Victory over the Turks part 20

On this occasion the vessel of light could be seen as the begetter of darkness and obscurity. But he could still see a little ray of light, and confided this to his nurse and also to his wife when he was led back- and arrived in Iconium. By some means this fact came even to the ears of Masut and deeply vexed the barbarian’s soul, and overcome with rage he ordered Elegmus (one of the high-born satraps) to strangle him with a bow-string. To this sad end came the Sultan Saisan through his imprudence in not listening to the Emperor’s suggestion. But the Emperor continued his journey to the capital, and kept his army in the same perfect order all the way.

Posterity by any historian

VII Anyone hearing the word ‘line of battle’ and ‘phalanx’ or ‘captives’ and ‘booty’ or again ‘general’ and’ captains,’ will think he is hearing about the things which every historian and poet mentions in his writings. Bat this battle-formation was new and seemed very strange to everybody and was such as had never been seen before or handed down to posterity by any historian. For while advancing along the road to Iconium, the army marched in regular order and moved forward in time to the music of a flute. And if you had seen the whole phalanx you would have said it was remaining motionless when in motion and when halting that it was moving.

For thanks to the close formation of the shields and the men standing in serried lines it looked like the immovable mountains, and when it changed its route it moved like a very great beast, for the whole phalanx walked and turned as if directed by one mind. But after it had reached Philomelium and rescued men on all sides from the hand of the barbarians, as we have related before somewhere, and enclosed all the captives and the women too and the children and the booty in the centre it marched slowly on its return and moved forward leisurely, as it were, and at an ant’s pace. Moreover since many of the women were with child and many of the men afflicted with disease, whenever a woman’s time for bringing forth came, a trumpet was sounded at a nod from the Emperor and made all the men stop and the whole army halted on the instant. And when he knew the child was born, a different call, not the usual one, but provocative of motion, was sounded and stirred them all up to continue the journey.

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