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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

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


Page 106

106 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II  
who, together with duke Berthold, count Florent of Holland, and Frederick
of Berg, were sent from Adrianople on December 7 to bring the garrison at
Philippopolis to Adrianople. Duke Berthold had to rescue the troops of bishop
Dietpold of Passau at 'Bacon' (Batkun). The advocate 'invaded a rich region
called Vlachia, not far distant from Thessalonica. Here he killed a few rebels
and found a greater store of supplies than his men could carry back. 
The bishop of Passau and the duke of Dalmatia followed with an armed band,
subdued the land, and loaded their men with pillage taken from the enemy.'
 The incidents of battle kept the German animosity toward the Byzantines
at white heat and stimulated their plundering zeal. In the course of the
slaughter at Demotica, and of the capture of the castle of 'Nikiz' (at Hafsa),
the Germans were convinced that the Byzantines were attempting to undo them
with poisoned wine and that, at least in the neighborhood of Nikiz, 'which
with all the surrounding region is known to serve the emperor at Constantinople
in the making of toxics and poisons', this was done upon imperial orders.
The strong constitutions of the Germans preserved them from this treachery.
'That same wine' which, when forced down the throat of the recalcitrant Greek,
caused him to turn pale, foam at the mouth, and wildly roll his eyes, 'hardly
so much as intoxicated some of our men. . . Lo, in the ten plagues of Egypt
the waters of Egypt became thick blood for the Egyptians, but clear waters
for the Hebrews. And now, by no less of a miracle, the wine of the Greeks,
steeped in poison and prepared for the destruction of our men, was deadly
for the Greeks, but a healthy drink for our men. Our men now knew that from
the time they entered Bulgaria, poison had very often been prepared for us.'18
Nor were the Germans able to take with equanimity the taunting posters which
Byzantine artists had painted in churches and public buildings. 'When they
visited in force the region called Graditz, they found in the pictures of
churches and other buildings, Greeks astride the necks of pilgrims, and,
as if they were enemies, restraining them with bridles. Our men, enraged
at this, set the churches and other buildings on fire, killed very many people
with their swords, devastated that whole land, and took huge amounts of booty."
18 Indeed because 'the excitement of our people toward the Greeks was fanned
to a higher pitch day by day', the pillaging increased. In fact, 'the entire
army was swamped with the booty of these enemy Greeks. Greed ruled at that
time in the hearts of many as a result of the 
 18 Ansbert, pp. 54-55. 19 Ibid., p. 56, lines 14-19. 


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