Domestic Conflicts part 17


But if he would not listen, John was to oppose him with a large force and resist him manfully by land and sea. When Gregory Taronites heard he was coming he at once left for Colonea (a very strong and impregnable fort) in order to call Tanismanes to his aid. John was informed of this as he was starting, so he detached the Franks and some picked Roman troops from his army, and sent them against Gregory. They overtook him and engaged him in a fierce battle, in which two brave soldiers attacked him with their spears and struck him down from his horse. They then conducted him to John, who led him captive to the Emperor though he had sworn not even to see him, still less to deign him worthy of conversation on the way.

And yet he interceded strongly for him to the Emperor, who pretended that he intended to deprive him of his eyes. At last the Emperor reluctantly avowed his hypocrisy, yielded to John’s prayers but exhorted him repeatedly not to let their conversation be divulged. Three days later, he had Gregory’s hair and beard shaven off close to the skin and led in that condition through the middle of the Agora and then imprisoned in the tower of Anemas of which I have just spoken. Since even in prison he was still foolish and uttered words of madness daily to his jailers the Emperor bestowed great care upon him for a long time, in the hope of making him change and give proof of repentance.

Emperor gave my Caesar permission

However he was the same as before and often asked for my Caesar as in former days he had been friendly with us. Consequently the Emperor gave my Caesar permission to visit him in order to lift him out of his deep despondency and give him good advice. But the other seemed very slow in changing for the better, and for that reason he remained prisoner for a long time. When he was granted pardon, he enjoyed such kindness and gifts and honour as never before, for such was the Emperor’s clemency in these matters.

VIII Having thus attended to the matter of the conspirators and the rebel Gregory he did not on account of these forget Bohemund, but summoned Isaac Contostephanus, and promoted him to be Great Duke of the fleet, and sent him to Dyrrachium and further threatened him that his eyes would be put out if he did not manage to arrive in Illyria before Bohemund crossed.

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