Alexius Part 19

Such then were the deeds of the Domestic and a few followers during that night. As soon as dawn smiled upon the earth, and the sun peeped over the horizon, Basilacius’ officers endeavoured with all their might to drive together their men who had abandoned the battle and been busy about the spoil. The Great Domestic also re-formed his own lines, and then marched straight against Basilacius.

Some of the Domestic’s troops saw stragglers from Basilacius’ army in the distance, so rode down upon them, routed them, and brought some back to him alive. Basilacius’ brother, Manuel, mounted a hillock, and from there encouraged his army by shouting loudly, “To-day the day and the victory are to Basilacius!” A certain Basileios, nicknamed Curticius, an intimate friend of Nicephorus Bryennius (whose story we have told), and very active in war, ran from Comnenus’ battle-line up towards this hillock.

Thessalonians at once received Basilacius

Basilacius Manuel drew his sword, and at full speed galloped down upon him; but Curticius, instead of taking his sword, snatched the staff hanging from his saddle-cloth, struck Manuel on the head with it, knocked him off his horse, and dragging him bound behind him, brought him to my father as if he were a bit of the spoils. In the meantime, when the remnants of Basilacius’ army saw Comnenus advance with his own divisions, they resisted him for a little, and then took to flight. And so Basilacius fled, and Alexius Comnenus pursued him. When they reached Thessalonica, the Thessalonians at once received Basilacius, but straightway barred the gates before the General.

But not even then did Alexius relax, nor did he take off his breastplate, or lay aside his helmet, or ungird his shield from his shoulders, or cast aside his sword, but he encamped, and threatened to besiege the city forthwith, and then sack it . As he wished, however, to save Basilacius, he sent his monk-companion, “Little John” (a man renowned for his integrity) to him with a proposal for peace, and promised that Basilacius should suffer no ill-treatment if he gave securities and surrendered himself and the city.

Read More about Alexius Part 7

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