Domestic Conflicts part 1


Domestic Conflicts : Second Norman Invasion (1105-7)

I Now the deeds that were done consequent on Bohemund’s first crossing, and all the schemes he devised against the Emperor in his desire to win the sceptre of the Roman Empire for himself, and the manner in which he effected his retreat by cunning, but certainly with great success, in that he made the voyage by being conducted as a corpse and so reached Corfu – may be regarded as described fairly in the foregoing. And now my history must relate Bohemund’s further doings.

Daughters in marriage

After the odoriferous corpse reached Corfu, as has been said, and sent a threatening message to the Emperor by the Duke of that island, as already told in this history, he crossed over into Lombardy and set to work. For he intended to occupy Illyria again and was anxious to collect more allies than before for this purpose. And after conferring about a matrimonial alliance with the King of France, the latter gave him one of his daughters in marriage, and sent another by sea to Antioch to be united in marriage to Bohemund’s nephew, Tancred. Next Bohemund collected innumerable forces from all quarters and every town and country, and sent for the Counts with their respective armies and hurried on his crossing to Illyria.

Directly the Emperor received the message forwarded to him through Alexius, he sent letters to the various states, Pisa, Genoa and Venice to warn them beforehand and prevent their being seduced by Bohemund’s false words, and joining him. For Bohemund did in truth visit all the towns and countries, inveighing bitterly against the Emperor and calling him a pagan and an enemy of the Christians. During the time that countless hosts of Franks crossed from the West into Asia and were proving a scourge to Antioch, Tyre and all the surrounding towns and countries, the Babylonian had managed to capture three hundred Counts and was keeping them bound in prison where their treatment was as cruel as it used to be in olden times.

When the Emperor heard the details of their capture and the consequent sufferings that had befallen them, he was cut to the heart and occupied himself entirely with their deliverance. Accordingly he sent for Nicetas Panucomites and dispatched him to the Babylonian with money and also handed him a letter in which he begged for those captive Counts and promised the Sultan many benefits if he would release them from their chains.

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