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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

III: The Crusades of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI,   pp. 86-122 PDF (14.1 MB)

Page 95

of Constantinople,' Frederick wrote, 'we suffered no small loss in robbery
of goods and killing of our men; and this is known without doubt to have
been instigated by the emperor himself. Certain bandits and bowmen, lurking
in the thorn thickets near the public highway, continued to surprise and
harass with poisoned arrows a great many of our men who were unarmed and
proceeding in cautiously. . . . They were [however] completely surrounded
by our balistarii and knights and . . . paid the just penalty for their deserts;
in one day and on one gallows thirty-two of them, suspended like wolves,
shamefully ended their lives. Nonetheless the remaining criminals followed
at our side and molested us with nocturnal theft . . . through all of the
Bulgarian forests. Yet our army in turn dreadfully tortured great numbers
of them with various kinds of torments. 
 'The . . . emperor of Constantinople [moreover] did not hesitate not only
to break every vow he is known to have made on his own life and soul, through
his chancellor, at Nuremberg, but also under threat of punishment to take
from us the opportunity to exchange money and to buy and sell. He also ordered
the defiles of the roads to be blocked by cutting down trees and rolling
huge rocks in the way, and commanded certain ancient passes, the fortifications
of which had been ruined with age . . . to be fortified with war-towers and
bulwarks, in order, contrary to the honor of God and of the holy, living
cross, to destroy us and all Christians. We, however, relying on the help
of heaven, set fire to the Greeks' machines, and reduced their wood and stones
to coals and ashes. And so, by the grace of God, we went through all the
passes victoriously and, stuffed with all good things, arrived at the plain
of Circuiz [Pazarjik?]. We thus spent six weeks in a rather toilsome traverse
of Bulgaria. 
 'Setting out thence again, we occupied Philippopolis, . . . a place very
well defended by natural site and the hand of man and very rich, but utterly
deserted. And behold, on the following day, we received letters from the
emperor of Constantinople that, written with great pomp, sang equally of
threats, flattery, and craft. At that time, moreover, we were first fully
informed of the captivity of our legates, namely of the bishop of M√ľnster,
count Rupert, and Markward the chamberlain, whom the . . . emperor, while
we were still in Hungary, . . . ordered to be taken. Unmindful of his reputation,
and contrary to the law of all nations regarding legates, he had them shamefully
stripped and thrown into prison. When they heard such reports the whole army
of the cross became enraged, 

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