Norman West part 22

    There the embassy wasted its time, thus giving the builders an opportunity and after the trick had been successful, the Lacedaemonians learnt of the complete rebuilding of Athens. And the Paeanian [*=Demosthenes] somewhere in his writings also mentions this clever deception. So my father’s plan was similar, though more sagacious than that of Alcibiades. Forhefawned upon this barbarian with horse-races and other delights and by delaying him from day to day he managed to complete the fort and when the work was quite finished he dismissed him from the capital.

    XI Meanwhile Prosuch had come up with an enormous army, as was expected, and was besieging Nicaea, as the countryman who came by night to Taticius said, and for three months he persevered in the siege.

    Then when the townsmen and even Apelchasem himself saw that things had come to a distressful pass, and that they would be unable to hold out much longer, they sent a message to the Emperor begging him to come to their aid and saying that they preferred to be called his servants than to yield to Prosuch. He immediately picked out the best of the troops that happened to be on the spot, gave them standards and silver-studded sceptres and sent them away to carry succour.

    The ruin of Apelchasem

    Now he did not send this army to help Apelchasem exactly, but in his own heart he hoped that his help might afterwards turn out to be the ruin of Apelchasem.

    As two enemies of the Roman power were fighting against each other, it was necessary to help the weaker, not in order that he might grow more powerful, but that he might beat off the other, and then he, the Emperor, would take away the town from the former and make it his own, which at present was outside the orbit of Empire; after that he would gradually take another and yet another and thus enlarge the boundaries of the Roman Empire which had become very restricted; more especially since the sword of the Turks had grown so powerful. For there was a time when the limits of the Roman rule were the two pillars which bound east and west respectively, those on the west being called the ‘ pillars of Heracles,’those on the east the ‘pillars of Dionysus’ somewhere near the frontier of India. It is hardly possible to define the Empire’s former width.

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