Friday, April 23, 2010

Deeds of the Franks, Book Two, Chapter Five

The ill-omened emperor sent a messenger, whom he esteemed greatly and who was called the 'Master of the Imperial Household' (Corpalatius), at the same time with our messengers, so that he could lead us safely through his land until we arrived at Constantinople. Since we came before his cities, he ordered the locals to carry on a market for us just as those men we spoke of had done. Certainly they feared the very many, very powerful people of the Lord Bohemond that they allowed none of our men to pass beyond the walls of their city. Our men were wanting to attack a certain fort and seize it, for the reason that it was full of good booty. But Bohemond, who was a prudent man, was unwilling to agree to this, as much for the law of the land as for the trust of the emperor. For this, he was very angry with Tancred and others. This happened in the evening. In the morning, the inhabitants came out of the fort and with a procession, bearing crosses in their hands, they came into the presence of Bohemond. He was in truth rejoicing to receive those men and with joy permitted them to go away. Then they came to a city called Serra where we set up our tents and had a large enough market that was meeting those days. There Bohemond came to an agreement with two masters of the imperial palace and on behalf of their friendship and on behalf of the law of the land, he ordered all animals to be returned that had been seized by our men. Then we came to the city Rusa. Now the Greeks came out and came rejoicing and running to meet Lord Bohemond, bringing to us a very great market and there we set up camp in the fourth day of the week before the Supper of the Lord. There also Bohemond sent away all of his people and went on ahead to Constantinople to speak with the emperor, however he took a few soldiers with him. Tancred remained behind as the head of the Christian military, and seeing men buy foreign foods, he said to himself that he would go outside the road and lead his people to where they could happily live. Then he came into a valley where there was plenty of all good things brought together that nourish the body, in which we celebrated Easter most devoutly.


Tracy said...

How very civilised of them! Bohemond's behaviour certainly seems better than most, but even so - this is the first description we've got to where they haven't been burning heretics or other equally brutal treatment.

The Red Witch said...

They did want to attack that one city. I know, it makes me laugh how they think Alexius was a bad man and getting in their way but then they admit to stealing and plundering across the countryside.