December 14, 2019

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade part 111

Theodore Lascaris forms an Alliance with Johannizza

Theodore Lascaris, who was warring against the Emperor Henry, took messengers and sent them to Johannizza, the King of Wallachia and Bulgaria. And he advised Johannizza that all the forces of the Emperor Henry were fighting against him (Lascaris) on the other side of the straits towards Turkey; that the emperor was in Constantinople with but very few people; and that now was the time for vengeance, inasmuch as he himself would be attacking the emperor on the one side, and Johannizza on the other, and the emperor had so few men that he would not be able to defend himself against both. Now Johannizza had already engaged a great host of Comans, who were on their way to join his host; and had collected together as large a force of Wallachians and Bulgarians as ever he could. And so much time had now gone by, that it was the beginning of Lent (7th March 1207).

Macaire of Sainte-Menehould had begun to build a castle at Charax, which lies on a gulf of the sea, six leagues from Nicomedia, towards Constantinople. And William of Sains began to build another castle at Cibotos, that lies on the gulf of Nicomedia, on the other side, towards Nice. And you must know that the Emperor Henry had as much as he could do near Constantinople; as also the barons who were in the land. And well does Geoffry of Villehardouin, the Marshal of Champagne and Roumania, who is dictating this work, bear witness, that never at any time were people so distracted and oppressed by war; this was by reason that the host were scattered in so many places.

Siege of Adrianople by Johannizza – Siege of Skiza and Cibotos by Lascaris

Then Johannizza left Wallachia with all his hosts, and with a great host of Comans who joined themselves to him, and entered Roumania. And the Comans overran the country up to the gates of Constantinople; and he himself besieged Adrianople, and erected there thirty-three great petraries, which hurled stones against the walls and the towers. And inside Adrianople were only the Greeks and Peter of Radinghem, who had been set there by the emperor, with ten knights. Then the Greeks and the Latins together sent to tell the Emperor Henry how Johannizza had besieged them, and prayed for succour.

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