Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 19

The Emperor guessing the route by which the barbarians would come took another, passed through Nicaea and Malagina and the so-called Basilica (these are narrow valleys and very difficult paths lying on the mountain-ridges of Olympus) and then descended to Alethina and next reached Acrocus as he was hurrying to get ahead of the Turks and attack them from the front and thus start a pitched battle with them. But the Turks in absolute forgetfulness of the Roman army found a reed-bed along the valley, and scattered themselves about in it and rested.

Into confusion and commenced a pitched battle

When the news was brought to the Emperor as he was starting out against them that the barbarians had occupied the plains of the valley, he drew up his army in battle-order at a suitable distance. In the van he placed Constantine Gabras and Monastras, the rest of the troops he arranged in squadrons on either flank, and the rear he entrusted to Tzipoureles and Abelas who had had long and varied military experience. The centre of the line he held himself and falling upon the Turks like a thunderbolt he threw all their troops into confusion and commenced a pitched battle with them. Many of the barbarians were killed on that occasion, after a very close fight and many too were taken by the spear.

Those who sought refuge in the reed-bed, were safe for a time; but after securing a brilliant victory over the others the Emperor turned to the reed-bed and tried to drive the men there out of it. However his soldiers did not know how to do it as they could not go in because of the swampy nature and density of the reed-bed. So the Emperor put a ring of his soldiers round the reed-bed and ordered a fire to be lighted on oiie side of it. This was done and the flames rose to a great height ; the Turks inside while fleeing from the fire f ell into the soldiers’ hands; and some of them fell to the sword while others were led alive to the Emperor.

Read More about The Revolt of the Comneni part 4

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