December 14, 2019

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade part 110

They marched to a land called Skiza, which was surrounded by the sea except on one side. And in old days the way of entry had been defended with walls and towers, and moats, but these were now decayed. So the host of the French entered in, and Peter of Bracieux, to whom the land had been devised, began to restore the defences, and built two castles, and made two fortified ways of entry. From thence they overran the land of Lascaris, and gained much booty and cattle, and brought such booty and cattle into their island: Theodore Lascaris, on the other hand, harked back upon Skiza, so that there were frequent battles and skirmishes, and losses on the one side and on the other; and the war in those parts was fierce and perilous.

Now let us leave speaking of those who were at Skiza, and speak of Thierri of Loos, who was seneschal, and to whom Nicomedia should have belonged; and Nicomedia lay a day’s journey from Nice the Great, the capital of the land of Theodore Lascaris. Thierri then went thither, with a great body of the emperor’s men, and found that the castle had been destroyed. So he enclosed and fortified the church of St. Sophia, which was very large and fair, and maintained the war in that place.

Advantages Obtained by Boniface – Marriage of his Daughter with the Emperor

At that time the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat departed from Salonika, and went to Seres, which Johannizza had destroyed; and he rebuilt it; and afterwards rebuilt a castle called Drama in the valley of Philippi. All the country round about surrendered to him, and came under his rule; and he wintered in the land.

Meanwhile, so much time had gone by, that Christmas was now past. Then came messengers from the marquis to the emperor at Constantinople to say that the marquis had sent his daughter in a galley to the city of Abydos. So the Emperor Henry sent Geoffry the Marshal of Roumania and Champagne, and Miles the Brabant, to bring the lady; and these rode day by day till they came to Abydos.

They found the lady, who was very good and fair, and saluted her on behalf of their lord Henry, the emperor, and brought her to Constantinople in great honour. So the Emperor Henry was wedded to her in the Church of St. Sophia, on the Sunday after the feast of our Lady St. Mary Candlemas (4th February I207), with great joy and in great pomp; and they both wore a crown; and high were the marriage-feastings in the palace of Bucoleon. Thus, as you have just heard, was the marriage celebrated between the emperor and the daughter of the Marquis Boniface, Agnes the empress by name.

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