The Revolt of the Comneni part 27

Now when Borilus learnt of the entry of the Comneni and of the army’s dispersal throughout the city, occupied with plundering and wholly intent on collecting booty, he determined to attack them, thinking they could easily be defeated owing to their scattered state (for the chiefs had been left alone with their kinsmen by blood or marriage and a few foreign soldiers). So he collected all the men who brandished their axes on their shoulders and those who hailed from Coma, and marching from the Forum of Constantine to the so-called Milestone, he drew them up there in ranks with utmost precision; so there they stood, in close order, ready for battle and keeping quiet for the time being.

Divine gift of prophecy

The Patriarch at that time [# Cosmas] was a truly holy man and poor, and had practised every species of asceticism such as the fathers of old who lived in the deserts and on the mountains used; he was also endowed with the divine gift of prophecy and had at various times predicted various things in none of which he had been wrong; in a word, he was a model and type to posterity.

This man was perfectly well aware of all that had befallen Botaniates, and now either by divine inspiration or at the suggestion of the Caesar (for this, too, was whispered, as the Caesar had long been his friend on account of his high standard of virtue) he counselled the Emperor to abdicate. “Do not begin a civil war,” he said, ” nor resist God’s decree. Do not allow the city to be defiled with the blood of Christians, but yield to the will of God, and depart from our midst.”

The Emperor followed the Patriarch’s advice, and fearing the army’s insolence, he girt his clothes around him and went down to the great church of God, hanging his head; and in his very disturbed state of mind, he did not notice that he was still wearing the robes of an Emperor. But Borilus turned to him and catching hold of the mantle attached to his arm by a pearl clasp, pulled it off his dress remarking with a sneer and a grin, ” Such a pretty thing truly suits me better now!” And the Emperor entered into the great church of Divine Wisdom [# Hagia Sophia], and stayed there for a time. [# His abdication was on April 4, 1081]

Read More about Victory over the Turks part 20

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