Directly the Comneni had taken possession of the palace they dispatched to the Emperor their niece's husband, Michael, who later became Logothete of the private treasure. With him went a certain Rhadinus who was then Prefect of the city, and by them the Emperor was conducted into a barque and taken a short distance to the famous Monastery of the Peribleptos where they both urged him to don the monastic habit. He, however, wished to defer this for a time, but they in their dread lest a rebellion should be manoeuvred by those two slaves and the soldiers from Coma during the prevailing disorder and confusion, urgently counselled him to be tonsured, and he yielded to their persuasions and forthwith assumed the "dress of angels." Such is Fortune's way! At one moment she exalts a man when she wishes to smile on him, and places a kingly diadem on his head, and purple shoes on his feet; at the next she frowns upon him, and in place of diadems and purple she clothes him in black rags. And this is what happened to the Emperor Botaniates. When asked once by an acquaintance if he easily bore the change, he replied, " Abstinence from meat is the only thing that bothers me, as for the rest I care very little."


In the meantime Queen Maria with her son, Constantine (whom she had by the ex-emperor Michael Ducas) still stayed on in the palace, for she was anxious about her fair-haired Menelaus, as the poet says; and her relationship gave her quite sufficient excuse for remaining, although there were some who, prompted by envy, suggested other reasons, and said she had anticipated matters by making one of the Comneni her son-in-law, and the other her adopted son. This consideration alone decided her to remain, and not a reason which is generally censured, nor the attractiveness and affability of the Comneni, on the contrary it was because she was in a foreign country, without kith or kin, or even a [72] fellow countryman near her. She did not wish to quit the palace hurriedly for fear lest some evil should befall her son unless she first received a guarantee for his safety; for such accidents do occur during a change of dynasty. The child was very beautiful and quite young, being only in his seventh year and (I trust I may be allowed to praise my own relations when the nature of the circumstances demands it) in the opinion of those who saw him at that time he was unrivalled for his sweet disposition and his childish grace in all his movements and games, as those who were there with him afterwards said. He was fair-haired with a milk-white complexion, suffused in the right places with a delicate pink, like that of a rose just bursting its sheath ; his eyes were not light, but gleamed from under his eyebrows like those of a hawk's under a golden hood. As a result he affected all beholders pleasurably in one way or the other and seemed to be of celestial, rather than earthly, beauty - in short he exactly resembled a picture of Eros, as who beheld him might have remarked. This was the true reason of the Queen's remaining in the palace, Now I am by nature averse to fabricating tales and inventing slanders, though I know this is a common practice, especially if people are bitten by envy or malice, nor do I lend a ready ear to popular calumnies; moreover, in this matter I know from other sources the truth of the matter.


For from childhood, from eight years upwards, I was brought up with the Queen, and as she conceived a warm affection for me she confided all her secrets to me. I have also heard many others discussing the course of events at this time, and they differed from each other, each one interpreting them according to his own state of mind or to the degree of good-will or hatred he bore the Queen, and thus I discovered that they were not all of the same opinion. Likewise I have heard her herself too narrating the occurrences, and the panic into which she fell about her son, when Nicephorus was deposed. Thus in my opinion and that of the real seekers after the truth, it was only anxiety for her son which detained the Queen in the palace for a short time then. I have said enough about Queen Maria. My father Alexius who had now grasped the sceptre came and dwelt in the palace, but left his wife, fifteen years' of age, with her sisters, mother and her imperial grandfather on her father's side in the ' Lower' palace as it was generally called from its site. And he himself with his brothers and mother and nearest male relations moved into the 'Upper' palace, which is also called [73] 'Boucoleon' for the following reason. Not far from its walls a harbour had been constructed long ago of native stone and marbles, and there stood a sculptured lion seizing a bull-for he is clinging to the bull's horn, pulling his head back, and has fixed his teeth in the bull's throat. So from this statue the whole place, that is both the buildings there and the harbour itself, has been named Boucoleon.


  • 最終更新:2013-04-11 23:36:11