Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 12

Now when the Ambassadors from Persia arrived, the Emperor, a formidable figure, seated himself on his throne and the men, whose business it was, arranged the soldiers of every nationality and the axe-bearing barbarians in their proper order, and then brought in the ambassadors to the imperial throne. The Emperor first asked them the conventional questions about the Sultan, and, after listening to the messages they brought, he confessed that he welcomed and desired peace with the whole world. He next enquired about the Sultan’s proposals and when he recognized that some of his requests would not be expedient for the Roman rule, he wrapped up very persuasive arguments in many words and made a very clever defence of his actions to them, and by his long speech persuaded them to concur with his wishes.

Own interests but of the Roman Empire

Then he dismissed them to the tent prepared for them with injunctions to think over his words and said that if they agreed wholeheartedly with them the treaty between them should be concluded on the morrow. They shewed themselves very ready to accept the Emperor’s terms, and the treaty was concluded on the following day. In this the Emperor was not thinking only of his own interests but of the Roman Empire. For he was more solicitous of the universal welfare than of his own, and in all his arrangements he only regarded, and referred everything to, the dignity of the Roman sceptre, in order that treaties might last on even after his death to future years-and yet he failed in his object.

For after him things were different and everything was turned into confusion. In the meantime all disturbing elements had been laid to rest and we looked forward to perfect peace, and we had peace from then to the end of his life. But all that was most desirable vanished together with the Emperor, and his efforts were all rendered vain after his departure by the stupidity of his successors to the throne.

IV After receiving trustworthy information about the Roman fleet from the survivors of the five cruisers, as we have related, and learning that the Emperor had equipped his fleet and was staying in the Chersonese in expectation of their arrival, the admirals of the Frankish fleet abandoned their first plan and had no longer the slightest desire to approach the coasts of Romania. The Emperor wintered in Calliopolis with the Empress (who, as we have mentioned several times, accompanied him because of the severe pains in his feet) and after waiting for the season in which the Frankish fleet usually sailed home he returned to the capital. But only a short time elapsed before news was brought of the advance of a Turkish host, collected from all the countries of the East, even from Chorosan itself and numbering about fifty thousand men.

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