So much then for the women. Now the rebels on their part when they had reached the gate in the circular walls of Blachernae, burst its lock and thus had free access to the royal stables. And some of the horses there they left after first slitting their hind-legs from the thigh downwards with the sword, and of the rest they chose those which seemed to them in the best condition, and thence betook themselves with all speed to the monastery, somewhere near the city, called Cosmidium. And here, if I may insert something to [56] make my tale run more clearly, they found the aforementioned Mistress of the Wardrobe, before the Emperor sent to fetch her, as I have told. They took their leave of this woman when they were ready to ride away and they persuaded George Palaeologus to take sides with them and compelled him to depart with them. For before this they had not divulged their plans to him because of a natural suspicion; for the father of this George was extremely devoted to the Emperor, and therefore revealing their project of rebellion to him would have been rather dangerous. And at first indeed, Palaeologus did not show himself at all amenable, but opposed many objections and reproved them for their breach of faith to the emperor and for the fact that, as the proverb has it, they became turncoats.

But when the Mistress of the Wardrobe, Palaeologus mother-in-law, insisted firmly on his joining them under threat of dire punishment, he began to yield and his next concern was for the safety of the women, namely his wife Anna and his mother-in-law Maria, for the latter was descended from one of the first families of Bulgaria and was so attractive by reason of the beauty and grace of limbs and features that she was considered the most beautiful of all the women then living. Thus George and Alexius were not free from anxiety about her, and both felt that the women must be removed from that place, but while Alexius' party advised their being conveyed to some fortress, Palaeologus suggested the sanctuary of our Lady in Blachernae - and George's opinion prevailed. So they went off at once with these women and placed them under the care of the Holy Mother of the all-embracing Word. On their return to the place whence they started, they consulted on their best course of action, and Palaeologus and, "You two must get away from here; and I will soon overtake, you, and bring my property, with me?" For as it happened he had all his movable property stored there. Without further delay therefore the Comneni started on their journey; and, after loading his property on the monies' beasts of burden, Palaeologus rode after them. And he came up with them at Tzouroulus (a Thracian village) where by a lucky chance they all joined the army which had occupied it by command of the Domestic.


Then thinking it right to send news of their doings to John Ducas, the ex-emperor, who was at that time living on his own property in the country of Morobundus, they dispatched a messenger to inform him of their rebellion. The man carrying the message happened to arrive at early dawn and was standing [57] outside the gates of the farm asking for the Emperor. And his grandchild John, still quite a child, not even a boy yet, and consequently always with the Emperor, saw the man and at once ran in, woke up his grandfather who was still asleep, and told him of the rebellion. But the latter astounded by the words, gave the child a box on the ears, and advising him not to talk nonsense, sent him off. In a little while, however, he came back again, bringing the same news, and in addition the message addressed to his grandfather by the Comneni. Now this message had an excellent touch of wit in it which hinted at Alexius' doings for it said; "We on our side have prepared a right good meal, not wanting in rich condiments, but if you on your side wish to share this banquet, you must come with all speed to partake of it." Then the Emperor sat up and propping himself on his right elbow bade them bring in the messenger, and when this man had finished his tale about the Comneni, he at once exclaimed; "Woe is me!" and clapped his hands over his eyes. And after grasping his beard for a time, as a man will when revolving matters of deep import in his mind, he settled on this one point, namely, that he too would yield to their wish. Therefore he immediately summoned his grooms and mounting his horse, rode off to join the Comneni.


On the way he chanced upon a Byzantine who was carrying a heavy purse of gold and travelling to the capital, so in the words of Homer he asked him, "Who and whence art thou?" On learning that he had collected a large sum from certain taxes and was conveying it to the treasury, he urged him to halt for the night with him, promising that at daybreak he should go off where he liked. At the other's refusing and getting angry, the Emperor insisted all the more and finally persuaded him - for he was marvellously glib of speech and quick in thought, and persuasion sat on his tongue as if he were a second Aeschines or Demosthenes. So he took him with him and turned in at an inn, where he detained him by looking after him kindly in all ways, making him share his table and seeing that he could rest comfortably. But at dawn just when the sun was climbing up the eastern horizon, the Byzantine spread the cloths on the horses and was for hurrying off to ride at full speed to Byzantium. The Emperor seeing this called: "Stop and travel with us," but the other not knowing where he was going and being moreover quite in the dark about the reason which made him the object of so much solicitude, became vexed and suspicious again of the Emperor [58] and his friendly ways. But the Emperor insisted and began pulling at him, and as the other still did not yield, he changed his manner and spoke more roughly and threatened him if he would not do as he was ordered. As the other still did not obey he ordered all the stranger's possessions to be packed with his own on his beasts and started on his journey, giving the other permission to go where he liked. Then the man abandoned his intention of going to the Palace from fear of being imprisoned if the Treasury-officials saw him come with empty hands; again he was not anxious to return home because of the unsettled and confused state of the country resultant upon the rebellion of the Comneni which had emerged, and so against his will he followed the Emperor.


And next the following incident took place. As he was starting, the Emperor fell in with some Turks who had just crossed the river Eurus.[* R. Hebrus] So drawing reign, he enquired whence and whither they were going, and straightway promised them much money and all kinds of rewards if they would accompany him to the Comneni - and so they consented. Later he demanded an oath from their leaders as he wished to confirm their agreement by it, and this they immediately gave after their fashion and assured him that they would most readily fight on the side of the Comneni. After this he started taking the Turks with him as well to the Comneni. The latter saw him from afar and were overjoyed at his strange booty, and they both, but especially my father Alexius, could scarcely contain themselves for delight. Alexius went to meet him and embraced and kissed him. And what followed? At the Emperor's suggestion and suasion they set forth on the road leading to the capital. And all the men from the country-towns flocked to Alexius as volunteers and proclaimed him Emperor - the only exception were the men of Orestias who had an old grudge against him for having captured Bryennius, and therefore they adhered to the part of Botaniates. When they had reached the Athyras, they rested there for one day and then pushed on and reached Schiza (which is also a village in Thrace) and formed an entrenched camp there.



  • 最終更新:2013-04-03 16:56:46