The Revolt of the Comneni part 9

For he was not of those who plunder and open their mouths wide for riches. True liberality is not as a rule judged by the quantity of money supplied, but is weighed by the spirit of the giver. In some cases a man of few possessions who pays in proportion to his income, may justly be termed “liberal,” whereas another who has much wealth and hides it in a hole in the earth, or does not give to the needy in proportion to his wealth, would rightly be styled “a second Croesus,” or ” a Midas mad for gold,” or “niggardly and penurious ” or a “cummin-splitter”! That Alexius was graced with all the virtues, the men I have mentioned had known for a long time already, and for these reasons they eagerly desired his elevation to the throne. After exchanging oaths with this officer too, Alexius set off home at a run and told his people everything.

It was the night of Quinquagesima Sunday (or the “Cheese-eating” Sunday) when my father made these arrangements; and on the following day at early dawn he had already left the city with his partisans. Hence it was that the populace, who approved of Alexius’ spirit and shrewdness, wove a little song to him about these occurrences, composed in their own popular dialect, and it very cleverly strikes up the prelude of the affair and accentuates his prescience of the plot against him and his consequent actions. In its original words the song ran thus;

“To sabbaton tes turines chareis Alexie enoeses to
kai ten deuteron to proi hupa kalos gerakin mou”

The meaning of that popular song is roughly this, “On the Saturday named after cheese, bravo to you for your shrewd-ness, Alexius! But on the Monday after the Sunday you flew away like a high-flying hawk, out of the nets of the barbarians.”

Affiance the grandson of Botaniates

V Anna Dalassena, the mother of the Comneni, had lately managed to affiance the grandson of Botaniates to the daughter of Manuel, her eldest son; and now through fear of his tutor hearing of the scheme and divulging it to the emperor she formed a very good plan. It was this, she ordered her whole household to assemble that evening for the purpose, presumably, of making her devotions in the churches of God – for it was her habit to visit the sanctuaries frequently. This was done. All were present according to custom and they brought out the horses from the stables and pretended to be carefully spreading such saddle-cloths on them as befitted the women.

Read More about Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 30

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