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 it), while Tzachas sailed past this port I have mentioned and stationed his ships close under the wall of the citadel. It was the fourth day of the week. The next day he turned all his men ashore, numbered them and made a list of them. Meanwhile Dalassenus had discovered a small town near the harbour, so levelled the first palisaded camp he had made and went down there and made a new trench of adequate width and settled his whole army in it. On the following day both armies arrayed themselves and went forth to battle. But the Roman army stood motionless, as Dalassenus had commanded them not to break the ranks.

Franks in headlong flight

Then Tzachas egged on the larger part of his barbarian army to attack the Romans and bade a very few horsemen follo-A them up. At this the Latins took their long spears and rode out against them. But the barbarians did not aim their javelins at the Franks but at the horses and some they struck with their spears; thus they killed a great many, routed the others and drove them into their camp lines, but they in a mad rush ran out from them towards the ships. When the Romans saw the Franks in headlong flight, they were terrified and retreated a little and drew themselves up close to the wall of the little town.

Thus the way was left open for the barbarians to go down to the coast and capture some of our ships. Seeing this the sailors loosed the cables, pushed off quickly from the shore, cast anchor, and waited to see what would happen. Dalassenus then ordered them to sail along the coasts to the western part of the island and when they reached Bolissus, to await his coming there ; now Bolissus is a small town standing on the headland of the island. But some Scythians found their way to Tzachas and acquainted him with Dalassenus’ plan.

Then he in the first place sent out fifty spies to let him know at once when Dalassenus’ fleet was getting ready to put to sea, and in the second he sent to Dalassenus under pretence of wishing to discuss terms of peace with him-but really, I believe, because having regard to Dalassenus’ brave and adventurous spirit, he despaired of victory. The latter promised Tzachas to come to the edge of his camp on the morrow, when they could exchange views and hear whatever either had to say. The barbarians agreed to this, and so in the morning the two leaders met.

Read More about Eudocia 1067 part 2

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