedia, as said, and taking with him all the soldiers he had, he billeted them in the villages close by so that the horses and beasts of burden might have sufficient food, as the land of Bithynia was rich in grass, and the soldiers themselves too could easily fetch everything necessary for their use from Byzantium and its neighbourhood by crossing the bay. He enjoined them to give their full attention and much care to the horses and beasts of burden and not to use the horses for hunting or riding, so that when the need arrived they should be in good condition and able to carry their riders easily and would be useful for making cavalry-attacks upon the enemy.

III Having made all these, arrangements he sat down at a distance, like a look-out, after posting guards on every path. And as he intended remaining in that place for a good many days he sent for the Empress for the reason I have given several times, so that she might be with him until

Victory over the Turks part 5

Then he related to her all that had happened to the Turks and how in their desire for victory they had met with misfortune, and fancying themselves to be the masters had on the contrary been mastered and got the opposite to what they had expected. Having thus relieved her deep anxiety he left again for Nicaea; there he heard of a fresh inroad of the Turks, so went on to Lopadium. Here he stayed a little and on learning that a large Turkish army was on its way to Nima he collected his forces, turned off to Cius and, as he was informed that the Turks were marching on towards NicEea all through that night, he moved his camp again and passed through Nicaea to Miscura.

Sultan at present

Here he learnt for certain that the whole Turkish army had not yet arrived but that some few men had been sent by Monolycus and were lingering around Dolylum. and Nicaea in order to watch for the Emperor’s arrival and to send Monolycus information about him continually. Consequ

Victory over the Turks part 4

But although that Empress was afraid, her fear was for the Emperor lest an accident should befall him; and fear for herself came second. So on this occasion she did not do anything unworthy of her bravery but took leave of the Emperor though unwillingly, and often turned round to look at him again, yet she pulled herself together and braced herself up, so to say, as she reluctantly tore herself away from him. She went down from there to the sea and embarking on the galley set apart for their Majesties, she sailed past the coast of Bithynia, then was caught in a tempest and so anchored off Helenopolis and stayed there for a time. So far about the Empress.

Strabobasilius and Michael Stypiota

The Emperor and all the soldiers and kinsmen who were with him at once got under arms ; and then mounted and rode towards Nicaea. But the barbarians had caught an Alanian and on hearing from him of the Emperor’s advance against them they fled back along the paths by whi

Victory over the Turks part 3

But when they had all assembled, he shifted his camp and quartered his army between the ridges of Olympus and of the mountains called Malagni and himself occupied Aër. The Empress meanwhile was lodging at Principus, as from there she could more easily have news of the Emperor after his return to Lopadium. Directly the Emperor went to Aër, he sent the imperial galley to fetch her, firstly because he was always dreading the pain in his feet, and secondly through fear of his bosom enemies who were accompanying him, and thus he wanted her both for the extreme care she took of him, and for her most vigilant eye.

Same position and unmoved

II Three days had not yet passed before the attendant of the imperial bedchamber came in towards morning and stood close to the royal couch. The Empress woke up and when she looked at him he said, “I have come to report that the Turks are upon us.” When he further told her that they had already reached what was called

Victory over the Turks part 2

When they were all assembled he moved away from there with all his forces and occupied the fort of Lord George close to the lake outside Nicaea, and thence on to Nicaea. Then after three days he returned and encamped on this side of the bridge of Lopadium near the fountain of Caryx as it was called; for he thought best to send the army over the bridge first to pitch their tents in a suitable spot and then to cross himself by the same bridge and erect the imperial tent in company with all the army. But the wily Turks were devastating the plain lying at the foot of the Lentianian hills and the place called Cotoeraecia, and on hearing of the Emperor’s advance against them, they were terrified and immediately lighted a number of beaconfires, thus giving beholders the illusion of a large army. And the sky was lighted up by these fires and frightened many of the inexperienced soldiers but nothing of all this troubled the Emperor.

Naturally enraged

Then the Turk

Victory over the Turks part 1

The Orphanage: Heresy of the Bogomils : Last Illness and Death of Alexius (1116-18)

I The doings of the Emperor in Philippopolis and with regard to the Manichaeans were such as I have related; after that a fresh potion of troubles was brewed for him by the barbarians. For the Sultan Soliman was planning to devastate Asia again and assembled his forces from Chorosan and Chalep to see whether he might possibly be able to resist the Emperor successfully. As the whole of the Sultan Soliman’s plan had already been reported to the Emperor, he contemplated advancing as far as Iconium. with his army and there forcing him into a closely contested battle. For that town formed the boundaries of the Sultanicium of Clitziasthlan.

Therefore he solicited troops from foreign countries, and a large mercenary force, and called up his own army from all sides. Then, whilst these two generals were making preparations against each other, the old trouble in his feet attacked th