December 14, 2019

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade part 108

The Emperor Meets Johannizza, and Recaptures his Prisoners

Then came tidings that in a certain valley, three leagues distant from the host, were the men and women whom ohannizza was leading away captive, together with 9.11 his plunder, and all his chariots. Then did Henry appoint that the Greeks from Adrianople and Demotica should go and recover the captives and the plunder, two battalions of knights going with them; and as had been arranged, so was this done on the morrow. The command of the one battalion was given to Eustace, the brother of the Emperor Henry of Constantinople, and the command of the other to Macaire of Sainte-Menehould.

So they rode, they and the Greeks, till they came to the valley of which they had been told; and there they found the captives. And Johannizza’s men engaged the Emperor Henry’s men, and men and horses were killed and wounded On either side; but by the goodness of God, the Franks had the advantage, and rescued the captives, and caused them to turn again, and brought them away.

And you must know that this was a mighty deliverance; for the captives numbered full twenty thousand men, women, and children; and there were full three thousand chariots laden with their clothes and baggage, to say nothing of other booty in good quantity. The line of the captives, as they came to the camp, was two great leagues in length, and they reached the camp that night. Then was the Emperor Henry greatly rejoiced, and all the other barons; and they had the captives lodged apart, and well guarded, with their goods, so that they lost not one pennyworth of what they possessed. On the morrow the Emperor Henry rested for the sake of the people he had delivered. And on the day after he left that country, and rode day by day till he came to Adrianople.

There he set free the men and women he had rescued; and each one went whithersoever he listed, to the land where he was bom, or to any other place. The booty, of which he had great plenty, was divided in due shares among the host. So the Emperor Henry sojoumed there five days, and then rode to the city of Demotica, to see how far it had been destroyed, and whether it could again be fortified. He encamped before the city, and saw, both he and his barons, that in the state in which it then was, it were not well to refortify it.

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