Victory over the Turks part 21

And if anyone died, the same procedure took place, and the Emperor would be at the side of the dying man, and the priests were summoned to sing the hymns for the dying and administer the sacraments to the dying. And after the rites for the dead had been duly performed and not until the dead had been put in the earth and buried, was the army allowed to move even a step. And when it was the Emperor’s time for lunch he invited the men and women who were labouring under illness or old-age and placed the greater part of the victuals before them and invited those who lunched with him to do the same.

Theatrical preparations

And the meal was like a complete banquet of the gods for there were no instruments, not even flutes or drums or any disturbing music at all. In this way he made himself a source of supply to such persons and when he reached Damalis (it was the evening), he did not wish to make a brilliant entry into the city, nor did he allow any regal pomp or theatrical preparations but reserved the crossing for the next day, as indeed was necessary. But he himself embarked on a small galley at once about lighting-up time and reached the palace. On the morrow he was fully occupied in caring for the captives and guests.

The children who had lost their parents and were afflicted with the bitter evil of orphanhood he distributed among his relations and others who, as he knew, led a well-conducted life, or sent them to the abbots of the holy monasteries with orders to bring them up, not as slaves, but as free children and allow them a thorough education and instruction in the Holy Writings. Some he also admitted into the orphanage which he had established himself and which he had converted more or less into a school for those anxious to learn, and told the governors of it to give these orphans a good general education. For in the quarters near the Acropolis, where the mouth of the sea widens, he had discovered a very large church, dedicated to the great apostle Paul, and here he built up a second city inside the Queen of Cities.

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