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War with the Scyths (1091) : Victory at Levunium (29 April 1091) : Plots against the Emperor
I the Emperor was now informed that the Scythians had detached a division and sent it against Choerobacchi, and that their approach was imminent. As he was a man swift to act and ever proved himself ready in sudden crises-in spite of not having had a week’s rest yet in his palace nor even taken a bath, nor shaken off the dust of battle – he at once assembled the troops appointed as garrison of the city and all the recruits there were, about 500 in number, and after seeing to their equipment all through the night, he marched out at dawn.

War with Scyths – On this occasion he made his expedition against the Scythians known, and to all his connections by blood or marriage and to the men of superior fortune who had enrolled themselves in the army (it was then Friday in Septuagesima week) he sent the following orders by his messengers: ” I for my part am leaving because I have heard of the Scythians’ rapid movement on Choerobacchi; you others, however, must march and join us during Quinquagesima week. As I do not wish to appear severe and inconsiderate, I grant you the days from this Septuagesima Friday to the Monday in Quinquagesima week as a short breathing-space.” Thereupon the Emperor marched straight to Choerobacchi, and on entrance closed the gates, and took charge of the keys himself.

Then he stationed all those of his servants who were loyal on the battlements of the wall with strict injunctions not to lie down, but to keep a tireless watch all round the walls to prevent anybody’s coming up there, stooping down and leaning over to communicate with the Scythians. At sunrise the Scythians, as expected, occupied and took up their stand on the ridge adjacent to the wall of Choerobacchi. About six thousand of them were afterwards set apart and dispersed for foraging and went as far as Decatum itself which is only some ten stades distant from the Queen of Cities ; it is from this fact, I imagine, that it got its name.

War with Scyths part 20

They handed him the Emperor’s letter in which the Emperor stated that he hoped to marry the boy to one of my sisters, and after a long talk with him, they persuaded him to...

War with Scyths part 19

The one was to hold him as a sort of hostage, and the second was to win Gabras’ affection; with the idea that if the latter had been meditating any evil deed, he would...

War with Scyths part 18

The Emperor then summoned his own brother, I mean the Sebastocrator Isaac, and his son John, and after a long conversation with them, concluded by saying to the Sebastocrator, “You go back in peace...

War with Scyths part 17

The Sebastocrator took leave of the Emperor and went to the tent assigned to him. And almost immediately the letter-carrier he had sent to John came running in saying he had returned and John...

War with Scyths part 16

The other addressed to the leading men in Dyrrachium, ran as follows : ” As we were informed that Bolcanus was once again meditating treachery against us, we have issued from Byzantium partly to...

War with Scyths part 15

The Emperor now heard a rumour of an invasion by the Comans, and learnt from another quarter that Bodinus and his Dalmatians had broken the truce and were contemplating an incursion into our territory;...

War with Scyths part 14

For throughout his lif e he considered it a sin not only to tell a falsehood, but even to appear to have done so, and he frequently would discourse at length to all about...

War with Scyths part 13

And I really do not know what you are thinking about to talk such nonsense.”On the other’s insisting he dismissed him angrily. Then he had a proclamation made to the army that all arms...

War with Scyths part 12

That day a new spectacle was seen, for a whole nation, not of ten thousand men only, but surpassing all number together with their wives and children was completely wiped out. It was the...

War with Scyths part 11

The Romans in their dread of the countless Scythians and their horrible covered wagons which they used as walls, sent up one cry for mercy to the Lord of All and then, letting their...