Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 25

He, as I have said, recounted all that had happened, and the devices the Emperor employed against the Ishmaelites; and the inhabitants of Constantinople with one voice and mouth shouted their applause, hymned the Emperor and made a god of him and blessed him for his generalship and could not restrain their pleasure in him. And after escorting Camytzes homeward in high spirits, they welcomed the Emperor a few days later as a triumphant victor, an invincible general, an undefeated King and a revered Emperor. That was how the people acted; but he after entering the palace and offering thanksgiving for his safe return to God and the Mother of God, recommenced his usual mode of life. For as he had settled his enemies abroad and put down the rebellions of pretenders he now turned his attention to the courts of justice and the laws. For he was at the same time the best administrator both of peace and of war.

Relaxation was a second labour

For he judged the case of orphans, had right done to widows, looked very severely on any case of injustice and only occasionally sought physical refreshment in the chase or other relaxations. For as in other matters he acted as a philosopher, in this too, in subduing his body and making it subservient to him. During the greater part of the day he devoted it to labours, and then again would recall it from labours. But even his relaxation was a second labour, the reading and studying of books and the careful observance of the precept, ‘search the scriptures.’ The chase and the game of polo were but of secondary, or tertiary, importance to my father, even while he was still a young man and before that monster, the affection in his feet, had fastened itself upon him like a sinuous serpent, and kept ‘biting his heel,’ as it says in the curse.

But directly this disease commenced and began to increase then certainly he gave himself up to gymnastics, and horse-exercise and other games for he was ordered to do this by medical science in order that by regular horse-exercise some of the fluid which descended might be dispersed and he might be relieved of the weight which pressed upon him. For as I have said above, this racking affliction of my father’s arose from no other cause than his labours and fatigues for the glory of the Romans.

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