At the same time the ambassadors from Melissenus were insistently demanding the Golden Bull which had been promised them, and Manganes was summoned to bring it. He said that he had indeed written the letter, but protested that the implements necessary for the royal signatures and sealing had been lost, pen and all! For he was a dissembler and clever at easily forecasting the future, at picking out what was advantageous from the past, and also accurately diagnosing the present and skilfully arranging matters to his own liking while he covered his doings as long as he wished. Thus Manganes postponed the writing of the Golden Bull in order to keep Melissenus in suspense, for he feared that if the Bull, which bestowed upon him the rank of Caesar, were dispatched more hastily than was wise, Melissenus would scorn that honour and cling at all costs to gaining the empire, as he had informed the Comneni, and venture on a very bold stroke. Such then was the art and wiliness of Manganes in postponing the writing of the Golden Bull for the Caesar. [65] While these things were being arranged and time was pressing for entering into the city, the ambassadors became suspicious of some trick, and were still more insistent in their demands for the Golden Bull. But the Comneni said to them, "Since we practically have the city in our hands, we are going now to take possession of it with the help of God, so do you depart and take this news to your lord and master." And they added further, "If events do indeed turn out according to our hopes, he must come to us, and then all matters will easily be arranged in a manner agreeable both to ourselves and to him" - this was their answer to the ambassadors.


Then they sent out George Palaeologus to Gilpractus, the leader of the Nemitzi, to find out the latter's intentions, and if he discovered that he was ready to admit the Comneni, as he had promised, he was to give the pre-concerted signal, and directly they saw it they would hasten their entrance, while Gilpractus himself would quickly ascend the tower and open the gates to them. Palaeologus undertook this errand very willingly, for he was a man eager for military exploits and the sacking of cities, and the term "stormer of cities" which Homer applies to Ares, would fit him exactly. Next the Comneni got ready and drew up all their heavy-armed troops in a very clever way, and then, marching slowly, they approached the city in troops. But in the evening George Palaeologus approached the wall and receiving the signal from Gilpractus, he went up into the tower with his companions. Alexius meanwhile and his men were only a short distance from the walls and after throwing up a palisade, they encamped comfortably and remained at rest there for a brief period of the night. During the rest of the night, however, after posting the light-armed, they pushed on at a marching pace - the Comneni held the centre of the line with picked cavalry and the flower of the troops - and just at daybreak they stood outside the walls with the whole of their army. All the soldiers were fully armed as if for battle so that they might strike terror into the hearts of the citizens. But when Palaeologus gave them the signal from above and opened the gates, they rushed in pell-mell, no longer with military discipline, but just as each could, carrying their shields, bows and spears.


Now the day was Good Friday (the day on which we offer and feed upon our Mystical Passover) of the fourth "Indiction" in the month of April in the year 6589. [*i.e., of the Byzantine era = April 1, 1081 AD] And as the whole army (which was composed of foreign and native [66] troops and had come together from home and neighbouring countries) knew that the city had for a long time been crammed with all kinds of riches which were continually imported from other lands and seas, they entered very quickly through the Charisian Gate and scattering in all directions along the main streets, the cross-roads and the by-lanes, they spared neither houses, churches nor even the innermost sanctuaries but amassed a large amount of booty and only desisted from killing, and in every way they acted throughout with the greatest recklessness and shamelessness. Indeed the worst feature was that not even the natives themselves abstained from these deeds but apparently forgot themselves, changed their manners for the worse and did themselves exactly the same things as the barbarians.

(注 インディクティオ:西暦年を15で割って余りが13のときを第1インディクティオ、14のときを第2インディクティオと数え、余りが0のときは第3インディクティオと数える。1081年を15で割ると余りが1になるので第4インディクティオ)

  • 最終更新:2013-04-05 01:37:34