25/11/2020

War with the Normans part 17

And Bohemund seeing them come rejoiced as ‘a lion who has met with mighty prey,’ to use a Homeric expression, even so he, when he saw the men and the Protostrator Michael with his own eyes, dashed at them with all his forces in an irresistible rush, whereupon they immediately turned and fled. Uzas (who was thus named after his race), a man famous for his bravery and skilled, as Homer says, ‘in wielding, now right now left, the tough bull’s hide that formed his target,’ bent to the right as he was coming out of the entrance and, turning sharply, hit the Latin following him, who straightway f ell headlong to the ground. But Bohemund pursued the fugitives as far as the river Salabrias.

During the flight this same Uzas pierced Bohemund’s standard-bearer with his spear and plucking the standard from his hands waved it aloft a minute, and then lowered it to the ground. When the Latins saw their standard lowered, they were confounded and fled along another path by which they reached Tricala which had already been seized by some of Bohemund’s men who were fleeing to Lycostomium. And there they entered the town and stayed awhile and afterwards seized Castoria.

Emperor soon left Larissa

But the Emperor soon left Larissa and entered Thessalonica and with his usual sagacity very soon began sending offers of rich rewards to the Counts in Bohemund’s train on condition that they would ask Bohemund for the pay he had promised them, and that if he could not pay them, they should persuade him to journey down to the sea and ask his father Robert for it, or better still, cross the sea himself to fetch it. If they accomplished this, they should all enjoy his respect and numberless benefits.

And if any of them were willing to serve under him as mercenaries, he would enrol them in his army and give them the pay they required, and to those who preferred to return to their own homes, he would give a safe passage through Hungary. In response to the Emperor’s suggestion, the Counts unfeelingly demanded their pay for the last four years, but as Bohemund had not got it, he temporized awhile.

However on their insisting in their reasonable demands, he did not know what to do, so appointed Bryennius Governor of Castoria, as well as Peter, son of Aliphas, who was guarding Polobi; and himself journeyed down to Valona. On receipt of this news, the Emperor packed up and entered the Queen of Cities in triumph.

Read More about The Forty-Seven Ronins part 7

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