The Revolt of the Comneni part 12

And next her daughter-in-law, the wife of Isaac (who had managed to slip into the church at the time of the opening of the gates for the early hymn) drew aside the veil covering her face and said to them, “Well, she for her part may go, if she likes; but we will not leave this church without assurances, even though death lay before us.” Then the man seeing the stubbornness of the women and realizing that they were growing bolder towards them than at first, and fearing some tumult might arise, went away and told the whole tale to the emperor. And he, being kindly by nature and touched by the woman’s words, sent her the cross she asked for and gave her full immunity.

And when she had come out of the church he ordered her with her daughters and daughters-in-law to be confined in the convent of the Petrii which is situated close to the Sidera. [* ie., the Gate Sidera] The emperor also had her marriage-relation, the wife of the emperor John (who held the rank of Protovestiaria), fetched from the sanctuary in Blachemae, which had been founded in honour of our mistress, the Mother of God, and consigned her as well to the convent of the Petrii, and gave orders that their stores of wine and corn and all their private possessions should be preserved intact. Every morning then, the two women went to the guards and enquired whether they had any news of their sons; and the soldiers dealt fairly frankly with them and told all they had heard.

A woman generous in hand

But the “Mistress of the Wardrobe,” a woman generous in hand and mind, desired to conciliate their guards and so told them to take as much of their eatables as they liked for their own use, for the women were allowed to have all they required brought in without let or hindrance. From that time on the guards became more ready with their news and consequently not a detail of all the Comneni were doing was concealed from the women.

VI So much then for the women. Now the rebels on their part when they had reached the gate in the circular walls of Blachernae, burst its lock and thus had free access to the royal stables. And some of the horses there they left after first slitting their hind-legs from the thigh downwards with the sword, and of the rest they chose those which seemed to them in the best condition, and thence betook themselves with all speed to the monastery, somewhere near the city, called Cosmidium. And here, if I may insert something to make my tale run more clearly, they found the aforementioned Mistress of the Wardrobe, before the Emperor sent to fetch her, as I have told.

Read More about A King in Disguise part 3

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