Norman West part 21

    Therefore Apelchasem, when he further heard that Prosuch was besieging towns held by various satraps and would soon be at Nicaea with the object of besieging it, made a virtue of necessity, as the saying is, and boldly accepted the Emperor’s offer of peace, although he guessed the latter’s purpose. When the truce between them had been concluded, the Emperor who was already scheming to obtain another advantage, and could see no other way of gaining his end, invited Apelchasem to the capital to receive gifts of money, enjoy a life of luxury to the full and then return home.

    Apelchasern accepted and on his arrival in the capital was treated with much kindness. The Turkish rulers of Nicaca still held Nicomedia (which is the metropolis of Bithynia) and as the Emperor wished to expel them from that town, he thought it well to build a second small citadel near the sea, while the terms of peace were being arranged. Consequently he had all the materials necessary for the construction of the fort, as well as the builders, loaded on transports and dispatched them under Eustathius, the ‘Drungaire’ of the fleet, to whom he had revealed his secret and entrusted the building.

    The Emperor gave money

    He conjured him to treat any Turks who might pass, very kindly, and give them their fill of needful things, at the same time signifying to them that Apelchasem knew of the building of the forts, but he was to ward off all vessels from the shores of Bithynia to prevent Apelchasem’s hearing anything. To Apelchasem. The Emperor gave money every day and was profuse in his invitations to him to come to the baths, or horse-races or the chase, and further to view the monuments set up along the highroads. Moreover he gave orders to the charioteers to prepare an equestrian display in his honour in the theatre which Constantine the Great built long ago: and he urged him to go every day and watch the horses being tested, all this was to get time for his builders while Apelchasem wasted his days in the capital.

    But when the fort was finished and his purpose accomplished, he loaded him with further gifts, honoured him with the rank of “Sebastos” and after again confirming the treaty, sent him home in great state by sea. When the building of the fort was revealed to Apelchasem, although he was wounded deeply by the raising of it, yet he pretended to know nothing and said not a word about it. A similar tale is told of Alcibiades-for he in a similar manner had outwitted the Lacedoemonians when they refused to allow Athens to be rebuilt after it had been destroyed by the Persians. For he told the Athenians to rebuild their city while he went on an embassy to Sparta.

    Read More about John of Damascus part 12

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