The Revolt of the Comneni part 22

Thus Manganes postponed the writing of the Golden Bull in order to keep Melissenus in suspense, for he feared that if the Bull, which bestowed upon him the rank of Caesar, were dispatched more hastily than was wise, Melissenus would scorn that honour and cling at all costs to gaining the empire, as he had informed the Comneni, and venture on a very bold stroke. Such then was the art and wiliness of Manganes in postponing the writing of the Golden Bull for the Caesar.

While these things were being arranged and time was pressing for entering into the city, the ambassadors became suspicious of some trick, and were still more insistent in their demands for the Golden Bull. But the Comneni said to them, “Since we practically have the city in our hands, we are going now to take possession of it with the help of God, so do you depart and take this news to your lord and master.”

George Palaeologus to Gilpractus

And they added further, “If events do indeed turn out according to our hopes, he must come to us, and then all matters will easily be arranged in a manner agreeable both to ourselves and to him” – this was their answer to the ambassadors. Then they sent out George Palaeologus to Gilpractus, the leader of the Nemitzi, to find out the latter’s intentions, and if he discovered that he was ready to admit the Comneni, as he had promised, he was to give the pre-concerted signal, and directly they saw it they would hasten their entrance, while Gilpractus himself would quickly ascend the tower and open the gates to them.

Palaeologus undertook this errand very willingly, for he was a man eager for military exploits and the sacking of cities, and the term “stormer of cities” which Homer applies to Ares, would fit him exactly. Next the Comneni got ready and drew up all their heavy-armed troops in a very clever way, and then, marching slowly, they approached the city in troops. But in the evening George Palaeologus approached the wall and receiving the signal from Gilpractus, he went up into the tower with his companions. Alexius meanwhile and his men were only a short distance from the walls and after throwing up a palisade, they encamped comfortably and remained at rest there for a brief period of the night.

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