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)
102 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II Philippopolis, the German army began to occupy the surrounding territory. 'We gathered the grape-harvest of that country, pressing out the grapes; we took fruits from artificial caves, and everyone stored up enough for the quarters to which he had been assigned.' The emperor indeed 'would have occupied all Macedonia if the cause of the Crucified . . . had not held him back.' For the time being, duke Frederick of Swabia, after defeating a Byzantine army stationed near Philippopolis, was permitted, 'according to the plan determined on by the emperor and the princes,' together with duke Berthold of Dalmatia and the greater part of the army 'to assault the exceedingly rich city called Berrhoea.' It was easily taken. 'When our men were in possession of the city they found grain and barley, meal, wine, cattle, and sheep in great abundance and gathered a supply of various garments.' The imperial marshal, Henry of Kalden, took 'Scribention' (Sopot?). The marshal of the bishop of Passau took 'Brandoveus' (Voden). 'The strong city called Pernis [Petrich] surrendered unconditionally. . . . Thus in a short time the army of Christ and of the holy cross secured the three above-mentioned cities and about ten castles." 13 The negotiations between Frederick and Stephen Nemanya, and the Viach brothers Asen and Peter, together with the actual occupation of Byzantine territory by the German army, at length made an impression upon Emperor Isaac. It was not until late October, however, that he decided to release the German ambassadors, and proceed with further negotiations concerning the advance of the German army. The delay only served to intensify German suspicions. It seemed to them obviously deliberate, and meant, in the interest of Saladin, to postpone the German crossing of the straits 'until hard winter was upon them'. It was calculated, they believed, to provide time for Isaac to prepare plans for the destruction of the German army as it crossed the Dardanelles. For the Germans had heard that Isaac, 'thinking us ignorant and unsuspecting', had prepared his Turks and Kumans 'to lay three ambushes for us as we crossed the straits'. The army was first to be divided for the crossing on the specious plea that the lack of boats made this necessary. 'When a part of the army had crossed, attacks were to be made from both the European and Asiatic sides,' and finally 'while rowing on the sea it was to be surrounded by the galleys of these same enemies and given to slaughter.'14 The return of the ambassadors on October 28, accompanied by an impressive Byzantine mission, did nothing at all to allay these 13 Ansbert, pp. 44-45. 14 Ibid., p. 48, lines 8-15.
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