Alexius Part 31


    When either side (to wit, Henry, King of Germany, and the Pope) had brought up their armies, and set them in battle array, directly the horn had sounded the attack, the lines dashed together, and there was fanned up by either side a great and long-continued battle. So many deeds of valour were done by both parties, and such was the endurance shewn by men already wounded by spear and arrow, that in a short time the whole plain was submerged in a sea of blood which flowed from the dying, and the survivors fought on, as if sailing on the abundant gore. In some places the soldiers got entangled by the dead bodies, and fell over, and were drowned in the river of blood.

    Lantulphus directed the combat

    For if, as it is said, more than 30,000 men fell in that battle, what a stream of blood was poured forth, and how large a portion of the earth was defiled with gore! Both sides were, if I may so put it, of equal stature in the battle as long as Lantulphus directed the combat. But when he received a mortal wound, and straightway gave up the ghost, the Pope’s lines gave way, and turned their backs to the enemy, and in their flight many were killed or wounded.

    Henry rushed wildly after them, being all the more heartened in the pursuit because he had learnt that Lantulphus had fallen and become the prize of the enemy. By and by he desisted from the chase, and bade his army take a rest. Later on he got his army ready again, and hastened to Rome to besiege it. Hereupon, the Pope recalled the agreement and pledges Robert had given him, and sent an embassy to ask his help. At the same time.

    Henry, too, when he was starting on his march against the ancient city of Rome sent to ask his alliance. But Robert thought both of them silly for making such a request, and sent a verbal answer of some kind to the King, but to the Pope he indited a letter. His letter ran as follows; “Duke Robert to the great High-priest and his Overlord in God. I heard a talk of the attack made upon thee by thy enemies, but did not attach much real importance to the rumour as I knew that none would dare to raise his hand against thee.

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