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 ensure the safety of the valleys, which lie in the debatable land between our country and the Dalmatians, and partly too to sift this matter of Bolcanus and the Dalmatians to the bottom. For this purpose we deemed it wise to summon hither your Duke, Our Majesty’s dearly beloved nephew, and in his place we send the man who will hand you this letter, and whom we have created Duke.

Therefore do ye receive him and yield him obedience in whatsoever he may command.” When he handed these letter to Caratzas he enjoined him to deliver the one to John first. Then if John willingly obeyed the orders in it, be should send him forth in peace, and undertake the government of the district himself until such time as John returned. But if John proved recalcitrant or refused to obey, he was to assemble the leading men of Dyrrachium and read them the second letter with the object of gaining their help in arresting John.

Philippopolis in two days and nights

VIII Directly the Sebastocrator who was in Constantinople got ear of this, he started off in great haste and reached Philippopolis in two days and nights. The Emperor was asleep so he crept noiselessly into the imperial tent and signifying with his hand to the attendants to keep quiet, he lay down on the second bed in his brother’s tent, and fell asleep himself. When the Emperor woke up and quite unexpectedly beheld his brother, he kept quiet for some time and bade the persons present do the same. When in his turn the Sebasto crator awoke and saw his brother, the Emperor, awake, and the latter saw him, they arose and embraced each other.

Afterwards the Emperor began to enquire what had brought him and why in the world he had come. To this the other replied, “For your sake,” and the Emperor retorted, “You have tired yourself in vain by journeying such a distance so quickly.”To this the Sebastocrator did not reply at the time, for he was lost in conjectures about the news which would be brought him by the messenger he had sent on ahead to Dyrrachium.

For the instant the rumours about his son had come to his ears, he scribbled two words to him, and ordered him to resort to the Emperor with all speed. He told him too that he himself was leaving Byzantium and hurrying to Philippopolis for the express purpose of confuting the statements made to the Emperor about him by putting before his brother, the Emperor, all likely considerations ; and concluded by saying he would await his arrival there.

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