July 5, 2020

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade part 119

Then the Emperor Henry repaired to Constantinople, and undertook once more to go to Adrianople with as many men as he could collect. He assembled his host at Selymbria; and so much time had already passed that this did not take place till after the feast of St. John, in June (1207). And he rode day by day till he came to Adrianople, and encamped in the fields before the city. And those within the city, who had greatly desired his coming, went out to meet him in procession, and received him very gladly.. And all the Greeks of the land came with them.

The emperor remained only one day before the city to see all the damage that Johannizza had done to the walls and towers, with mines and petraries; and these had worked great havoc to the city. And on the morrow he departed’, and marched towards the country of Johannizza, and so marched for four days. On the fifth day he came to the foot of the mountain of Wallachia, to a city called Euloi, which Johannizza had newly repeopled with his folk. And when the people of the land saw the host coming, they abandoned the city, and fled into the mountains.

The Emperor’s Foragers Suffer Loss

The Emperor Henry and the host of the French encamped before the city; and the foraging parties overran the land and captured oxen, and cows, and beeves in great plenty and other beasts. And those from Adrianople, who had brought their chariots with them, and were poor and illfurnished with food, loaded their chariots with corn and other grain; and they found also provisions in plenty and loaded with them, in great quantities, the other chariots that they had captured. So the host sojoumed there for three days; and every day the foraging parties went foraging throughout the land; but the land was full of mountains, and strong defiles, and the host lost many foragers, who adventured themselves madly.

In the end, the Emperor Henry sent Anscau of Cayeux to guard the foragers, and Eustace his brother, and Thierri of Flanders, his nephew, and Walter of Escomai, and John Bliaud. Their four battalions went to guard the foragers, and entered into a land rough and mountainous. And when their people had overrun the land, and wished to return, they found the defiles very well guarded.

For the Wallachians of the country had assembled, and fought against them, and did them great hurt, both to men and horses. Hardly were our men put to it to escape discomfiture; and the knights had, of necessity, to dismount and go on foot. But by God’s help they returned to the camp, though not without great loss and damage.

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