The Revolt of the Comneni part 25

Next he sailed away from there with the fleet and reached the Acropolis where he led fresh shouts of acclamation. There he commanded the rowers to cease rowing and to stand by quietly and thus prevent the landing of any who were trying to cross from the East. Within a short time he saw a vessel putting in to the palace, and by bidding the rowers of his own boat row their hardest, he outstripped it. And when he saw his own father in it, he stood up and at once gave him the salutation due to parents. But his father did not look at him pleasantly, nor did he call him the ” dear light of his eyes,” as Odysseus of Ithaca once did on beholding Telemachus.

Emperor will follow the advice

On that occasion there was a banquet, suitors, a contest of strength, bows and arrows and the prudent Penelope set as prize for the victor, and Telemachus was not an enemy, but a son assisting his father; but on this there was fighting and war and the father and son were opposed in spirit. And each was well aware of the other’s feelings, even though their opinions had not yet been manifested in action. So the father called his son a “fool” and asked him: ” What have you come to do here?” and his son replied ” As it is you who ask me, nothing!” To this the other answered, “Wait a little, and if the Emperor will follow my advice, I will let you know shortly.”

The aforesaid Nicephorus Palaeologus entered the palace where he found the soldiers dispersed in all directions intent on collecting booty, and judging that they could easily be overcome, he begged Botaniates to let him have the Varangians from the island of Thule, in order to drive the Comneni out of the city with their help. But Botaniates, having once for all despaired of his cause, pretended that he did not want civil war. ” If perchance you will listen to me, Nicephorus, then I pray you go to the Comneni as soon as they are in the city and make overtures of peace to them.” And so, though very unwillingly, he went.

XII The Comneni on entering the city had already gained confidence and halted near the square of the Great Martyr, George, called Syceotes, discussing whether they should first go and salute their mothers, according to custom, and then proceed to the palace; but the Caesar, being informed of this, sent one of his body-servants and upbraided them severely for their dilatoriness.

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