The Revolt of the Comneni part 24

Recognizing the latter from afar as one of his former acquaintances, he sailed alongside the vessel, hailed him and asked the usual questions, “Whence he came and whither going” and then begged him to take him up into his ship. But the guardsman, seeing him with a shield and sword, was frightened and replied, “I would gladly have taken you, had I not noticed that you are fully armed.” Hereupon Palaeologus at once consented to lay aside his helmet, shield and short sword, provided only the other would pick him up. Directly the guardsman saw him taking off his weapons, he allowed him to board his own ship, and took him in his arms and embraced him effusively.

Great Domestic

But Palaeologus, a man of energy, did not delay even for a moment before embarking on his task. Running up to the prow he began asking the rowers, ” What are you doing? and where are you going, taking part in a business which will bring dire misfortune to yourselves? the city, as you see, has been taken. He who was once the ‘ Great Domestic’ has been proclaimed Emperor; you see his soldiers and you can hear the shouts; and there will be no room in the palace for anybody else. Botaniates for his part is a fine man, but then the Comneni on theirs are far finer. Large too is the army of Botaniates, but our army is many times larger.

You ought not therefore to betray yourselves, your wives and children, but rather take a good look at the city, notice that the whole army is already inside it and the standards fixed, listen to the loud shouts of acclamation, and while the late Domestic draws near to the palace as Emperor and is even now girding on the royal insignia, put your ship astern and go and join him, and thus assure him complete victory! ” The crew were immediately convinced by his words and came over to his opinion, whereupon the guardsman grew angry and that warrior George Palaeologus threatened to put him into chains there and then on the deck or to throw him into the sea.

Then Palaeologus at once started the cheering and the rowers joined in, but as the guardsman was angry and refused to do so, he had him bound to the deck and left him. After sailing a little further, he again took up his sword and shield, and then brought his ship to the place where the fleet lay, and soon he had all the sailors joining in cheers for the new Emperor. He happened, also, upon the man dispatched by Botaniates to take over the fleet and bring Melissenus through, so he straightway apprehended him and ordered the sailors to loose the cables.

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