The Revolt of the Comneni part 26

So they hastened to the house of Iberitzes where Nicephorus Palaeologus overtook them and said, ” The Emperor sends you this message: ‘ I am already an old man and a lonely one, and possess neither son nor brother nor any blood-relation, and if you are willing’ (here Nicephorus addressed his speech to the newly-made Emperor Alexius), ‘do you become my adopted son. And I will not prevent your giving whatsoever you have already promised to your fellow-soldiers, nor will I even share your royal power in any way; I merely ask to retain the name of Emperor, public acclamations and the red buskins, and further the permission to live quietly in the palace.

The administration of the affairs of the Empire shall be handed over entirely to you.`” I response the Comneni said a few words, suggestive of agreement, which were repeated to the Caesar who thereupon made haste to get to them to urge them with threats to hurry to the palace. The Comneni. who were going out, met him who was on foot, entering the courtyard from the right and he censured them severely. As he was entering he also caught sight of Nicephorus Palaeologus who was approaching the house again from the left and said to him, “What have you to do here? and for what purpose have you come, kinsman? ” to which the other replied, ” My coming will accomplish nothing, meseems, but I come to bring the same message from the Emperor as this morning.

Offered to treat Alexius

For the Emperor is resolute to keep to the terms he has offered to treat Alexius as his son; he proposes to invest him with full imperial power so that he may administer the affairs of the Empire according to his pleasure, provided he himself may merely retain the name of Emperor and the red buskins and his purple clothing and the right of living quietly in the palace, as he is an old man now and needs repose.”) Hereupon the Caesar with a fierce glance and heavy scowl said, “Get away and tell the Emperor that those offers would have been more useful before the city was captured; for the future ambassadorial messages are uttered out of place. Tell him too, ‘As you are already an old man, get off the throne and take thought for your own safety.’ ” That was the Caesar’s answer.

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