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War with the Scyths – War with the Scyths (1087-90)

I at the approach of spring Tzelgu (the supreme commander of the Scythian army) crossed the passes above the Danube with a mixed army of about eighty thousand, composed of Sauromatians, Scythians, and a number from the Dacian army (over whom the man called Solomon was leader), and plundered the towns round about Chariopolis.

And after entering Chariopolis itself and carrying off much booty, he settled down in a place called Scotinum. On receipt of this news Nicolas Mavrocatacalon and Bebetziotes (who got this name from his country) occupied Pamphylum. with the forces under their command. When they saw the villagers from the districts around hurrying in to the towns and fortresses in their extreme fear, they moved from the place called Pamphylurn and occupied the small town of Cule with their whole army.
Roman army
War with the Scyths – Behind them came the Scythians and directly they discovered the track of the Roman army (this is the word used by soldiers) they followed almost in their footsteps one might say. At dawn of day Tzelgu drew up his own forces and contemplated battle with Mavrocatacalon. But the latter climbed up with a few chosen comrades to the pass overlooking the plain to spy out the barbarian forces; and seeing the multitude of the Scythians, he deferred the battle, although madly impatient for it, as he realized that the Roman army was numerically far inferior to the Scythian horde.

He returned to the camp and discussed with all the officers of the army and with Joharmaces himself the advisability of attacking the Scythians. As they all urged him to do so and his own inclination lay in that direction, he divided the troops into three portions, bade them sound the attack and engaged the barbarians. In the combat many Scythians fell wounded, and no fewer were killed; and Tzelgu himself who had fought valiantly and thrown the ranks into confusion, received a mortal wound and gave up the ghost.

War with the Scyths part 25

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Each wheel rebounded at least a cubit’s length from the wall, and through their rims springing back from the wall they seemed to be ejected from catapults and came hurtling down into the midst...

War with the Scyths part 24

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XI After taking three days’ rest there he moved on to Tzouroulus. He contemplated remaining there for some time, and therefore had an entrenched camp made on the eastern side of the town large...

War with the Scyths part 23

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As he was expecting the Scythians to attack he did not sleep at all nor even doze a little, but the whole night long he kept calling for soldiers, especially those who were proficient...

War with the Scyths part 22

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Thus it came about that both arrnies remained stationary till the evening, and then when night fell, both returned to their own camps without having struck a blow. For they were afraid and not...

War with the Scyths part 21

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Shortly Neantzes approached the Emperor and dismounting from his horse, asked him for another, and the Emperor at once gave him one of the picked horses with a royal saddle-cloth. Neantzes mounted it and...

War with the Scyths part 20

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Therefore he sent for Constantine, who was in charge of the royal falcons, and ordered him to take a kettledrum in the evening and walk about in the army beating it all through the...

War with the Scyths part 19

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Now the Emperor had found out from many things that this Duke John was exceedingly brave, skilled in warfare and never disposed to disregard even the slightest of his orders, and as he required...

War with the Scyths part 18

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Tzachas opened the conversation, addressing the other by name, and said, “I must tell you that I am the young man who many years ago overran Asia and though fighting bravely was trapped through...

War with the Scyths part 17

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But Tzachas pursued him systematically and did not slacken in rowing. When they approached Chios, Opus managed to anchor his ships first in the harbour of Chios (Dalassenus had before this gained control of...

War with the Scyths part 16

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However Tzachas thought Methymna was beneath consideration, but sailed direct to Chios and took that also at first assault. On receipt of this news the Emperor sent an adequate fleet with plenty of soldiers...

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