Thereupon, as he knew they set out on foraging expeditions at daybreak, he sent for Taticius (he has often been mentioned in this history) and bade him take the most courageous of the youths and picked men from his own bodyguard and all the Latins and keep watch during the night for the Scythians’ expedition at dawn, so that when he supposed that the foraging party was at a good distance from their camp, he could ride down upon them at full speed. Taticius carried out these orders, killed about four hundred and took a large number captive. And what followed?
Expedition against Nicomedia
The horsemen sent by the Count of Flanders, about five hundred picked men, arrived and brought as a present to the Emperor one hundred and fifty selected horses: moreover they sold him all the horses they did not require for their own use. The Emperor welcomed them very graciously and returned hearty thanks. Next he received a message from the East saying that Apelchasem, the governor of Nima (whom the Persians usually call a ‘satrap,’ and the Turks, who now imitate the Persians, an ‘ameer’), was all but starting on an expedition against Nicomedia, so he sent those horsemen to protect that district.
VIII At this same time Tzachas who was assured of the Emperor’s manifold troubles in the West and of his continuous warfare with the Patzinaks, thought that, as the opportunity offered, he ought to acquire a fleet. And chancing upon a certain Smyrniote, he entrusted the building of pirate vessels to him for he was experienced in this work. After he had built many of these at Smyrna, as well as forty covered trawlers he embarked experienced men on them, sailed for Clazomenae and took the town immediately. Thence he sailed to Phoma and took that too at first assault.
From that town he sent letters to the Curator Alopus, the administrator of Mitylene, threatening him with dire punishment unless he left the town very quickly; he told him also that he wished him well and had for that reason warned him of the terrible future that awaited him if he did not depart. Alopus was thoroughly scared by Tzachas’ threats, so embarked on a vessel by night and made for the capital. On hearing of his flight, Tzachas did not delay but sailed straightway to Mitylene and took it without any difficulty. The Emperor was informed about Tzachas, and immediately dispatched a large force by boat to fortify Methymna which is situated on the northern promontory of this island and had not gone over to Tzachas.
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