Turkish War part 21


However he never ceased caring for Diogenes, and was heard to sigh deeply for him; he displayed great kindness towards him and tried to console him and reinstated him in most of the possessions of which he had been deprived. But Diogenes was frantic with grief, detested town-life and was fond of living on his own estate and devoting himself entirely to the works of the ancient writers which others read aloud to him. For as he was bereft of sight he used the eyes of others for reading. He was a man of such wonderful capabilities that even without eyes he easily understood things that people with eyes find difficult to follow.

Figures of geometry

Then he went through all the later learning, and what is strangest, he even studied that famous science, geometry, under the guidance of a philosopher, whom he ordered to get him the figures made in solid material (or in relief). For by feeling these all over with his hands he gained comprehension of all the theorems and

Turkish War part 20


For the man they load with blessings and escort and hold in high respect to-day, they treat in exactly the opposite way without feeling any shame, when they see the throw of his life’s die changed. But the Emperor silenced them by a gesture and again spoke, saying, ” There is no need for you to make a noise or try to subvert the decision I have taken. For, as I said, I for my part have granted pardon to all, and shall shew myself the same towards you hereafter as I did before.”

While the Emperor was granting pardon to these men, the originators of the plan sent, without the Emperor’s knowledge, and had Diogenes blinded. They further decreed that the same thing should be done to Cecaumenos Catacalon as he had been Diogenes’ fellow-conspirator. This was the day of the commemoration of the Chief Apostles. This deed has been the subject of discussion from that day until now; but whether the Emperor was let into the secret by its authors, and gave

Turkish War part 19


The Emperor himself was not altogether at his ease (I speak humanly, without regard to the fact that he trusted every thing to God), for considering the mixed character of the meeting he feared that they might be meditating some unforeseen and horrible thing against him. However he composed himself by vigorous reasoning and once he had braced himself to the struggle lie began his speech to them (whilst they stood more dumb even than fish, as if their tongues had been cut out). He said, “You know that Diogenes never suffered any ill-treatment at my hands.

For it was not I that snatched the sceptre of this Empire from his father’s hand, but another; nor have I ever done anything to cause him hurt or pain. And when this Empire was transferred to my hands by the entire will of God, not only did I guard him and his brother alike, but I loved and treated them like my own children. And as often as I have detected Nicephorus plotting against me, so often have I granted

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These were afraid that amidst the popular concourse on the morrow a few men might make a dash at the Emperor and cut him to pieces on the throne, as men often carried their swords under their garments, as that rascal did who in guise of suppliant came to him when he was playing polo. (The only way to meet this difficulty seemed to be to strip the people of all the hopes they had centred on Diogenes by spreading abroad a rumour that he had been secretly blinded.) So they collected and sent out a few men to impart this news as a secret to everybody, although such an idea had never yet entered the Emperor’s mind. And this report, though slight at first, yet proceeded to do its work, as my story will soon make clear.

When the sun bad stepped over the horizon and leapt up in his glory, those of the Emperor’s suite who had not been parties to Diogenes’ treachery, and the soldiers who from of old were his appointed bodyguard, came to the Emperor’s tent fir

Turkish War part 17


After Diogenes had been detected, put into chains and banished, the leading men in his conspiracy who had not already been arrested, knew that they had become objects of suspicion and grew very nervous and anxious about their course of action. The Emperor’s friends, perceiving their agitated condition, felt that they themselves were in a difficult situation, for they realized that the Emperor was hardly pressed and that danger was constantly hovering over his head, as for protection he could now only rely on a circumscribed few.

Numerous recollections

The Emperor kept revolving everything from the beginning in his mind, the many occasions Diogenes had plotted against him and been thwarted by the Divine power, and the fact that he had actually tried to murder him with his own hand, and he became very troubled by these numerous recollections. He changed his mind ever so often, for he recognized that the entire military and political bodies had been corrupte

Turkish War part 16


VIII Then the Emperor sent for Mouzaces and told him to take other armed men with him and fetch Diogenes from the Great Domestic’s tent and conduct him to his own and keep him safely there though without applying fetters or any other ill-treatment. And Mouzaces instantly executed this command; fetched Diogenes and took him to his own tent. And the whole night through he entreated and exhorted him, but so fax from persuading him he even found him behaving rudely, and consequently grew very angry and was provoked to act contrary to his orders.

For he thought fit to torture him and when he began the torture, Diogenes gave way at the very first touch of pain and asseverated that he would admit everything, so he at once freed him from his chains and sent for a scribe with his style, and the scribe was Gregory Camaterus, who had lately been engaged as under-secretary to the Emperor. And Diogenes related everything in detail and did not even gloss over the attempted murder.

Turkish War part 15


Once or twice he pulled at his sword whilst stammering forth imaginary petitions, then in despair threw himself on the ground and lay there begging for mercy. The Emperor [228] turned his horse to him and asked for what he was craving forgiveness, and the man pointed to his sword fixed in its sheath; at the same time he beat his breast in amazement and shouted out these words, ” Now I recognize thee as a true servant of God, now I behold with mine own eyes that the great God protects thee.

Emperor’s more loyal companions

For this sword here I prepared for thy murder, I fetched it from home and came here to plunge it into thy heart. Once, twice, nay thrice, I pulled at it but could not make it obey the strength of my arm.” And the Emperor, just as if he had not heard anything strange, had stayed in the same position unalarmed; suddenly all the others ran up to him either to hear what was being said or in alarm. The Emperor’s more loyal co

Turkish War part 14


However, Constantine refused, saying it was impossible to give away a gift from the Emperor of such value to another the very same day. In the morning when the Emperor started on his projected journey, Diogenes followed in his train, for God who scattereth plans and setteth at naught the decisions of nations, confounded this man too, who, though intent on escape, deferred it from hour to hour – such are the judgments of God. So he encamped near Serres, where the Emperor was also, and buried himself in his usual reflections that he was already detected and must fear the future.

Waiting anxious to accomplish

The Emperor then summoned his brother, the Great Domestic, Adrian, on the evening when the commemoration of the Great Martyr, Theodore, was being held. And he communicated to him again all the facts about Diogenes which the other already knew, namely how he had come in with his sword, how he had been turned away from the door, and how he was waiting anx

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For he was keener witted than a two-edged sword, but unstable throughout, except that in his desire to be Emperor he displayed immutability. His [226] words were as sweet as honey and he was pleasant in society, occasionally clothing himself in humility as if it were a fox-skin, and then again shewing his courage like a lion; he was powerful and boasted that be could wrestle with the Giants; his skin was tawny, his chest broad and he stood taller by the head and shoulders than the men of that time.

If anyone saw him playing ball, or riding, or shooting an arrow or brandishing his spear or indulging in horse-exercise, he would imagine he was looking at a new marvel, stand gaping and be all but transfixed with wonder. For this reason above an he attracted the goodwill of the populace. In the meanwhile matters were advancing so fast in accordance with his desires that he even tried to win over the man married to the Emperor’s sister, namely, Michael Taronites who had be

Turkish War part 12


Moreover, as Alexius did not judge superficially, nor was blind to the truth, nor a prey to reprehensible passions, but weighed facts in the well-balanced scale of his conscience and remembered the height from which the two had fallen he took them to his bosom as if they were his own children. Was there any kind word or deed he did not give them? or did he ever neglect their future ? and yet envy cast its arrows at them and would not let them rest. And if people tried to incite him against them, the Emperor granted them his protection all the more, always gave them pleasant looks as if priding himself upon them, and consistently advised them to their advantage.

Another, perhaps, would have regarded them as objects of suspicion and done his best to chase them out of his kingdom by some means or other; but this Emperor thought nothing of the many tales brought him about the young men for he loved them dearly; and he also bestowed gifts on their mother Eudocia and did not dep

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